Happy New Year! This is the time of year that many of us reflect on the past and look to a bright future and fresh start. New Year’s Day is synonymous with making resolutions to be a better version of ourselves. Some people prefer to look outward to change physical aspects of our environment or our bodies. It’s easier to gauge progress when change is more tangible. Some people like to look inward and zero in on progress that centers around mindfulness, peace, or focus. Are you hoping to finally finish that book you started writing years ago or are you hoping to add meditation to your daily ritual? Or maybe a little of both?
One way to pick a resolution you WANT to stick to is start with the end in mind. How do you want to feel when you achieve your goal? Here are a few steps to guide your process:
- Think of a time in your life when you felt powerful, confident, and in control. Maybe you were a child leaping through autumn leaves. Maybe it was the time you hiked to the beautiful spot and lost yourself in nature. Maybe it was the time you finally organized all of your photographs. It doesn’t have to be a big accomplishment, but it should be something that gave you a big emotional boost.
- Focus on that memory, but really dig into that feeling you had. How can you recapture that amazing feeling now? Again, it doesn’t have to be a big goal. Some people feel inner peace when they organize their closet. Some people recapture that sense of accomplishment they felt when earning their degree by working on another project.
- Find a mantra, which could be an inspirational quote or phrase that helps you to stay focused on your goal. It could be a line from a song, a poem, or just a word or two. Zero in on a mantra that helps you stay focused. Have you ever been in a crowded, loud room with lots of noise when your cell phone, buried at the bottom of your purse, began to ring? Suddenly, the sounds around you fade as your attention shifts and narrows to your ring tone. Your mantra should be like the ring tone; in the loudest and most chaotic environment, you hear it calling to you while all the noise around you fades away.
- Make your mantra part of your daily life. Some people like to create an image of it (or search for one on Google Images) to use as wallpaper on their computer. Some just put a sticky note on their bathroom mirror or on their coffee pot. Others make a new password using elements of their mantra. Since they type the password multiple times a day, it’s a constant reminder.
- Practice makes permanent. We’ve all heard the phrase “Practice Makes Perfect,” but perfection isn’t something we are striving for. Who can be perfect? Aim for growth, for progress, and peace. Your journey shouldn’t be so easy that it requires little effort, but it shouldn’t be wrought with chaos and defeating frustration. Focus on how you will feel in the end, stay the path, and [___insert your new mantra here!____]
Do you have a favorite mantra or quote? Share yours in the comment section below!