Sometimes as an adult, the mundane can cloud the excitement and rejoicing of holidays. I get it; I’ve been there. For those who live far from close family or loved ones, this can be even more real.
But for those who don’t wish to feel like the change in year is just another day flipped on the calendar, I would like to share some practices that can help catapult you out of that funk.
This is a very humbling process. It’s essential if you want to understand yourself better this New Year. Do you question yourself or things you’ve done in the past year? The process of self-reflection can help to find out why you think, say, and do certain things, and ultimately lead you to betterment and goals for self-change.
This is a method to self-reflect. Even if you don’t own a ‘journal’ per say, or this doesn’t sound like your type of thing, listen to me… Grab a scratch piece of paper, a napkin, or even the back of your Starbucks receipt! Jot down some Highlights and Pitfalls of your past year. After that, goals for the New Year or changes you wish to see in you. Post this on your refrigerator, throw it in your purse, or even toss it (once you make a mental note of course). You’ll find that physically writing such things down and getting them out will be therapeutic, and most definitely on the right track for a fresh mindset for the new year’s beginning.
The quieter you become, the more you can hear. Seriously. Maybe you wish that you weren’t so obsessed with social media, or perhaps you have a few strained relationships with friends or family. If you’ve realized through self-reflection that you are easily angered, focus on the balance of quiet time throughout your new days. If you are off balance with yourself, you can surely be quick to anger.
Quiet time can also help you to welcome forgiveness in to your life. Whether a person who hurt you is “deserving” or not in your eyes, if you want to feel peace this New Year, accept what has been, let it go, and forgive. You are only in charge of your own thoughts and actions, wish the best for those who have wronged you and start your new year with a peaceful heart.
Regardless of the situation, taking some time to be ‘quiet’ helps spark change. “What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.” (Buddha wisdom)
If you want something you’ve never had, you’ll have to do something you’ve never done before. Want to lose weight? Do your research, make a diet plan, hire a trainer, join a gym. Want a change in career paths? Do your research, tour a local college, spruce up your resume, network or reach out to others in your new chosen channel. It’s never too late to start again, to start new, or finally do what you’ve always wanted to do. In any case, accept and embrace change… life is happening now!
One of the most important steps I would consider in a new beginning is the ritual habit of practicing self-love. Even if you are a busy mom of 4, or a single-mom of 2, taking 15 minutes at the end of your day to do something for yourself (like taking a bubble bath, painting your nails, reading a few pages in that book you’ve been dying to peruse, etc.), when you begin to cater to the relationship you have with yourself, all of your relationships with others will begin to change right before your eyes. In return, self-worth and self-respect will flourish, and you will realize which parts of your past year need to be scrapped in order for a healthy and joyful new year to commence.
Gratitude will unlock a more fulfilling new year. It can turn your earthly possessions in to ‘enough’, and any denial of unhealthy habits from the past; in to acceptance and ultimately, more change.
The world is full of evil, but when we take time to be thankful for the clothes we have to wash, the food we have to cook, the house we have to clean, and the job we have to work, fear will start to disappear and the more present-minded you will become. Gratitude will allow you to be ALIVE this New Year, and not just merely living.
I hope you all can find some useful tools here and be able to look ahead at 2016 with hope and excitement.