“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“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 have that wonderful sense of newness and anticipation? Do the coming months always live up to your expectations? I didn’t think so.
New Year’s Eve has a very individual flair. For some it’s a free pass to go all out. They gather all their pent-up stress and use the night as a way to break bad and annihilate boundaries as they drink, revel, eat, and whatever else comes along, to excess. This is justified as an offset to all the bad the year before has brought and as an expunging exercise to have a clean slate for the coming year.
For others it’s a time of deep, dark depression. They imagine their life has fallen short of some yardstick they use to define success. Because they aren’t in a relationship, didn’t lose that ten pounds, haven’t cleaned out that back bedroom, their life has fallen short. They spend their evening berating themselves for yet another year that has been squandered.
Both these groups of people have a commonality. They leverage New Year’s Eve to create imbalance in order for them to wake up on January first unhappy. This allows them to match the frequency that they resonate.
The good news is that New Year’s Eve can be a transitional pivot from that low frequency to a high, happy frequency with some tweaking of their focus.
Tapping into the magic and wonder of beginning a new year requires you to focus less on what you don’t like about your life and more on great things you’d like to attract into your life.
This year do something radically different. 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; this is where you will find the feeling you are chasing by wanting your outer world to change.
What have you got to lose by doing it differently this year? Has that old, tired resolution routine ever really worked out for you?
Start small. Pick one of the approaches below that speaks to you and try it on. Or do one a month. Choose ones that fit what you’d like your life to look like in 2021.
Harness your creative power and craft your life this year. The only caveat is you have to intentionally focus on the positive; you can’t create a wonderful life from a negative space.
So, release resolutions that focus on the negative aspects of your life and embrace positive intentions this New Year’s Eve and have a rockin’ good time.
Below are 15 great suggestions for you to utilize in making 2021 your best year ever! Choose any and all 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
Discover Your Essence
“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? If you did a deep dive what dreams or callings are living below the surface? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? How can you elevate your strengths and get support to shore up your weaknesses? Remember life is a communal event. You don’t have to do it all, be it all, or have it all in order for it to count as a success. Embrace your gifts and your limitations, they are what makes your imprint unique in this world.
Spend time in meditation and reflection to discover who you are right now. You’re always evolving; life is an unfolding process. Make sure your inner image isn’t stuck on some negative version from your past like that awkward teenager from high school or as someone who has failed at past relationships. Discard those old inner images and reevaluate all the good things about you right now. That’s the person who is entering 2021 with a clean, bright slate.
Sidestep the Comparison Trap
“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
Social media had brought a lot of good into our lives. We can keep in touch with family and friends across the globe in a much deeper way than ever before. However, it has also escalated a dark impulse that lurks within each of us – the comparison trap. There is always someone who is better, thinner, funnier, and more successful than you. That’s just the way it is. By the same token there is always someone who is in more pain, sicker, poorer, and lonelier than you.
The point is, comparisons with others is a waste of time and energy. Only compare yourself to you. How much have you grown, learned, or transformed in your life so far? Celebrate that this New Year’s Eve and focus on what aspects you’d like to expand next year.
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 seek ways to cheer for others. Start at home or the office. Look for small victories in other’s lives and celebrate them. Has your nephew received a promotion? Has your co-worker contributed a good idea in a meeting? No matter how small, celebrate the achievement.
Good feelings are contagious so spread them around. The more you sing someone else’s praises, the more your life will be filled with music.
Remember This Too Shall Pass
“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. However, feelings are transient; the feeling you are having right now will pass and you’ll feel differently in an hour, a day, or a week.
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor discovered that the chemical response of most feeling-states actually only lasts for about 90 seconds. After that, the chemicals are flushed through. It’s our thoughts that keep us locked into a state of response after that.
This year commit to a practice of starving a feeling for 90 seconds. How would you do that? By not feeding it with a knee-jerk reaction. Don’t immediately fire off that angry email, don’t immediately honk at the car in front of you when the light turns green, and don’t immediately snap at your daughter when you get the inevitable eye-roll. Instead practice breathing through the feeling, creating a 90-second gap before acting.
The big takeaway? Let the response be there, breathe as you feel it move through your body, and then act from a calm, centered space.
Confidently Stare Down Self-Doubt
“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.
For some reason, at the end of the day it’s the one thing that we flubbed that haunts us. How many times have you rerun in your mind a conversation, or an interaction that you feel didn’t go the way you wanted? This just keeps imprinting that negativity over and over into your psyche.
There is a mountain of evidence that you are a confidant person who excels at life, yet that’s often overshadowed by your focus on your one failure of the day.
Instead, actively seek out any and all evidence of your successes, even the tiny ones, and rerun those in your mind at the end of your day. Keep this up for a month and see what a difference it makes in your life.
“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 a list of your awesomeness. This is a great addition to the exercise of rerunning all your best accomplishments in your mind at the end of the day listed above. When you are feeling down or afraid, re-read this list and give yourself a self-esteem boost.
Don’t Believe Everything You Think
“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 begin to spiral down a whirlpool of anxiety, shift gears. Refocus on outward things you can do something about. If there is something about your obsessive topic that you can change then change it. Take some sort of action – either directly impacting the issue in your life or impacting your state of mind. Perhaps you can’t affect any change directly, but you can get up and go for a walk in the woods to ground yourself and feel renewed by nature. That is just as important. Doing something is better than nothing, even if your actions are unrelated.
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, join a book club, pick up a new hobby, or volunteer for a cause you feel strongly about.
We need to be involved in our world to feel happy and connected. So, get involved: learn, volunteer, or organize.
Be Your Own Advocate
“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 feeling 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 as 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.
Sure, these acts take extra time and attention but you are worth it!
“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. Practice radical acceptance. If you haven’t studied The Work by Byron Katie get one of her books. If you have studied it, reread it to bring it back into a fresh awareness.
** Here are Some Bonus Techniques for a Really, Really Happy New Year! **
Enter an Excuse Free Zone
“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. Without this step you continue to drag all your past baggage with you wherever you go. No wonder you are tired all the time. Let it go and start fresh right here, right now.
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”. Also, ask yourself, “I wonder what good will come of this?” This question directs your attention to seek out the good that is always available to you.
“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 occur, just like heat must occur in order to transform ingredients into cake. They are just part of the process.
The trouble is the false expectation that it shouldn’t be like this. Drop your expectation and use all that extra energy to make 2021 your best year ever!
Have a Happy New Year! I’d love to hear how these 15 techniques worked for you.