it's a new year.

By Charlie Murray

Current situation: For the past few days I’ve been living in ‘the bunker’ – a little cabin in in the woods just outside the rural town of Daylesford, Victoria. My only pair of spectacles has just broken, so life right now looks a lot like I’m staring down my camera with the len’s aperture jammed wide open. I’ve managed to reframe the initial frustration and have now decided it’s actually rather beautiful. There’s some Jonsi playing quietly in the background, a delicious glass of shiraz on the table in front of me and a wall of Australian forest to be seen every time I glance up from my MacBook’s hazy screen.

New year’s eve is upon us and Christmas is now a distant memory. It’s that time of year when everyone is talking about resolutions and, to be honest, I’m not that thrilled about it all. I can’t remember the last time I kept a resolution for the entire year, and that’s because it’s never actually happened. I asked Andy about this (one of the perks of being married to a neuropsychologist) and she said I (and apparently most of the human race) have been making one fundamental flaw when it comes to resolutions. I’d previously set goals that were socially desirable, eg, eat healthy food, or do more exercise etc… but what I should have been doing is focusing on my core values.

Values are the things that are most important to you in life. They guide your behaviours or actions and help you to live a life that is truly meaningful. Values often sit within different domains of your life (eg, you may have differing values for work versus home life etc) and after a little reflection and a little more Shiraz, here are some of mine:

  • Presence
  • Connection
  • Sincerity
  • Selflessness
  • Simplicity
  • Logic
  • Creativity
  • Quality

Without going into too much detail (and in line with my value of simplicity), this is what I’m going to do this year. I’m choosing just two values for each domain of life and using these to set my goals. These goals can be as simple as: “I’m going to be more present when I’m hanging with my family”. You want to choose things that are easily recallable and instantly help to guide your behaviour. I won’t bore you with the rest of mine, as I’m down to my last 24 hours in the bunker and it would be a touch hypocritical if I spent the remaining time with my head in my laptop when I’m trying to focus on connection within the relationships domain (feeling this yet?).

So this year, I challenge you to ditch the superficial resolutions and dig a little deeper – you’ll value the decision.