It’s Matariki: traditionally this was seen as the Maori New Year. Now the seven stars of Matariki is celebrated as a time for new beginnings.
What if you were able to mark a date where you could let go all of the pain and difficulty of the year before and celebrate your own new beginning. We often use January 1 as a commitment to new or revisited resolutions. Have you ever started off the year full of promises and at times, unrealistic expectations to yourself, only to find by February you’ve let yourself down? Each seemingly impossible resolution further beyond your grasp than it even felt on December 31st?
There isn’t a singular formula, magic or method when it comes to creating the absolute best “you” possible. However, your ability to create the best version of yourself starts at the same source: from within yourself. You are born with the ability to be a better version of yourself each and every day. Once you accept that you have the power to change yourself, you are ready to start creating a wonderful, successful and amazing you.
Like the seven stars of Matariki, I’m going to share 7 steps towards a more positive you.
1. Accepting and taking responsibility for self. Whatever decisions you make are a result of what you did to get to that particular decision point. Therefore, when you find yourself in a situation that either wouldn’t make your parents proud, or one that isn’t ideal, own up and take responsibility for them. Once you accept responsibility, a huge weight will be taken off your shoulders. Blaming the world and everyone but yourself for your problems will never solve your issues. By taking blame away completely and still taking responsibility for your actions, you will learn to create unconditional love for yourself and become a better version of who you are in your journey of personal development.
2. Rewire your brain. Sound impossible? It’s not. You can control what you do with your thoughts and have the power to think more positively about yourself and those around you. Often we allow our limiting beliefs and negative self-talk to rule our lives. Stop it!!! You have the power to replace those old thought patterns and negative bias into one of self love. If you repeat an activity or thought enough times, you will memorize it and it will become part of your memory. That same repetition is needed to change your bad habits and improve your self-talk.
3. Forgiveness. Holding on to problems, arguments, and mistakes of the past keep you from thriving and becoming the best version of yourself, not to mention creating poor mental health. The moment you forgive and let the negativity go, you are free. You may not be free immediately, but you are one step closer to personal growth and happiness. You won’t have to endure that pain any longer. Without this pain, you are able to invest your time and energy into the positive aspects of your life (your success) and become the best, genuine version of yourself you can be.
4. Take a chance and go for it! Even though life can be scary or intimidating, you must stop being fearful and just go for it. Either it will work or it won’t. You might be surprised by the result. If you decide to never apply for your dream job, never make an offer on your dream house, never book a flight to a dream vacation, or never ask someone out, you will never know what could happen. Friends and family can certainly help with boosting your courage. When things don’t work out how you hope, they are there to catch, support, and then push you out of your comfort zone to your next level of fear-conquering decisions. When you take the chance of fear over your comfort zone, you are on the road to becoming the best version of yourself.
5. Prioritise. Do you often find yourself in situations that don’t serve you? That keep you from feeling happy? It’s time to get rid of them and to say yes to all that brings you joy. We all need to surround ourselves with positive and uplifting people and experiences. By ditching what doesn’t serve you, there is more time in your day to do cool things. Your own happiness will thank you for making it a priority. Often we stay so busy doing the dumb stuff we don’t have time to do what we really want. This can change by making a plan on how to get the most out of your day. Plan to make everyday your very best.
6. Love yourself. Sound flaky? It’s not! It’s vital and absolutely fundamental to living a full and happy life. You have to be happy with you in order to live life fully. Practice self-compassion and self-love for who you are; loose skin, wrinkles and all. As Dr. Seuss wisely said, “There is no one alive who is youer than you.” And what makes you YOU, involves all of the pros, as well as the challenges. Stop struggling with who you are and what you’ve become, and love yourself just as you are. This kind of self-love will only support your process of becoming the best version of yourself.
7. Be grateful. I introduced this at retreat when I realised, for me, it was the key to transforming my thoughts and outlook on life. To each day, stop, reflect and be thankful for all I have and what I experienced that day. You have the power to change how you view your day. You may not be able to fully change what happens in a day but you can change how you see it. Gratitude is fundamental and studies show it’s vital for our mental and emotional well being.
Does this list seem daunting to you? Does it seem achievable? To me, it’s an attainable set of expectations for self and something I don’t need a significant date on the calendar to start. You can practice these steps any and every day and become the very best you that you can be.