“Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress.” Charles Kettering
Is New Year’s Eve a magical time for you? Does it always live up to your expectations of fun? I didn’t think so.
New Year’s means many things to many people. For some it’s a free pass to blow it out. They take all their pent up stress and use the night as a way to break bad and obliterate boundaries as they drink, revel, eat and whatever else comes along to excess.
For others it’s a time of dark depression. They think their life has not measured up to some imagined yardstick of happy because they don’t have a date, didn’t lose that weight, or whatever else makes the list. They spend the evening berating themselves for another wasted year.
The thing that both groups have in common is they are using the night to create imbalance. Both groups wake up on January first unhappier than they need to be if they would just readjust their focus a bit.
You can tap into the magic of beginning a new year but you have to be willing to focus less on what you don’t like about your life and more on great things you’d like to bring into your life.
Ditch the tired old resolutions you and everyone else makes – stop focusing on losing weight, making more money, or finding the right person.
This year just look inward. Pick one of the below suggestions and try it on. See if it fits what you’d like to have in your life in 2015.
You have the power to create what you want; the only caveat is you have to do it. You can’t create a wonderful life by accident. Things don’t just go your way without any intention on your part.
So drop resolutions and pick up intentions this New Year’s Eve and have a rockin’ good time. Below are 15 great suggestions for you. Chose any that speak to you.
“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” ~ Helen Keller
Get to Know Yourself
“If you asked me for my New Year Resolution, it would be to find out who I am.” ~ Cyril Cusack
“Figure who you are; then do it on purpose.” ~ Dolly Parton
So if you are the only you, what makes you light up? What do you dream of but don’t know how to do yet?
What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? How can you bring forth your strengths more and get support to bolster your weaknesses?
Spend time in meditation and reflection to discover who you are right now. You’re always evolving so it’s important for your inner concept of who you are to evolve too. Is your inner concept still of that awkward teenager from high school or as a person who has had a failed relationship? Drop those past inner images and take stock of all the good things about you right now. That’s the person who is entering 2015 with a clean and bright slate.
Don’t Compare Yourself with Anyone Else
“I generally find that comparison is the fast track to unhappiness. No one ever compares themselves to someone else and comes out even. Nine times out of ten, we compare ourselves to people who are somehow better than us and end up feeling more inadequate.” ~ Jack Canfield
There is always someone who is better, brighter, funnier, and more successful than you. That’s just the way it is. By the same token there is always going to be someone who is in more pain, sicker, poorer, and lonelier than you.
The point is comparisons with others are a waste of time and energy. Only compare yourself to you. Have you grown, learned or transformed something? Celebrate that this New Year’s Eve!
Celebrate Other’s Victories
“Because I was more often happy for other people, I got to spend more time being happy. And as I saw more light in everybody else, I seemed to have more myself.” ~ Victoria Moran
Proactively look for ways to cheer for others. Start at home or the office. Look for small victories in other’s lives and celebrate them. Has your brother gotten a promotion? Has your co-worker contributed a good idea in a meeting? No matter how small, the more you look for the good in other’s lives the more good spills over into yours.
Good feelings are contagious so spread them around. The more you do, the more they will impact your life.
Remember It’s Just a Feeling-State
“Realizing that our actions, feelings and behavior are the result of our own images and beliefs gives us the level that psychology has always needed for changing personality.” ~ Maxwell Maltz
We make a lot of assumptions and base a lot of actions on our feelings. The feeling you are having right now will pass and you’ll feel differently in an hour, or a day, or a week. Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor talks about how the chemical response of most feeling-states actually only lasts about 90 seconds. After that, the chemicals are flushed through. It’s our thoughts that keep us in a state or response any longer than that. The big takeaway? Let the response be there, feel it move through your body, and then stop thinking about it and let it go.
Affirm that You can Trust Yourself
“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” ~ Golda Meir
If you want to convince yourself of something pose it as a question and then answer in the affirmative. This method is much more effective than just stating an affirmation. So ask yourself, “Am I able to trust myself?” and then answer, “Absolutely!” Then to help reinforce this new thought tell yourself 3 reasons why you believe this – so come up with three things that back this up like, “I follow through at work, people say they trust me and I am a dependable person.”
Don’t look for Evidence that You’re Not Confidant
“If you’re presenting yourself with confidence, you can pull off pretty much anything.” ~ Katy Perry
We see what we look for so catch yourself when you fall into the trap of looking for your faults. There is a mountain of evidence that you are a confidant person who excels at life, yet that’s often passed by in search of your one failure of the day.
Actively seek out any evidence of your successes, even the tiny ones, and see what a difference it makes in your day.
“But for each of us, isn’t life about determining your own finish line?” ~ Diana Nyad
Resolve to finish strong. Most of us get to about 90% and then we peter out. All those things that you’ve left hanging are like weights around your neck. Commit to go that last 10% and finish. Be complete with everything you begin and set yourself free.
Take Time to Appreciate 3 Things About Yourself
“I seriously feel like the best days are ahead, and I like the idea of getting to do everything I did before but with more knowledge, experience, and street smarts. There’s a certain love, appreciation, and gratitude that you have at 40 that you don’t have when you’re younger, and it makes every accomplishment feel so much better.” ~ Jennifer Lopez
Get in the habit of writing down 3 things you appreciate about yourself. They can be small things like you listened to someone in need, you finished a task you’ve been working on, or you are kind and attentive to your cats.
The important thing is to capture these things to have a list of your awesomeness. When you are feeling down or afraid, re-read this list and give yourself a self-esteem boost.
Get Out of Your Head
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” ~ Dr. Seuss
When you catch yourself over focusing on inward thoughts and begin to spiral down that whirlpool of anxiety then shift gears. Refocus on outward things you can do something about. If there is something about the topic you are obsessing about you can do then do that. If not, do something else. Doing something is better than nothing, even if your actions are unrelated.
Engaging with something short circuits the spiral of over-thinking and keeps you in an alert, attentive space.
Perfect your Super Power Stance
“I love dressing up in superhero outfits and in fact, when I dress up as Wonder Woman, I actually think that I’m more powerful.” ~ Olivia Munn
Your body is a mirror for your mind so how you hold yourself reflects how you feel about yourself.
Practice that Wonder Woman stance where your feet are apart and your hands are on your hips and your chest is open and strong. Hold your head high and feel your power. This feeling will stay with you the more you practice this pattern. You can do it at home in the bathroom mirror if you want to keep your secret identity under wraps.
Take a Chance on Something New
“The most important thing people did for me was to expose me to new things.” ~ Temple Grandin
We crave newness and excitement. Capture this feeling by trying something new. Sign up for that class, or join a book club or pick up a new hobby or volunteer for a cause you feel strongly about.
We need to be involved in the world to feel happy. So get involved, learn, volunteer, or organize.
Care for Yourself
“Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.”~ Parker Palmer
Take the time and energy to keep yourself healthy and looking good. Even the smallest of actions will reap large rewards. Go for a 15-minute walk after dinner before you turn on the TV. Make sure your clothes are clean and comfortable so you feel relaxed and confident. Eat mindfully, without distraction of the TV, Facebook, or driving. Pay attention to what you eat and how much.
Eating can be a very grounding exercise and food connects us to the planet. But you don’t reap these benefits if you eat in a distracted way or you consume artificial foods.
“Acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality it brings something entirely new into this world. That peace, a subtle energy vibration, is consciousness.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
Pushing against anything only sets it in stone. If you are struggling with trying to understand something, stop and just accept it. Something not going your way? Embrace what is.
You can’t fight your way to peace or struggle to success.
Stop Making Excuses
“People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives.” ~ J. Michael Straczynski
Excuses are disempowering. Take 100% responsibility for your portion and move forward from that space.
Take a Long View
“It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.” ~ Dalai Lama
It’s very easy to get swept up in the drama of what’s happening right now. Instead take a long view and step back and see what you want to take from this situation to create your next step.
When you want to scream, “I deserve better than this” instead think, “I can be better than this”.
** Here’s a Bonus Change for a Really Happy New Year! **
“I feel like life is really short, and it’s important to enjoy yourself and embrace whatever comes your way, whether it’s a challenging day or a great day, just welcome it with open arms. No matter who you are, you can’t escape challenges; they are part of life.” ~ Miranda Kerr
We tend to sift and sort our experiences as good or bad. We run toward the good and away from the bad. Well, all that running keeps us in an endless loop of emotional turmoil. To break free trust that everything that’s happening is right for right now and move forward from there.
Fear is a natural part of trying something new so accept it as part of the process and move forward.
Obstacles are inevitable. They have to to occur, just like heat must occur in order to transform ingredients into cake. It too is just part of the process.
The trouble we have is the false expectation that it shouldn’t be like this, not the reality of what is.
So drop your expectation and use all that extra energy to make 2015 your best year ever!
Have a Happy & Sweet New Year! Please let me know how these 15 suggestions work for you for you. Please post your comments below.