It’s a New Year, so…..out with the old, in with the new you! Right? Let’s be honest, are you just setting new goals because you feel like you’re supposed? Do you even feel an urge to say goodbye to anything from 2016….or maybe a lot of things?
Confession: I love fresh starts. That new energy when I feel motivated, energized, excited for change- that thrills me. Consistency and routine are much harder. Maybe one or two people reading this can relate (it’s okay to admit if this is you). Let’s get real, a lot of us struggle with persistently working towards goals and building a routine that sticks. We claim to do this to become more of the person we want to be, hence the countless jokes and unused, but newly acquired gym memberships (you may want to check out JP Sears’ latest youtube episode on this trend if you haven’t watched it yet.
This year you are invited to join me in trying something a little different. If you are tired of January/February guilt, and by March completely forgetting your unaccomplished goals, here is a little exercise to reflect and set some intentions.
First, consider: did you notice something in your life in 2016 (and maybe 2015, ‘14, etc.) that you hung on to but really isn’t serving you anymore? Is there a habit, tv show, snack, maybe even a relationship that is draining and not really benefiting you? I’m not talking about something you aren’t ready to let go of. I’m referring to something you are ready to tell: “thanks for the memories and it’s time for me to move on.
What isn’t serving you anymore- or maybe never was- that you’re ready to say “ADIOS!” to?
Next, is there something or someone who came into your life in the past year that you are -excited about? -want to invest more in? -can really help you grow?
How can you spend more time kindling that new, excited energy?
Tony Robbins says that “goals are like magnets. They’ll attract that which makes them come true.” I think that for big dreams you really desire, this is true. Sure, plenty of resolutions get easily dropped. When you start really forming a plan, make some investment and talk about (the research actually says regularly report on) your goal, my experience and that of many people is that dreams come to fruition- and the supporters we need arrive to help us on the way.
Right around thanksgiving a friend handed me a copy of Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. An interesting concept is raised in this allegory about pursuing one’s deepest desire. Coelho writes that when we try something new, we tend to have beginners’ luck; this pulls us in. Then, after a little more delving in, we reach the struggle and muck that inevitably is a part of any journey. I can absolutely attest to this being my experience. After a flow of encouragement and what looked to be an easy transition, I’m currently enjoying the resistance and challenging muck * of setting off on a new career. Most of these elements are my own mental barriers (fear, procrastination, feeling overwhelmed with all the learning and to-do’s). Don’t we all do this? Hence why a little mindfulness and meditation (a.k.a being aware of my thoughts and moving to the next stage of accepting, dismissing or countering them with a new idea) are key.
So what are you ready to ditch? What are you ready to give more umph to in your life? Whatever these are, I hope the next time you find yourself reconsidering what doesn’t benefit you , or putting off what you do want, you remind yourself why you wanted the shift in the first place. If you digress or meander a bit, that’s a part of your path. It doesn’t need to be a cause of shame. Like a cloud, see it, and let it go. Then move forward with your day -whether it’s stormy or sunny today- one thing is sure- that will change. But ultimately, you get to choose to let clouds move on.
Happy Cloud Watching!