By now, I’d imagine you’ve finally stopped writing and saying ‘2018,’ and are comfortably settled into the new year. With the parties, shopping, cooking, gift giving, and celebrations safely in the realm of ‘last year,’ you’re now detoxing – both literally and metaphorically – from all the stress, overwhelm and overindulgence associated with the holiday season, and perhaps for you – the past year, too. Have you reflected on 2018 yet? Or, made goals for 2019? Or, is that still on your to-do list?
Wherever you are on your journey, have you ever had the experience of setting goals, promising yourself you were really, truly, one-hundred percent, without a doubt, going to achieve them, only to find yourself ten [or a million] feet short by the end of the year? I know I have. So, as we continue into this new year and all the possibility and promise it holds, I wanted to share with you a few things to consider, if you’ve struggled to create a fulfilling life.
First of all, resist the urge to beat yourself up and/or hang your head in disappointment and shame. The past is over and you can’t change a thing. Instead, I invite you to relax in the knowledge that you’re not alone. Plus, let me assure you that there IS hope. Most people believe they can do more than they can in a day – there are too many unknowns and unexpected hiccups that can influence, alter, and/or derail even the best laid plans. While not achieving your goals isn’t a big deal in the short term, it can become problematic in the long term, if life starts to feel like a struggle, as a result. If you’re feeling like you just can’t seem to get to a place of ease, consider how the following three things are showing up in your life – and be ready to make some changes. Wherever you are in planning for 2019, it’s not too late.
1. Your Focus
What are you focused on? I mean what are you REALLY focused on? Give this some thought – it’s important. Start from the moment you wake up in the morning and really think about your day.
What are your first thoughts? How do you speak to yourself, in your head, throughout the day? What do you think about right before you go to bed? How do you interact with your family? Friends? Strangers?
Are you focused on gratitude and excitement for the day and all you GET to do, and the people you GET to do it with? Do you regularly have thoughts such as, ‘I am amazing…I am beautiful…I am successful…I am capable…’ Or, are you focused on all that is wrong – the relationship that isn’t quite right, or, the responsibilities that drag you down like dead weights? Do you focus more on the person that cuts you in line? Or, comparing yourself to others? Are you more likely to think about how unlucky…unattractive…(too) big…or (too) small you are? Or, do you think about how you’re not fill-in-the-blank enough?
Because whether you think about the abundance that DOES bless your life, or, all the things you don’t have, you’ll get more of whatever it is you DO focus your attention on.
You may not be able to control the circumstances of your life. However, you DO have a CHOICE about how you focus yourself, your time, and your energy – THAT is your power. Use it wisely so it can help you transform your life.
2. Your Thoughts and Beliefs
Have you ever given much thought to why you believe the things you do? Of course, our beliefs are shaped and influenced by our individual life experiences – our families, friends, and the people we have known throughout our lifetime. However, in its most basic form, a belief is simply a thought you continue to think, over and over again. Think about that for a moment. It’s that simple – your thoughts become your beliefs, period.
So, if you’re struggling to create a fulfilling life, I’d encourage you to think about both your thoughts and your beliefs.
You may have heard the quote attributed to Henry Ford,
“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”
No one has ever competed in a marathon by thinking/believing they were incapable of doing it. Because if they had that belief they would have never signed up for the marathon in the first place. Or, if they had somehow gotten themselves to the starting line, they would have sabotaged themselves somewhere along the way. The people who end up crossing the finish line are those who believe they can.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – at some time point in your life you either believed in something and it didn’t come true, or, you didn’t believe in something and it did. For example – you thought you could lose five kilos, you tried diets and exercise, and you’re still the same weight. Or, you thought you were terrible at Scrabble and you ended up beating your very intellectual professor friend who always wins.
So, what’s going on?
Say hello to your subconscious. One of its functions is to keep you safe. If it doesn’t believe you really want something, even if you SAY you want it, it will work out a way to sabotage your efforts, in order to protect you. Conversely, even if your conscious mind believes something and your subconscious knows it to be false, if you’re allowing your intuition to guide you, you may end up surprising yourself. This is why it’s so important to make sure your subconscious and your conscious mind are in sync.
In the case of losing weight, if your subconscious doesn’t believe you really WANT to lose the weight, or, if your subconscious believes that you don’t really believe you CAN lose the weight (even if you say you want to and can do it) you won’t ever succeed. Similarly, in the case of you beating your professor friend at Scrabble, if your subconscious believes that you’re smart and you’re actually letting it guide your intuition (as opposed to your doubts/insecurities) you may end up pulling off an upset.
By taking responsibility for your thoughts and beliefs, and ensuring they remain in alignment with who you are, even if you were born into a life without means (like Oprah), or you don’t publish your first book until you’re 60 (like Louise Hay), you CAN change your life.
3. Your Vision
I think we can all agree that if you don’t know where you’re going you’ll never be able to get there. It’s why we don’t just show up to airports, blindly board planes and end up wherever the pilot decides to take us. The flight attendants actually check our tickets to make sure we’re on the right flight – to the destination we booked, in advance.
Having a vision works the same way – if you don’t have one you won’t ever get anything different than what you have. You have to know what you want, be able to see yourself doing it, and really believe you can have it, in order for it to come true – this is the power of having a vision.
Whether or not you have a big vision, I encourage you to really think about yourself, who you are, and what you want. If you could do/be/have anything, what would your life be like? Where would you live? What would you spend your days doing? What would you wear? Who would you spend time with? How do you see yourself in six months? A year? Three?
Although I encourage you to not be limited by thoughts of how you’ll achieve your vision, it IS important to ensure your vision is in alignment with your values, beliefs, and who you are as a person. It’s easy to say you want Oprah’s life. However, remember that Oprah created the life she did for herself because she loves talking to and interviewing people. She loves reading books, learning and sharing what she learns with other people. Oprah had a vision and created a life that makes sense for her, because of who she is. Be sure that the vision you create for yourself makes sense for YOU.
As we continue on into the new year, I know it can be frustrating to look back on previous years and feel like you haven’t accomplished as much as you had hoped. However, if you haven’t already, I encourage you to make time now to reflect on your vision, thoughts, beliefs, and focus. Think about what you can do differently to show up differently in your life this year. Don’t be afraid to start small and start now – it’s never too early and it’s never too late to create the fulfilling life you’ve always dreamed of. May 2019 be your year to shine – I know you can do it!