January is a funny time. There’s often a feeling of a come down after the Christmas hype. Purse strings are tight due to the excess spent in December. “Restraints” tend to come into action as we try to right our wrongs from the previous year…with fad dies, alcohol detoxes and strict goals. And to top it all off…the weather can be pretty bleak. So all in all, January can harbour some pretty low times.
It really doesn’t need to be this way.
For me, January has always been one of my favourite times of the year. A fresh start. A new leaf. A different beginning. The future of the year is there ahead of me to be lived and discovered. The excitement of the unknown is palpable. And the speed in which every year goes by, is just gearing itself up.
This blog provides a couple of helpful exercises to help you take in ALL of 2018 – one step at a time. You will need some paper and a pen 15 minutes to an hour (depending on the detail you want to go into!) and an open mind.
Let’s first look at last year.
Sit comfortably, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Just take a few moments to feel and acknowledge your emotions towards last year. Are there any emotions coming up? What do those feel like? There’s no rush. Open your eyes and write down in one word or in as many words as you like how you would sum up last year.
Now let’s look at one of your successes from last year. Think about a moment in 2017 you were really happy with. A particular moment in time you were really proud of yourself. It doesn’t matter how big or small this success appears to be to you or to others. What matters is how significant this moment feels to you. What is that moment?
For me the moment I was most proud of myself in 2017 was when I realised how detached from diets, calories and restriction of food had finally become for me. It’s as if my authentic appetite and true body make up made it’s way back to me, after all these years. This was a very big moment and huge step in my journey to recovery with an eating disorder.
Now back to you. Once you have thought about your biggest success in 2017, take time to answer the following questions…
- How do you feel about that success?
- What steps did you take to achieve that success?
- What are the things you most grateful for as a result of this success.
Reflecting on successful moments in your life and understanding how you got there will remind you of just how far you have come in a process. Showing an abundance of gratitude whilst you reflect allows your mind to naturally reboot into a positive mental attitude towards yourself and your many achievements in your life, no matter how big or small.
Now take time to think about the year ahead. Of course no one can predict what the future holds and the wonderful thing about life is that the future is completely unwritten. How amazing is that.
Setting intentions is a way of focusing our energy on a successful outcome or achievement. It’s a way of living our life in a mindful way. Mindfully reminding ourselves of our intentions in everything we do.
For example, for the year ahead my intentions are in alignment with my core values. I would like to apply my intention to every aspect of my life:
“to show people compassion love and kindness, whatever their journey, behaviour, background, demeanour or make up might be.”
We are all human and we all deserve this respect, even if it is not reciprocated. I will remind myself of my intention during any dilemma, challenge intention and decision that 2018 has to bring for me.
Now back to you. Once you have come to a decision on your intentions for 2018, focus on just one and take time to answer the following questions.
- Why do have you chosen this intention?
- What steps will you take to focus and live by this intention.
- What will you tell yourself if you temporarily lose sight of your intention?
- What are the things you will be most grateful for if you succeed with living 2018 through your intention?
Once you have finished writing down your reflections and intentions and if you feel comfortable to do so, share your thoughts with someone close to you or just simply read what you have written out loud to yourself. Make your intentions a reality and take one step at a time in living 2018 the way you choose to live it.