New year’s resolutions can feel like we’re setting ourselves up for a fall — but deciding how you want to feel can create unstoppable life momentum
How do you want to feel? I’m serious.
I doubt anyone will answer, like S#%T!
But what happens?
Visions of fresh clean slates and do-overs dance in our heads at the start of a new year — and then reality sets back in (and there’s a reason). Maybe you’ve broken some promises to self already. Maybe you’ve already thrown in the towel and are back to your old ways. Maybe it just feels too hard (sometimes it is).
The bottom line is that fresh starts, whether they are January 1st or today, require your showing up (again and again)…and it’s worth it!
On new year’s eve my family wrote down the things we wanted to leave behind in 2018 on a piece of paper. We then proceeded to fold them up and toss them into our roaring fireplace. POOF! Out of sight out of mind. And while the exercise in itself felt empowering, some things aren’t that easy to just do away with.
Most of us have been practicing the same ol’, same ol’ limited thinking in some aspect of our life for so long that we feel like it’s almost a part of us. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to discourage you from thinking you can’t break free from the clutches of your limited thinking. To the contrary, I want to set you up for a BIG win. I want you to see what’s been holding you back, recognize its sneaky tricks and to create ways to set your best self free in an impactful and lasting way. Hey, we’re all waiting for you to unleash your gorgeousness.
I had all kinds of plans for the year ahead. My mind was swirling with ideas and inspirations until I hit a slight bump in the road right out of the new year’s gate — and began to feel derailed. That’s the way those well-engrained patterns of ours work. They are tricky buggers!
And mark my words, I don’t like when things don’t go my way any more than the next person.
I’ve had many things not go my way in this lifetime, so I’ve had a little practice.
But I’ve also had many moments when I realized that my perception of what wasn’t going my way was in fact guiding me to something far better than I could imagine.
So even though I may not like it when things don’t go according to my plans and timing and even when I can’t see the forest for the trees — I now respond to it all very differently than I once did.
Previously, I would get depressed about it. And though the wind can fall from my sails, I don’t allow that to steer the ship. NOPE. It may irritate me or shake me, but I just ask, What am I missing? What am I supposed to be seeing here? And can you please hurry it up!
For the most part when things don’t work out, they weren’t meant to.
When we force it, when we resist, when we make it happen — it usually produces something that doesn’t meet our expectations.
The key thing to remember is that Rome wasn’t built in a day. So don’t expect your best self to be able to solve all the problems of your world in one either. I think we get lost when we can’t see the floor plan for it all before us. I’m not suggesting that we walk aimlessly through life, I’m suggesting that we become aware of the cues sprinkled all about and start picking them up. When we learn to trust in ourselves and the timing of life, we can get where we need to go faster and without unnecessary chaos.
Where is life trying to lead you?
Is there a dream that lays dormant somewhere? A career change that needs to come forth? A relationship that needs ending — a partner that needs finding? A financial win that needs to be claimed? A state of health and wellbeing that needs accessing? A creative pursuit that needs activating? There’s probably something (or many somethings) calling to you.
You haven’t been abandoned or missed out on anything — other than the cues, signs, messages you are likely ignoring. Success isn’t just for others. People aren’t ‘lucky’, they create luck. They walk in luck. They know how to stay aligned with that. They continue to show up. Isn’t that what you want? I know I do.
I recently had plans for a new business idea. We’d been working away at it over here in the offices of Best Self Media for months, filming, writing, editing, dreaming. Putting forth a new creative baby can feel tenuous at best. When an initial outreach surrounding the project didn’t go exactly as planned, it felt like a hit. It felt like a failure — in march the old patterns.
And while I know that is a million percent absurd — we feel what we feel because we are human and emotional and there is so much attached to our human experience. Some seek validation from others. Some steep in perfectionism. The reality is that my discouragement had nothing to do with the program and rather, everything to do with me. Darn. This life journey is not for the faint of heart.
Going back to what I said earlier, I’m not happy when I don’t get what I want. But I sat with my disappointment and didn’t let it take over.
Don’t let a fear of failure stop you. Even if you don’t know what to do with it, be with it.
Allow your feelings to emerge around it, but don’t allow them to take over. You’re not a failure because something changes course. Be the person that you’d be for a friend — for yourself. Would you tell a friend they’re a failure? Of course not. You’d probably rally with the most epic pep talk, ever. Do that, be that for YOU.
Whether it’s about a business idea or a personal goal, bring your whole self along for the ride. Allow yourself to experience it and be cognizant of not only what comes up in the process — declare how you want to feel. Put the words out into the world and give them flight. When we share our vision with our tribe (i.e. our dreamkeepers), suddenly there is wind beneath our wings.
Look, I need the reminder so much I had my friend Lucia paint me a rock declaring it, inspired by my interview with Danielle LaPorte. Call in your reinforcements when needed.
And if you don’t know where to start — no sweat. Go back to what you know does work for you. It doesn’t have to cost a thing. Pull that book off the shelf. Hit the meditation cushion. Take that walk. Scribble in that journal.
More than anything, I want to feel peaceful and fulfilled. For me, I had to get back to basics: prayer, meditation, lighting candles, working out, writing. I also want to feel inspired, aligned, free and empowered — but I won’t feel any of those things if I’m not looking at myself and my life holistically, body, mind and spirit.
Usually when one thing feels out of alignment, others follow suit. When my jeans are too tight, it’s not time to buy a bigger size — it’s time to reassess my self-care. Jeans don’t lie.
When something doesn’t go my way, it opens my mind to new ways to approach it. Even when I don’t know what they are immediately, answers always unfold. Stay flexible. Stay open to receive. Don’t fall prey to the tendency to self-medicate with busyness or denial (or anything else).
What’s one thing you know you can shift to put yourself back on track?
We’ve each got a responsibility to bring our gifts to the world — to seize this life and leave our mark. And maybe you’ve been denying them for so long that you’ll need a bit of time figuring it all out. And if you missed the mark January 1, just seize the most important day — today.
Life isn’t all about succeeding by material benchmarks and collecting accolades — it’s about trusting the timing and staying the course. It’s about loving yourself, others and this gorgeous planet of ours. In order to find our place in it, we need to show up and figure out how we want to feel in it…and in our own skin. Connect to your feelings, the rest is cake.
P.S. The candle I lit in my office had an intention on the label that I wanted to share with you (because I wish it for you too!):
May abundance of goodness flow freely into my life. Allow me to be receptive to the treasures that present themselves, enriching my life’s journey.
Happy New Year dear Best Selfers, let me know how you want to feel. How are you handling your resolutions, promises and dreams — stepping in or side-stepping? Looking in or turning away? Share it in the comments below so we can hold each other’s hands through the journey.