Teenager, Millenial, Gen Y, Baby Boomer, Silver Senior… stop beating yourself up for all you haven’t accomplished. If they were really important you would have made them happen. We tend to complete the things we must, but often find ourselves having made little progress with those we really wanted to do.
The holiday blues hit people across all walks of life. So if you are feeling a bit down you can console yourself with the fact that you are not alone. Now let’s see if we can figure a way to create a strategy for making the New Year a great year.
First though, don’t make any New Year’s resolutions. They are rarely kept and one of the biggest causes of self-dissatisfaction during the end of year holiday. As a Life Coach, I’ve always found it most helpful to start with what worked and is working best.
Let’s begin with a short Mind Acrobatics™ exercise.
The Year in Highlights
Time needed: Ten minutes
Materials: Pen or pencil and piece of paper, favorite beverage, scented candles or essential oils, music that makes you feel good and or anything that helps you relax.
Location: Wherever you are most comfortable.
When you are ready find a spot and sit down. Now in stream-of-consciousness, think about and record the positives of the year gone by. You may find things come to you immediately, or it may take some time before the thoughts start flowing.
Below are some prompts you may find helpful:
- Think of three good experiences you had this year.
- What was the funniest thing you heard?
- What was your favorite meal?
- Which of your friends (if any) company did you particularly enjoy?
- Who made you feel the most comfortable?
- What did you look forward to most?
- What gave you the most fun?
- Who was the most interesting person you met?
- What was your greatest accomplishment?
- Where or when did you enjoy yourself the most?
- Who do you know with the best sense of humor?
- What do you want to make sure to do again in the new year?
- Stop when you feel it’s time!
It takes practice to get your mind associating in purely positive terms. We have a penchant for obsessing with the negative. That’s going to change.
If you came up with one or five or ten positives that’s great. You are half-way towards enjoying the new year more than expected. You’ve become consciously aware of what gives you enjoyment in life.
Now you are going to use what worked well this year to help fuel your future. Of course, we all want to grow and make life changes. No one wants to stagnate. Introspection and self-exploration are easy ways to help facilitate the process.
Here’s the 2nd part of today’s Mind Acrobatics exercise.
The Year in Words & Pictures
The location and materials are all the same. You are free-associating again. Here are a few prompts:
- Close your eyes for 15 seconds. Think of waking up on January 1st and your life has changed positively in one way.
- Describe that change in words or a quick sketch. If you’re a better artist than me you might draw a picture with a caption.
- Now really let yourself go and create an action plan to make that change a reality. This is not a New Year’s resolution. It’s self-motivated change that at this moment in time you’d like to make.
Typically, we live as if we are on a treadmill simply running through the boring repetitive motions of daily life without thought. When a conscious effort is made about something desirable, we are generally successful in achieving it because it doesn’t seem like work.
If you find you are working towards that one great goal but not making as much progress as you’d like, don’t despair. Ask yourself what’s getting in the way. You’ll find the answer, make an adjustment and then move forward.
It’s all about being conscious of what you really want and then letting nature take its course. It’s amazing what happens almost effortlessly when you think positively and keep a soul-satisfying objective in mind.
We’ve focused on the purely positive for this article. Life is multi-faceted and everyone faces challenges. We’ll discuss other aspects of life in another article. Meanwhile, look for humor, smile, laugh… and don’t forget to hug lots of people!
Finally, go out and treat yourself to something decadent rejoicing in the fact that the new year is going to be a fantastic year.
Great karma and the power of positive thinking will enhance your life.
Photo credit: 123rf/Cathy Yuelet