Here we are, at the turn of the calendar page –TA DA–we made it, welcome 2013! Some thought we would not make it but here we are. Now we can move beyond all that to the new opportunities for creating, experiencing and living that await us.
Really any day is a good day for new beginnings, but it is natural at the turn of the year to pause, take stock and think about our future. Hope springs eternal as we set our resolutions for the coming year — in spite of all evidence showing that most resolutions are forgotten pretty early into the New Year!
So what are we to do…abandon all good intentions and goal setting? As I have thought about this dilemma for myself I have come up with some ideas that work for me and I would like to share them with you in the hopes that they may support you with the changes you would like to make. These ideas are not magic and are not foolproof, but they do keep me more on track toward successful outcomes, less prone to negative thoughts when things do not go as I would like and they do help me to stay the course more easily than traditional approaches to resolutions.
1. Take time to review, acknowledge and celebrate
It is important to look at what went well in addition to the things we want to change. Energetically, dwelling on the negative (E.G. our failure to accomplish or have a desire or goal) saps our strength, creates incoherence in our field and leads us toward more failure rather than greater success.
Focusing on what went well and what we have achieved helps keep our energy strong, free flowing and coherent…all qualities that help support positive outcomes! In our humanness we tend to forget what went well, where we did grow and learn, and become more of what we would like to be, or to have more of what we would desire in our lives.
2. Look with new eyes on what has not gone well
Focusing on the positive does not mean that we overlook or avoid looking at what has not gone well, or where we would like to see something different than our current reality. We need to face reality and not escape into a spiritual bypass that leaves us ill equipped for living.
However, what we can do is look through new eyes…eyes that help keep our energy strong, that offer a doorway through which we access our innate resiliency and help maintain forward momentum. Typically when we look at what has not gone well; our unconscious response is to energetically collapse. This is a ripe breeding ground for self judgment, criticism or obsessive ruminating on the negative aspects of ourselves to arise.
A shift in vision from head to heart keeps us in an open and flowing state where self compassion, loving kindness and soul presence sets the stage for insight, intuition and new solutions to emerge. This spiritual vision is an antidote to being stuck, stagnating or giving up.
3. Practice Mindfulness and Create Core Reminders to Keep You Focused
The capacity to be present to our lives that develops as a byproduct of a mindfulness practice is of enormous help no matter what our intention or goal. In fact any type of regular meditation practice supports all aspects of ourselves and our lives.
In addition to that practice, creating cues to use throughout the day to re-center and focus around our goals or intentions can be very helpful. One of the questions that I like to use to help me stay focused on my intentions is, “Is this choice/feeling/thought/belief/action one rooted in loving kindness? Does it support me; expand my wellbeing and help me move toward my best Self-expression and goals? “. This approach does assume that the goals or intentions you are setting really do contribute to those areas! You may need to come up with a core question that fits more specifically for your needs.
For me this approach helps remind me about the real meaning of things rather than simply concentrating on an outer behavior or target with no real awareness of how it is connected the deeper aspects of my Being. In this way I remain more conscious…even when I choose to not do what is really in my best interest!! J That is important to know and integrate too!
4. Include Pleasurable Activities Daily
We are hard wired for pleasure. A lack of pleasure contributes to fatigue and stress. If we overlook this deep need, we will find ourselves unconsciously acting in ways that are counterproductive as we try to fill our pleasure quotient through the back door!
What brings you pleasure? Make a list and keep it handy! One woman I knew filled a coffee can with slips of paper with relaxing, pleasure giving activities and drew one each day. When we are stressed or tired it can be hard to think of something that can recharge our energy so a way of having those ideas handy can be of value.