Change and New Year Resolutions
Whether we set resolutions or not we may have lots of thoughts about change at this time of year. It is natural at the turn of the year to pause, take stock and think about our future and set our sights on the coming year.
Here are some ideas that I find helpful when facing changes. 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 some traditional approaches to change.
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 overlooking or avoiding what has not gone well. What is useful is to look through new eyes…eyes that help keep our energy strong and offer a doorway to resiliency. Often when we look at what has not gone well our unconscious response is to energetically collapse. This leads to self judgment, criticism or obsessive ruminating on our negative aspects.
The new eyes suggested here really mean a shift in vision from head to heart. This keeps our energy strong and flowing. To do that we practice self compassion, loving kindness and openness to our higher knowing or soul presence. This sets the stage for insight, intuition and new solutions to emerge. This spiritual approach is an antidote to the energy collapse that keeps us stuck, stagnate or feeling defeated.
When looking at what has not gone well ask:
“What have I learned”
“What is the gift in this?”
What do I wish to leave behind?”
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 well- being 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!! 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.