As we begin the New Year, there are many words of advice written, especially about resolutions and goals. As I’ve mentioned in earlier writings, for the last ten years or so, I’ve been resistant to making New Year’s resolutions and goals, mainly because it’s always felt like I was setting myself up for failure…again. Does this sound familiar?
Over and over we resolve to lose weight, exercise, get organized, etc., and frequently it is difficult to (a) get inspired and/or (b) stay motivated. The tape that used to go through my head was something like, “Here I go again…!” “I really should…” or “This time I’m going to stick to it for sure,” all of which, once again, lead to disappointment…year after year. So why would I want to continue to repeat something over and over that doesn’t work very well?!?
Here are some alternative ways to begin a New Year:
- Review and acknowledge all you did in 2013.
It’s so easy to focus on what you didn’t get done, right? Think back over 2013 and make a list of what you did accomplish (referring to your calendar can be helpful). What you focus on gets energized, so, even if it seems small or insignificant, why not focus on the good stuff? If you brought order to even one drawer, shelf, or stack of papers, please acknowledge what you did! The time this takes can help you feel better, and, when you feel better, you’re more likely to take some action. Acknowledgement is a very powerful practice.
- Choose a “theme” for the year.
To help you decide on a theme, think about what you would like to experience more fully in 2014. It could be fitness, or peace, or order, or something else. You get to choose. My words for 2014 are ease and joy.
- Turn your theme into intentions.
Set an intention to experience more fitness, peace, order, or whatever theme you’ve chosen. An intention is more like a roadmap or a guidepost that is broader than a goal. For example, if you have a goal in 2014 to clean out a closet, that’s great. However, if you set an intention to create more order, you might clean out a closet, and some drawers, and some cupboards, and your files, and more! Intentions can increase your results beyond any goal you set.
- Use every space you clear or organize as an affirmation space.
Each time you clear another space, pause to enjoy the new order. It sends out a message to you that says, “Yes, I can do it!” This can shift the energy and propel you into clearing another space, and another! When you need a boost, go back to the places that are now clutter-free and celebrate them.
- Create a “reminder space.”
This is one of my favorite tips! Clear a space that you see often that might currently be a “clutter magnet.” Clean it thoroughly and then place something meaningful there to remind you of this year’s theme(s) or intention(s). For example, if you set an intention for more clarity, place a crystal bowl or vase there. If you tend to fill horizontal spaces with clutter, commit to keeping this space empty—put nothing on it! This becomes a “visual cue” to remind you of the clarity or clutter-free spaces you are creating.
- Put together a collage or “vision board.”
This is an excellent way to deepen your thoughts and intentions, using images, quotes and phrases (from magazines, cards, etc.) that represent what you want to experience in the New Year. This can inspire and motivate you on many levels. I often look back on vision boards I’ve created and am amazed at the results I’ve manifested.
- Ask for support.
Be open to support from family, friends, colleagues, groups, professionals and from the Universe. Prayer, meditation, or reading something inspirational are all powerful ways to help you create the order and peace of mind you desire.
All of these ideas are discussed more fully in my book, Conscious Order: Clear Your Mind, Leave Clutter Behind.
May you enjoy a greater experience of joy and accomplishment throughout the coming year.
Favorite New Year Quote
(from Dewitt Jones, Celebrate What’s Right With the World)
May the best of the old
and the promise of the new
both be yours in the New Year.