I love the new year. It’s the ideal time to contemplate what’s working well and an opportunity to review what needs to change.
What changes have you been considering for 2018? Are you going to leave behind unnecessary stressors, unhealthy habits and negative feelings about yourself?
What’s the catalyst for this change? I hope it’s because you want to feel better physically and emotionally, not because of a recent medical diagnosis from your doctor.
Whatever you’re faced with, remember changes need to align with your beliefs and values in order to create positive and lasting impact. Take some time to do some deeper internal work. Reflect on what’s working and what’s missing from your life. What do you really need?
Give yourself the permission to be fully present with this process. Set aside some time by scheduling yourself on the To Do list. Ponder all the things that make you feel good, strong and healthy. Write them down. Conversely, list the things that drain your energy, cause excessive stress/anxiety, and negatively impact your wellness.
Here are a few ideas that facilitate deeper personal contemplation:
- Journal your dream life. If you had no money worries, what would your you life look like? How would you feel? How would you spend your days? Play with it and have a little fun. Everyone needs to dream!
- Write a list of things that contribute to your wellness and the things that detract from feeling good. Focus on the emotion that is attached to each item on these lists. This will help you distinguish what “feeds” you versus what “drains” you.
- Observe your thoughts. Do they chronically feel negative? What triggers your ups and downs? When you can look at them objectively instead of drowning in the emotion, you have the ability to shift away from the negative.
- Get present in your body. Notice how your body feels – is it in pain? Are you overly fatigued? Remember, the body never lies. We cannot ignore the body-mind-spirit connection. Try to identify why your body feels a certain way.
- Set aside 30 minutes to walk in nature, or even just through the neighborhood. At first your thoughts may race through all the things that take up space in your mind. Instead, observe your surroundings through your senses. The cold breeze on your cheek. The sound of your feet shuffling on the ground. The gray/blue/silver sky. Soon your head will clear and hopefully you’ll feel refreshed.
These ideas are just a start – the list of activities is endless. We are all works in progress, and the goal is to strive for balance and wellness through practice. You can discover new ways to create your well lived life, and the new year is a great time to start!