If I love anything, it’s a new beginning. This is probably one of the big reasons that I feel so inspired by my work as a therapist. I get to see new beginnings all the time. People heal, change their story, co-create new relationships. It’s the perfect fit for me, the woman who has an insatiable hunger for stories of human development.
It should come as no surprise, then, that New Year’s is my absolute favourite time of the year. I love the magical time leading up to the start of a new year. We shed our skin. We get to review what worked for us and what didn’t in the last 365 days. We have the chance to “officially” set new goals for who and what we want to become. I get tingles just writing this!
You CAN change your life- honest. You can feel better, love yourself more, enjoy relationships that are mutually rewarding. You can take care of your body, mind and soul. You can finally quit that god-awful job that is sucking you dry, put down the Ketchup chips and stop snapping at your mother and/or your husband. Here’s the thing though, guys: it is going to take work. And by “work”, I mean daily work. It’s the small things that we do over time that add up to huge change.
OK. I want you to grab a mug of tea or coffee or sparkling water and get clear with yourself on what you would like to call in this year. Turn off your ringer and take a deep breath, because I am going to tell you exactly how to start building a life you’re proud of in 2018. Ready? Let’s do this thing.
1. Choose your “2018 Word”:
Start by deciding what your “theme” is going to be. This way, whenever you have a big decision to make or something to let go of, you can remember what you said you wanted to commit to. It helps to think of what you’d like to create, or how you’d like to feel.
If you’re finally kicking your money woes, your word might be “abundance”. If you’re ready to take care of your body, you might choose “health”. If your temper has been getting you down, perhaps you’ll decide on “patience” or “balance”.
2. Make a list of your goals (in order of importance) and a timeline of when you’d like them to be realized:
Here, you look at how you’d like to feel this time next year. Let’s say in 2017, you found yourself so disorganized that you lost important documents, missed several deadlines and had near-constant anxiety about the fact that you spent a lot of time running around like a headless chicken (side note: this is the worst analogy ever. If you have a better way to describe this state, please email me and let me know!)
Anyway, your word is “organized” and you know that next December you want to feel rested, organized and like you have the bulk of your shIt together. Then, you move backwards. You want to have that garage cleaned out by February. The family vacation done and dusted by April. Whatever- plan it out in timelines.
3. Choose 1 thing per month that you are going to do each day for up to 20 minutes:
Ok, gang. Here is where the work starts. I am going to suggest to you that your real point of power is not when you decide that “from now on I am Paleo, I work out every day for an hour and I am hereby cutting off all toxic relationships, including my mom and possibly my toddler!!”
No. Let’s go back to our “Organized” example.
You might decide that every day, you will deal with your mail as you receive it. Or maybe that you will get a planner or online calendar and spend 15 minutes per day going over it so you’re never surprised with “All The Things That You Said You’d Do But Forgot”. The key here is to begin by small, but consistently. The thing you say you’re going to do needs to be done (or not done) daily.
Want to get healthy? Great. Instead of taking away all carbs, try adding a salad every single day. Or fruit. Or walking for 15 minutes, no matter what. Looking for peace? Try meditating every single day- but for only 3-5 minutes. That’s it. Set monthly challenges for yourself and stay committed. The more you begin to implement the small changes, the sooner you are going to see what is known as “the compound effect”: the momentum that comes from daily changes and routines.
Ok- I am going to leave this right here. I have more (so, so much more) but then I’d be writing a book and not a blog and really, no one needs that tonight.