Perhaps I’m an optimist but with each new day, I feel excited – a bit like a kid at the start of the school year with those brand new exercise books, just waiting to be written on. There was nothing quite like the feeling of seeing those blank pages waiting just for me.
Yes, New Year’s Day IS just a day, but for most of us, it’s a moment in time when we’ve drawn a line in the sand and feel that we can start again.
It’s a time of hope, renewal and optimism.. And if parts of the last year have been a bit … well … crappy, maybe a wish that the coming year might be different. Better.
I’ve never been a real party girl and as an introvert with a capital I, instead of focusing on what I was going to wear to farewell 2013, I found myself focusing more on ‘how did I do’. Reflecting on the year that’s been, in readiness for the year ahead.
So, what DID I learn from 2013?
The importance of starting the day right
Far too often I’ve been guilty of rising early to make the most of my day only to find myself wasting time sifting through email or browsing through my Facebook newsfeed.
Probably in the last month or so, I’ve turned this around and have been starting my day with a hot lemon drink while I read my affirmations and look at my vision board, followed by ten to fifteen minutes of meditation, some journaling and then some exercise.
During this time I set my intentions for the day ahead. Often I’ll ask for a day of effortless ease and joy.
Sounds a bit woo woo? Definitely.
Does it work? Absolutely!
In 2014 I’ll be continuing this habit so that I stay in touch with what’s really important to me and as a bonus, maintain a regular meditation habit.
How do you start your day? Is there any way you can restructure your morning to set the tone for the day ahead? What could you do differently?
Get more sleep
This is a biggie for me. I know and teach how important self-care and sleep are to our health and well-being. In 2014 I REALLY need to live that. In the busyness of life and with workaholic tendencies never far below the surface, I’ve given in to the temptation far too often to ‘do just one more hour’ and skimp on sleep. (Oh, the shame!)
Not only is this a bad idea in terms of what lack of sleep will do to my body, tiredness for me becomes a trigger for poor eating habits.
In 2014 I’ll be listening to my body more and resting when I’m tired instead of trying to ‘push through’. And I’ll be walking my talk. Promise.
Getting my priorities straight
In some ways 2013 has been a bugger of a year with family bereavements and a health scare for someone who means the world to me.
Family, friends and my relationship with my gorgeous husband are my top priorities. I just need to make sure that my actions reflect that.
In reality, I didn’t do too badly in this area, but you can always improve, right?
It is ALWAYS a good time to hug someone you love or to tell them that you love them.
As I plan for 2014, I’ll be making sure I schedule time to spend with those I love, to send that letter that I know will bring joy and to make sure that my actions reflect my priorities.
Do the inner work
Sometimes it isn’t as easy as do this action, get this result. Sometimes we need to ‘go within’.
Those pesky limiting beliefs that we all have can really come up to bite us on the butt if we’re not careful.
The tricky thing is that we may not even be aware of a belief that is sabotaging our progress towards our goals.
Journaling and meditation really come into their own here, as do trusted friends who’ll lovingly tell us like it is. Let’s face it, it is SO much easier to see mistakes that other people are making!
One of my limiting beliefs was that it takes a lot of work to achieve your goals.
My new mantra is ‘It’s allowed to be easy’.
So, once we’ve uncovered a limiting belief, what then? I’ve found that sometimes just being aware of it can be enough. We can simply choose to believe something else.
In 2013 I’ve found energy work such as EFT (emotional freedom technique) and kinesiology to be super helpful in dissolving any limiting beliefs that were sabotaging my progress. In my Body Beautiful Bootcamp, I take you through a number of exercises specifically designed to get them out of your life for good.
Keeping my goals and motivation vivid
In 2013 although I had my vision board and goals written out, at times weeks would go by without me even looking at them.
Life just seems to take over sometimes with urgent and important things that demand our attention, taking us away from what we’ve decided are our REAL priorities.
The trouble is that when this happens, often we aren’t taking all the actions that we need to take to achieve our goals. We go after our goals half-heartedly. I’d forget to plan in my exercise sessions or my food choices would suffer, for instance.
My new habit of starting the day by touching base with my goals and vision board will curb this natural tendency for goals to fall by the wayside and motivation to slide. Yay!
Ask for help
Asking for help has always been tricky for me, Ms Independence. But what I used to view as a positive trait, I now see as something that has really held me back. While I’m getting better at this, it still remains a work in progress.
It can be as simple as asking for help to do the dishes or assist with meal preparation to free up some me-time. I can probably take a leaf from my cat Flossie’s book who lives by the following:
Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want Joseph Wood Krutch
So 2014 will be more about asking for the help I need instead of trying to go it alone!
Is there any area of your life where you’re not asking for the help you need?
Believe in myself and my dreams
I spent too much time in 2013 wishing and hoping and not enough actually BELIEVING that I could accomplish my goals.
The biggest thing to shift my perspective has been surrounding myself with others who are achieving what I want to accomplish. They’re not smarter or more capable, or possess magical powers. They’re human, just like me.
I’ve found myself asking the question ‘Why not me?’
Are you ready to be incredible?
The answer is yes!
Even if you don’t fully believe that you can achieve your goals and dreams this year, go on my belief. I believe in you. You can totally do this.
Now let’s grab 2014 by the short and curlies and go and be incredible!