For most people, the start of a new year becomes a time for self-reflection. Was the past year a successful one? Did I achieve my personal and professional goals? Am I happy where I am at?
The way forward in any endeavor is to first look truthfully at our progress and our current reality — even when it may not yet be exactly what we want. It might seem scary to admit that there are things you haven’t accomplished, but there is also another way to look at it. The experiences in our lives — good, bad and ugly — serve as excellent lessons for continuing our journey forward.
These unique experiences make us who we are and shape our view of the future, so if 2018 was a banner year for you or there are still dreams you hope to realize, take a deep breath. Look at 2019 as a fresh start for which you have all the tools you need to be successful.
Getting real about what you want and how you are going to get there begins with being as truthful as you can with yourself. No one else needs to be privy to this personal conversation — not yet, so find a safe space, and go exploring! It might seem daunting to take those first steps, especially if you have self-doubt. But I encourage you to keep going!
Adopt a mantra that really resonates with you — something that will help you keep your courage as you remove the barriers to what you truly want out of life.
As you journey onward, keep finding sources of inner strength, such as a close friend, a loved one or even the comfort of a most beloved animal. Anytime you encounter the voice of judgment, visualize that loved one being in your corner. Often our mental chatter can get away with things we’d never dream of saying to a close friend. Now is the time to reverse that and change it from negative to positive.
After you begin to realize what your goals and desires are and see them come to the surface for you, take a moment to really enjoy them! What will it look like when you accomplish your goal or dream? Who is there with you? Where is it taking place?
Don’t be afraid to get specific. This type of visualization can be very powerful as you begin taking the concrete steps toward turning your desires into reality. What does it smell, taste and feel like? This helps you feel like you are already there! You are stepping past those easy excuses that we all deal with and you are moving into the “I’ve got this” space.
Another piece of the puzzle involves creating a strong habit of optimism. Optimism is not about being able to control all the challenges that come up in our lives, but rather about actively choosing how we will think, feel and respond to them. Optimists practice gratitude and access their inner strength in order to actively participate in creating the life they truly want.
When you finally succeed at surpassing the obstacles that challenge you, your inner courage will meet that next challenge with greater force. Now that you have done some honest self-reflection about your future goals and have gotten specific about visualizing and focusing on your dreams, here are a few more reminders for success:
• Savor your victories, even when they seem small. They are examples of your success.
• Adopt a personal mantra (such as “I am a survivor”) that will help you stick to your resolve and willpower in the face of judgment or self-doubt.
• Visualize your dreams often and be specific about what it will feel like when you achieve them. Think of this as your dress rehearsal for success.
• Don’t wait to “feel” motivated. Actively take part in the things that inspire you. Remember: Being positive is a choice.
• Interrupt negative trains of thought as soon as they begin. An excellent way to do this is to switch your thinking to gratitude and appreciation.
• Find ways to infuse love into your life and allow time for the regular renewal of spirit. We are what we eat, so feed your heart along with your body.
• Cultivate creativity in whatever ways speak to you. Everyone has a way to express creativity and doing so often will build that creative “muscle” and enable you to use it in all areas of your life.
Make 2019 the year we take real action on achieving our dreams!