My wish for my clients, family, and friends is to embrace the New Year from a place of self-compassion and personal strength. We all have hopes for the New Year whether we call them resolutions, intentions, goals, or big dreams.
We also know that making changes in our lives can be challenging. As we make proclamations for what we want for ourselves this year—our most important task for sustaining positive change is reflection.
Most resolutions fade as we get caught up in the many priorities of our life; yet it doesn’t have to be this way. Optimism and a can-do attitude are important elements of embracing behavioral change, yet they are only piece of the process. The cornerstone of maintaining personal commitment is truly understanding ourselves and how we operate when faced with the inevitable challenges of daily life.
The simplest first step in making positive change stick is journaling. What we write down everyday becomes top of mind. It reminds us what is most important. It helps us prioritize and stay focused when the busyness of our day takes off. Here are a few ideas for beginning a New Year journal practice:
Write It Down:
INTENTION: Know precisely and with great clarity what you want in 2017; include relationships, purpose, health, and spirit.
OBSTACLES: Know exactly and in detail what gets in your way.
STRATEGY: Expect and be prepared for distraction and disruption. What sets you up for personal strength? How will you respond when things don’t go as planned?
INSIGHT: Creating sustainable change is not a light switch, it’s a process of understanding yourself in a deeper way. Identify your patterns and begin the process of knowing yourself.
TAKE IT WITH YOU TODAY:
Start a personal self-care journal/calendar specifically focused on mind, body, and soul nurturing. Use these simple prompts to get going:
1. Look at Your Life: To begin your New Year practice, take some time to review last year's calendar. For each month, examine your schedule and reflect on where you felt most empowered, least empowered, energized, or depleted. No need to overthink it—just write it down considering when where, what, and who.
2. Understand Yourself: Reflect specifically on what brought you strength this past year. Take that insight into 2017 and use it well!
May you have an energetic start to the New Year and a strong finish!