Looking back can stir up plenty of emotion depending on how we perceive the year we've just had. There may have been change, challenges, setbacks or triumphs - whatever there was, we'll likely be selective about how we're choosing to look at it. As with anything, I'd be an advocate of focusing on the positive and seeking out the learnings. Yeah I'm sure some or plenty of it wasn't ideal, but isn't it fantastic to know what you don't want to bring into 2016? Isn't it helpful to be able to identify stuff you want to work on?
The New Year is a brilliant time to start fresh, to awaken your eyes to its vast blank canvas and start thinking of how you want to fill it in. This isn't a time for beating yourself up or making unrealistic demands of yourself. This time is tailor-made for thinking about what you want and even what you want to leave behind. It's the time to grab your aspirations and scribble them valiantly across the pages of the months ahead.
Why not think about what you actually want out of next year and get really curious about how to make that happen? Things that matter to you, not just stuff that everyone else is doing but the real substantial things that you believe will enhance your life. This is a chance to chase what is important and reap the benefits of putting your own values first.
Take that moment to actually write down what you want, where you see yourself in a year's time and how you're going to feel when you get there. I know it might seem a bit airy fairy but deciding to go after what I want has only ever shown me more of what I can potentially have. Shifting the focus from struggle to solutions removes the restrictive perspective of life that we can get so accustomed to. It means not settling for less when we want and know that there is more.
I wouldn't particularly recommend resolutions, but maybe just making the choice to take responsibility for getting the positives that you want in your life.
Here's some suggestions to take into the new year: (essentially a variety of clichés that I've found to be helpful ;) )
Let Go or Be Dragged
- Sure we all make mistakes and yeah of course we might repeat them more than necessary but at some point we've got to take stock of the negative behaviours that could be holding us back. These are the bits of 2015 that maybe we want to Tippex out and these are the things that we want to let go of before we embrace the brand new year. If it's not serving you, why keep carrying it around? Let go of anything that no longer satisfies, recharges or nourishes you.
Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway
- Maybe we want more adventure, fun and excitement in 2016 but Fear is stepping in and mocking our plethora of plans. If these are your goals, do yourself a favour and give more energy to your ambitions than your anxieties. Overcoming fear will only ever be empowering and it's pretty hard to argue with a bit of empowerment isn't it? Build up your strength against fear and you'll simultaneously build up your enjoyable experiences.
Get out of Your Own Way
- Self-limiting beliefs can have a powerful ability to keep us pretty miserable. As fears and low confidence increase their volume, it's as though half of us wants to pursue our dreams while the other half is telling us how much of a waste of time that is. Silence that argument and just get on your own side. Stop putting up roadblocks and create stepping stones instead. The soundtrack of your mind becomes what you believe, so what do you want to be telling yourself on repeat? Use your own mind to create the pathway that you want.
Be Your Own Best Friend
- It's fascinating how we treat the one person we'll always be with isn't it? Some of the things we say to ourselves, we'd never have the audacity to say to anyone else. We berate, put down and discourage ourselves on a daily basis and seem to think this is normal practice. Becoming a friend to myself has been crucial for me to embrace living life in the way that I want. Speak to yourself as you would a friend, treat yourself as you would a friend and advise yourself in the same way too. Give yourself the priority that you deserve in your own life. Take yourself to the places you want to go, use the fancy shower gel, get the dessert, go shopping. Get to know who you are, what you like about yourself and what you genuinely enjoy doing. Putting time into this is invaluable and holds immeasurable advantage.
Capture the Moments
- One thing that I want to really take with me into the new year is capturing moments. The ones that make me smile, the ones that leave me in awe and the ones that make me see real beauty. I want to take note of those little nuggets of life that make me so glad to be a part of it. An idea I want to implement this year is writing down one lovely/memorable thing that happens each day and putting it into a jar or somewhere that I can dip into at the end of the year. I'll likely miss some days, but I want to make a point of capturing the moments that matter and being able to dip into a jar of smiles whenever I wish. Life is full of these but sometimes we forget to pay them the attention they deserve.
There are so many more possibilities for the year ahead, that given half a chance I'd go on about for ages but this is your new year so it's up to you to nail down what you want and need out of the upcoming chapters. Self care, credit, gratitude or connection could all play an incredible part in creating the year of You, or it could be something completely different; a creative project, a new hobby or just a commitment to change. The main thing is to let go of pressure and let passion guide you into your own pages of potential.