New year can be an ideal time to reset, to start afresh with a renewed sense of enthusiasm to really make some much-needed changes, to stop the Grounghog Day cycle, and finally start to put yourself and your wellbeing first.
If you want to try something easy, impactful AND hugely beneficial I have found three practices that I swear WILL change your life for the better! They are my daily go-to practices that I also teach and encourage my coaching clients to use. Try them for yourself and watch how you life begins to improve for the better. And maybe, as I’ve also found, you’ll see improvements in your self-esteem, self-belief, relationships, confidence, health and overall level of happiness and fulfillment too. Yes, really!
I used to be a big goal setter at the beginning of a new year. Striving for more, pushing myself to achieve, to feel accomplished. Yet goal-setting seemed to add unnecessary pressure to my life and fuel my inner critic like nothing else, so I knew there had to be a better approach.
I now set intentions instead of goals. I set intentions for my year ahead – defining them in just three words that are fuelled with deep connection and meaning to me. Three words that as I say them, read them, hear them, make me feel lit up, excited and expansive. I choose three words that would epitomise a year well-lived if I was to feel and experience these three words throughout the year.
I write these words in my diary, on my calendar board, on post-its stuck on my desk, on my mirror and have daily reminders flash up on my phone. I constantly live my life in conscious alignment with these three words, making decisions, taking action with them as my guide. What I’ve found is that life feels so much better this way.
Now, as I look back over past annual goals that I had set, I see that actually they were limiting me. The difference with intentions, is that they’re centred around feeling a certain way, rather than doing something, which leaves the door wide open for a whole array of opportunity and possibility to come my way. Aligning my life with those intentional feelings seem to attract things I would never have imagined and spur me on to do things I would never dreamed were possible for me. Intentions seem to be so much more expansive and exciting than goals ever felt … plus the intentions as they’re lived and breathed each day feel soooooo good! They’re zero pressure, maximum possibility.
My other favourite practice is journaling. Many of you might have heard how beneficial it can be. Yet, perhaps you don’t know where to start with it, think you don’t have time to do it, or don’t know what to write, how to do it right, or just haven’t done it consistently.
First things first, there’s no right or wrong way to journal. All you need is a pen, some paper and 5 minutes. Then just write whatever comes up.
Journalling is a way of getting the noise, overwhelm and thoughts buzzing about your head onto paper and in doing so feel calmer. It is a wonderful way to notice any subconscious messages coming through and become more self-aware. I love it because it also bears witness to my life, my progress, my dreams, my problems and helps me solve, achieve, be more compassionate and calm. I have a better day when I journal (which is why it’s often the first thing I do as soon as I wake up). My mind is less cluttered and stressed trying to hold onto all my thoughts when I journal. Journaling gives me clarity and perspective. And if there’s ever a confidence boost needed … I go back in time, flicking back over the pages of my journal, and see just how far I have come.
Be Guided by Your Energy
I’m an Energy Practitioner, so energy had to feature in my three favourite practices! But without going into the physics, physiology or blinding you with science, simply put, it’s about tuning in and noticing what your body needs and honouring that. Feeling tired, then I make time to rest. Feeling unsettled, I journal or go for a walk. Feeling stuck or confused, I’ll often dance or do some yoga. Have to make a choice or decision, I tune in to feel into what feels right.
Sometimes it’s hard to honour those feelings because of perceived expectations, because we think we should do something, or because we feel guilty for putting our own needs first. But when we live out of alignment with what feels right, that’s when frustration and resentment build, where stress and anxiety can creep in. You cannot pour from an empty glass, so be sure to fill your life up with things that make you feel good, that align with your energetic needs. Do things that feel right for you and life will feel more amazing than ever.
Our body knows what we need, it knows the answer, it knows what is best – we just need to listen to it.