I love a fresh start. The New Year provides a perfect opportunity to reflect on the things that have gone well in the last year and those that didn’t go so well.
This year, rather than rush into making changes in your life that may not be entirely appropriate or feasible, or putting yourself in a position in which you feel your health and wellness objectives are unattainable, take pause and evaluate where you are in your life right now. Reflect on the things that would bring you happiness, joy, peace and abundance. Reflect on what you really want and how achieving your goals will bring you more of the feelings and experiences you want in your life. Thinking critically about the changes you want to make and how to best position yourself so that the goals you’re striving to achieve are serving your greatest good and are sustainable over time.
When you’re ready to make changes, consider the following:
1. Ask why.
What is your motivation for making changes? Once you understand your why, staying committed to the actions required to bring about and sustain change becomes very clear.
2. Make the decision.
Decide that you’re worth it! It begins with a decision that you’d like things to change and that you will invest the time, energy and funds needed to promote your physical health, spiritual growth or personal development.
3. Make plans, but be flexible.
Develop and practice strategies and routines you can put in place to support your daily living and progress toward your goals. For example, begin preparing food, or improving the organization of your work space, or using electronic devices to organize your personal and professional life. As you do this, know that things will change and that you'll have to go with the flow. And that’s OK; you’ll get back to your new routine as soon as you can.
4. Stay in the moment.
Stay in control of your emotions by staying in the moment. Know that you can manage the things that are happening now. Change is a process that happens over time; otherwise it can become overwhelming and unmanageable.
5. Tell people.
We need our communities, family and friends to believe in us when we're in the midst of making changes. Tell the people you love that you’re making changes, and ask for their support in the way you need it.
6. Quiet the inner critic.
You'll find all kinds of ways to criticize yourself and the things you're trying to do. Your ego is trying to protect you from harm. Allow yourself to be grateful for the ego’s role in your life, but evaluate those thoughts and beliefs and their validity. Then, replace those thoughts with empowering thoughts that celebrate your accomplishments and commitment to you new goals.
7. Use your mind as a tool for change.
This can include developing a personal mantra that speaks to your strengths or objectives, stating an affirmation, engaging in prayer or meditation. Keep yourself motivated by using gentle language and gentle actions with yourself, and be conscious of your language and words.
8. Set attainable goals.
Set realistic goals, monitor them and commit to sticking with them. Frame the language you use to describe your goals and the actions you will take to achieve them in a positive, heart-centered way. Think about the things you’d like to add to your life, not just the things you’re going to take away and then monitor your progress with honest reflection.
9. Remember it’s not all or nothing.
Change happens in small steps. As circumstances arise, be flexible and kind to yourself about how you managed in the situation. Develop self-compassion. Change takes practice. Give yourself the time and space needed to adjust to your new goals and lifestyle. When you’re successful at incorporating any new habit or change in your life, CELEBRATE! You’re moving toward your goals, and that’s awesome!