We all see the New Years blah blah blah resolutions looming and there’s that feeling of panic as we think oh gosh, what are my resolutions? What do I have to do to be all wise, zen like and perfect by April? We vow never to eat sugar, lose a thousand kilos, save a million dollars and so on. Making huge and unrealistic goals is the surest way never to reach them.
I resolved this year not to make any resolutions. A day on the calendar shouldn’t determine the goals and choices I make. As I reflected on this I did make myself a resolution of sorts. What if I could be kinder and more loving to myself? How could that change my year? What would it mean for my goals and choices?
So that’s what I’ve resolved to do. Just be kinder to myself. Live more in the present moment so that I don’t get caught up in a web of negative self talk. And challenging my limiting beliefs and negative chatter will be a huge step in honouring my resolution. Sound kinda vague? Not concrete or SMART focused enough? For once I’m wasnt worried about the details or small steps as I normally would a goal; I’m just challenging myself to be kinder. However I did have to look at the steps I needed to take to succeed at my goal.
I did some writing and wrote down what loving myself and treating myself kindly looked like for me. The choices I can make to support my goal. I broke it down like an exercise or weight loss goal. Baby steps I can take each day to reinforce who I want to be. It was one thing having an intention but I needed action to follow through otherwise it remains vague, confusing and alternately unattainable. I realised that to change my life I had to be willing to make changes everyday which lead me towards my goal.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act but a habit” – Aristotle
We don't have to be perfect. Making a mistake once or twice has no measurable impact on our long-term goals. So give yourself permission to make mistakes, and develop strategies for getting back on track.
I realised that my particular resolution didn’t have an end date or something I could complete and move on from. It will be a life long process.
Understanding this from the beginning makes it easier to manage my expectations and commit to making small incremental improvements rather than pressuring myself into thinking that I have to master this straight away.
In many ways it doesn’t matter the duration of your goal or how long it takes to form a habit... 5 days or months or years. Forget the number and focus more on actually doing the work.
“A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step” - Lao Tsu
The way I see it, you just need to figure out what your dream is, perhaps visualise it, determine what you are willing to change to reach it, write it all down, and start working on that list, doing each one of those things one at a time, making new and better habits that will lead you to obtaining your dream. Writing it all down keeps it fresh in your mind, then keep up with where you are and what adjustments you make along the way. Even if you don't succeed the first time, you have a guideline to determine what not to do and you can write a book about it.
Finding the contentment in the right here right now. Trust yourself. Believe in yourself.
The people that succeed? The only difference is they believe in themselves. They don't let the negative mind talk hold them prisoner to their thinking. Knowing I'm enough just because I am was truly a remarkable gift. I am enough because I'm me, because I fronted up.
If only we could bottle the Essence of Possibility; imagine what we could do without fear.
The very thing that stops us pursuing our dreams and living life to our true potential. Fear drives our comparison to others and those feelings of ‘I’m not good enough’. At retreat I often use the saying ‘comparison is the thief of joy’. I know it’s certainly robbed me of much joy in my own life. It’s undermined my success and self belief.
So I’m taking back control as the first step in loving myself more. I’m not letting fear be the driver of my life; but rather compassion and kindness both to myself and to others. I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback on what you’ve resolved to do this year. Take bold steps in the pursuit of your dreams and kick those feelings of unworthiness to the curb.
Happy 2019 everyone.