I know this time of year can be tough. Aside from the dark evenings and more grey weather we experience in the Northern Hemisphere, New Year definitely makes us think a lot more than other times of the year! We’re reflecting on the year before and thinking about our hopes, longings and deep felt desires. It’s a time to take stock of our lives and see that there are parts of it not working and in need of change, as well as parts that are working and that feel good. Yet if any part of our lives feel out of sync, out of balance or just crap, it impacts the good stuff we have going on too.
New Year of course gives us the chance to begin again, to wipe the slate clean, to change habits and face up to the things we need to address.
But what if we don’t know how to change what needs changing or we don’t have the courage to?
Where does that leave us? Or you? A few words spring to mind.
Frustrated. Lost. Angry. Stuck. Overwhelmed. Anxious. Depressed. Coasting. Procrastinating. Self-sabotaging. Settling.
Things and feelings don’t just get better by themselves. Success doesn't happen by accident. Hoping and thinking one day or some day stuff will change is not really going to get you the results you desire. You have got to consciously make the changes, day in day out, by shifting your mindest, your habits, gaining clarity, facing fears, taking action. Basically doing the work you need to do to get you to the next level.
-Be open to the fact that you may be struggling.
-Give yourself permission to reach out.
-Trust your instincts. LIsten to the kind, supportive voice in your head.
-Take action on what you know, deep down you need to do.
On a personal note, last year was a tough year, like it was for many. I don’t think I would have managed the challenges, losses and everyday struggles and curve balls, if I hadn’t reached out. Help for me was sharing my troubles with people who I knew could help. Getting away. Making time for me and my pursuits by taking part in two amazing retreats and other girlie weekends away, one of which was with my sister. These were essential to help me recalibrate, get headspace, have fun and just be, so that I could make sense of things, refocus and re-energise. As well as meet amazing people and make new friends.
A huge help for me is getting into nature, praying, listening to meditations, walking, reading, music, fun stuff with my family, doggie cuddles, friends, but importantly talking about and sharing my struggles and turning low points into lessons to take forward where possible.
How? By asking: What did I learn from that? or What do I need to do to let it go, so I can move forward? And importantly shifting my focus to what I feel grateful for, what good stuff is in my life, despite this tough time I am going through?
Whatever is going on for you, here are five ways to help you find focus, clarity and direction this year.
1. Reset your mindset. If you’ve gone down a spiral of negativity this Janaury, it’s time to get yourself out of that now. For most of us the biggest battle we face in life is within us. We can be our own worst enemy, beating ourselves up over anything and everything. Self doubt and lost confidence holding us back. Internal battles you feel like you are not winning.
Fact. What you focus on tends to get bigger and if you are focusing on the negative it always seems way bigger and worse than it actually is.
Look for the light, the positives, the blessings and things you HAVE in your life.
The gold is in the small, probably unnoticed stuff of your day, of the people around you, of the weird and wonderful things they do, of the strangers who smiled or helped, of the often magical winter light, fires, of the birds singing, your pet's unconditional love or your child’s sleeping face (if you have either!), your favourite food, or places you love to be.
2. Make peace with where you are at. Especially if it's not where you want to be or thought you'd be. You can do this by accepting the situation, the place you are in and the feelings you may have. Then decide to do something about it no matter how small a step.
3. Stop being so hard on yourself. We all need to take this one on board. You’re probably doing way better than you give yourself credit for. Give yourself some quiet time to write down all the things you did do last year, that made you smile, made you feel joy and happiness, even for a moment, and that you felt proud about. Include here the struggles and challenges you got through, the hard things you did, the fears you faced, the tears you shed.
4. Decide that whatever held you back in 2016 and previous years, is not going to stop you this year. What do you need to do to make sure this is the case?
5. Clear the clutter. Why wait until Spring to do a sort out? Seriously think about what clutter is in your life, your environment, your home, your office, your computer, your shed/garage, loft, attic, wardrobes, cupboards, fridge and importantly your head. Make time each day to clear out. It’s amazing the shift doing this brings you mentally. You’ll notice more space (obviously) but clarity in your head and a lighter feeling. I know I do.
I know this was a long one, and if you got to the end and read it, amazing.
May 2017 be a year filled with the much love, happiness, health and success.