No-Guilt Approach to Starting a New Year Right!
I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. I get it – a new year is a good excuse for a new beginning. What I don’t like about a resolution is the place that it usually stems from. Typically, people are feeling shameful about their actions over the holidays, or even the entire previous year. We tend to focus on the worst part about ourselves or what we perceive that to be. When making these resolutions we magnify our greatest weakness. We feel guilt over past failures, and therefore create a resolution from a dark place instead of self love.
This may come as a surprise, but if that is where your motivation is coming from you are setting yourself up for failure by the time you hit February. People often break resolutions because they don’t have all their support beams in place. You can’t expect a structure to stand tall and last a lifetime without support. When this happens, the structure crumbles, leaving you feeling inadequate and low. This can result in a deeper spiral into all of your flaws.
Don’t get me wrong – I am 100% supportive of personal growth and making positive changes. I would simply take a different approach. Just like my structure reference, you cannot simply focus on one weakness and expect a miracle. The focus must be the entire structure (YES THAT IS YOU). Great changes must stem from a place of self love and care. A holistic approach is the only way to be the best you in 2021.
I am not going to lie, this is not the simple approach. In fact, it takes hard work and determination. But let me be the first to tell you, you are worth it. So lets get to work!
Here is my guide to achieving great things not only in 2021 but your entire life:
1. Forgiveness. The past is the past. Put that shit behind you. Forgive yourself for mistakes of the past and take a step into the present. You may even want to consider forgiving people from your past who have wronged you even if its just for you. Harbouring resentment is only going to hold you back.
2. Be Present. Today is today, yesterday was yesterday, and tomorrow is tomorrow. Focus all of your energy on today. Live this day like it were your last. What can you do in this moment to bring yourself peace and contentment? Practicing mindfulness can help with learning to live in the moment.
3. Dive Into Your Emotions. Feel the feels baby! A great way to start this process is by journaling. Start by writing what you are feeling right now. Ask yourself some real questions. If you are feeling unhappy, then why? Feeling negative emotions is a part of being human. It’s important to allow yourself to experience those feelings and process them.
4. Examine The Pillars of Your Life. This is where the hard work begins. Take all major aspects of your life such as your health, relationships, how you make a living, and, probably the most important, your self care and connection with you. I am a visual person, so I recommend making a chart. Write down all of the things you love about each pillar. Now write down the things that aren’t working for you. Be completely honest with yourself. Try not to get hung up on the fact that the negative list might be longer. This is your roadmap for change.
5. Turn The Frown Upside Down. For each negative you wrote in your chart, you need to create a goal that fixes that problem (or at least gets a good start on a solution). For example: “I am feeling disconnected with my partner lately.” My goal could be something like, “My partner and I talk about everything and have excellent communication.” Or perhaps, “I have low self esteem because I am overweight.” My goal would be something like, “My energy level is high and my jeans fit better.” You need to place a time line on your goal to hold yourself accountable. Also, I recommend small, bite-sized goals to start. This helps you feel good about accomplishments and will give you motivation to keep going when you see you were successful.
6. And… Action! Now that you have determined the goal, you must now create a plan of action. What steps are you going to take to reach that goal? Write it all down. Visuals help your mind see there is a way to live a happier, healthier life.
7. Get Moving! What are you waiting for? Get to work. Start on your plan the moment you finish writing it. Sharing your goals and action plan with a friend or family member is a great idea to help with accountability.
8. Focus on The Whole You! This plan and the goals you have created is your ticket to aligning your body, mind and spirit. These changes that you are about to make will be an entire lifestyle change that will leave you energized, hopeful, and full of self love!
Celebrate your journey. You only get one life, so make sure it’s the best damn life you could be living!
Check out my feel good challenge for January – that might help you get inspiration for your action plan.