(This was originally posted in the December issue of Live Love and Eat magazine, available digitally on Amazon. It is being posted here for you, my Eat. Live. BE. readers.)
As I write this it's actually mid-November. So to prepare for this article I've set aside some quiet time, cozy'd up with my favorite winter drink, put on some
soft, uplifting music, and sat myself down to write.
It's what I wish for you, this December.
To purposefully set aside some time for yourself, alone, no kids, no relatives, no cooking, no shopping, no cleaning, no wrapping. Just you, and your thoughts. To reflect.
Reflect on the past year, without judgement, but with a definite purpose. Appreciate it, let it go, and set new sights on the year to come.
New Year's Resolutions...Does any of this ring a bell?
For many years, December got the best of me. Too busy, too emotional, and then there it was, New Year's Eve. Suddenly one year was gone, another beginning and I wasn't feeling grateful, or accomplished, just stressed about what I hadn't achieved. And, I was bringing all of that with me into the new year. Ugh. That was no way to experience life.
I'd followed the typical Resolution Syndrome, where I would willy nilly make resolutions, no time to reflect, just force. And, the worst part of all, was that my resolutions were always about fixing what I didn't like about myself. Lose weight. Stop eating crap. Get more fit. These goals weren't bad in and of themselves, it was the reason behind them, the way I created them, that set them up to be failed.
I never took the time to appreciate where I was, how far I truly had come, all the love that had been had over the past year. I just barreled head first into the New Year, vowing to make things different. Stress, anxiety, force, willpower. Sheesh!
But today, it's different. I created my own little ritual to allow me space to reflect, appreciate, let go, and envision who I want to BE. If you'd like to try, click here to download my end of year Reflection Worksheets. Use password liveloveeat
Reflect with Purpose
So, how do you go about reflection with purpose?
It begins with a journal, or notepad, and your calendar. Whether you use a paper calendar or digital, just begin by reviewing your year, month by month. Reminisce, smile, cry. Whatever comes up for you, it's ok. Are there some overarching themes? Let it all come. Let it be. Write it all down. Just don't let it consume you. You'll be letting it go. This is reflecting with purpose.
SO, every one of us has the GOOD and the HARD. Right? Notice I did not say BAD? This is because everything that happens to us, happens for us. I'm sure you've heard that before, and many time it's difficult to understand. But, if you can allow yourself to be open, you can see the lesson, and appreciate how it has allowed you to grow.
Wait? No growth happening over there? Ok, try stepping outside of yourself, look at YOU dealing with the HARD from an outsider's perspective. Can you see it now?
Remember, this exercise is meant to be light, purposeful. Not everything can change for you overnight, but this is a step in the forward direction.
So, be thankful. Thank God, The Universe, your vibrational energy, for all that you received in 2016. Appreciate the lessons learned, or yet to come. And appreciate all the little anythings. Those anythings are everything.
Let It Go
As you'll find in my worksheets, this is the part I like best. By now you've written down the moments from 2016 that were GOOD and HARD. You've hopefully written down the lessons received.
Now, all alone, you may have to get up from your quiet spot in front of the fireplace, wrap a blanket around you and head outside. (or if you live in a high rise or have nosy neighbors, stay indoors, and use a waste basket...)
Strike a match. Say goodbye. Let it burn.
Don't worry, the GOOD will always remain with you. That's what's so cool about the GOOD.
And, well, the HARD will come along too -HOWEVER - thanks to your reflection and appreciation...it's being transformed into some pretty hefty growth deep inside your center. But, that headspace that's been jammed with HARD stuff interference? You are letting it go, my friend.
Set New Sights in 2017
This is how you literally will SEE yourself in 2017, and possibly beyond.
Come back to your cozy spot. And visualize. Before you close your eyes, this is what I want you to see.
Your future you is being who you want to be. What is she doing, wearing, hearing, saying? Who is she loving? Where is she living, working, giving? Think about every detail. What do you smell, taste, see? As you are envisioning this future you, speak what you see aloud. Feel who you are in 2017. Let it consume you.
Now, close your eyes and ENVISION! After it has come to you, write it down.
"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve." Napoleon Hill
Envisioning Your Future You and Choosing Your One Word
Do you see what you've done here? You've given 2016 it's due respect, attention, and appreciation. And then you let it go. You've allowed yourself space to intentionally welcome 2017. You've conceived, in your mind, who you want to be. Now just one more step to help you focus, believe, and achieve it.
Choose your WORD. It could be...Power, Appreciate, Grace, Intention, Mindful, Move, Leap, Joy, Strength, Love, Light ....
Your word will be your Mantra. Write it on sticky notes and post around the house. Use it during meditation. Tattoo it on your arm. Hmmm...maybe don't do that because next year you'll choose a new word! Well, if in five years you have five gorgeous words written up your arm there could be worse things in life? Right?
The point is. Choose your word. Use it daily. Rely on it. Believe in it. Let it consume you.
Oh look, 2017 is just around the corner and you are ready! Bring it on! Happy New Year!
To join a group of other "One Worders" check out oneword365.com. Better yet, let's form our own group of "Eat. Live. BE. One Worders". Let me know, in the comments section below, what you chose and I'll tell you mine.
PS -- if one word is too hard, choose a couple words or a phrase. Just make sure it is something you can feel. Something you want to remember. Write it down. I hear cursive works best, memory-wise! Go ahead, set that word or mantra into your brain, and around your house, and let's truly rock 2017!