If you are interested in professional, personal and spiritual growth, I suspect your inbox this week is full of promises, tools and programs to “Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet.”
Some of these contain gold, others are shallow, and some content is recycled or repackaged from years before. I’ve offered some of them myself. We all want to capitalize a little on the energy surrounding a New Year, a chance at a New Beginning.
You’ll be seeing ads for gym memberships and diet programs for “the New You!”
Don’t fall for it.
What’s So Magical about New Year’s Day?
We know we can make changes in our less-than-helpful habits and focus on setting goals any day of any year.
Yet there is something about our human nature that craves order, predictability, rhythms, beginnings and endings. Like when we were in school and life was defined by semesters and breaks.
How many times have you said or heard something like, “Whew, thank goodness 2018 is over?”
Perhaps we reflect on what went well, where we struggled, how we grew, where we feel we failed, what we’d like to release.
Any reason to celebrate with Fireworks or another ritual. (I’ve never been into the Black-Eyed Pea thing, but some folks swear by it.)
We want a reason to be hopeful. To focus on the future rather than the past.
There’s nothing wrong with that.
What’s the Rush?
I promise I’m not encouraging procrastination.
What I AM encouraging is:
a) A thoughtful and intentional evaluation process of what you wish to change
b) A thorough understanding of WHY you want to grow in a new direction
c) An exploration of where and how you’ve done well
d) Where and how you’ve struggled with attempts to change behaviors and what you’ve learned from that
e) What infrastructure and resources you need to support the process
You already know this is not a “throw it together at 11:58 PM on New Year’s Eve kind of thing.”
What Else is Magical About New Year’s Day?
There’s a surge of energy that comes with the changing of the last digit of the year. I’m not sure it’s explainable, but that energy is related to the symbolism above. A sense of possibility, hope, desire, moving forward.
Find this energy, this feeling in yourself and let it simmer a bit. Pay attention. Take time to reflect. Write down your thoughts and notice where inspiration shows up for you.
Is it in the area of home, relationships, work, mental or physical health?
Use the questions above or these from Brene Brown who says, “At the close of every year I ask myself four questions:
1. What do I want more of in my life?
2. How do I let go of what’s no longer serving me?
3. What will make me feel more alive? More brave?
4. At the end of every day and at the end of every year, I need to know that I contributed more than I criticized. How have I contributed and what will that look like moving forward?”
Setbacks were tricky for me in 2018 and challenged me in all kinds of new ways. I’m taking my own very intentional time through this process, and it’s exciting! Details to follow in future blogs and program announcements.
What would you like to share (good, bad, or ugly) about your own process and timing of setting goals or making changes in your life? Leave a comment below – I’d love to hear from you!
Wishing you Joy, Peace, Prosperity, Love and whatever else you may desire in 2019!
P.S. Speaking of recycled content…Here’s my blog from 2015 including factors that contribute to success in setting and achieving goals. Here’s a hint: Don’t do it because you think you “should.”