2019 is underway! Are you living life intentionally? Did you pause in December or this month to plan for 2019? Yes? FUNTABULOUS! Wait! No? You've been too busy? Did time get away from you?
Well, it's the end of January and it's not too late to grab a cup of coffee or tea. Sit down with pad and paper, and spend a few hours to work on what you want to accomplish this year.
In all reality, most of us don't have the whole day to do the required work to do it properly. It takes time to reflect on what we did last year and what we didn't. Part of the process is to look back and determine what we did right and what didn't work last year.
The End-of-The-Year Ritual
I usually do this exercise a week before New Years: I write down all the things that I achieved in the year and on 4" x 6" notecards I write all the things I want to leave behind and not take with me into the New Year. Then on New Year's Eve, my kids and I will light up a fire pit and we would read out loud the things we achieved that year. Then we would celebrate the achievement and take a moment to soak in the feeling of gratitude. Gratitude is the greatest emotion to attracting more of abundance in all areas of our life. We would take turns doing this until we were done with all the good things that happened to us in the year.
As for the things we didn't want to take with us in the new year, we read them either out loud or to ourselves and take a few seconds to reflect on the emotion of it. As painful as it may be, we have to feel gratitude for the experience of either not accomplishing it or failing, because it is with this feeling, this contrast that we have identified what we do want and what we don't want in our life. Then we would throw the card in the fire and go through the feeling of letting go and forgiving ourselves. Celebrating as well for that experience because you cannot have one without the other.
I share this end-of-the-year ritual because it does open you up for a better year. It helps you have more clarity on what you want this year and what you don't want to re-live. Every year is a right-of-passage. Every year we learn a little bit more about ourselves. It's through adversity that we grow stronger and better.
Living a Balanced Life
It's now a new year, so we get another chance to achieve what we didn't get to start or finish last year. You get a new canvas to paint your life story. Like anything else we get into we must prepare ourselves, so let's do the exercise in preparing and planning for a funtabulous year! Let's live it intentionally.
When you do something with intention you plan for it. You prepare. You get your mindset right. You get clarity. You focus on what you want to happen. List all the areas in your life you want to improve or work on. Remember you want a balanced life, so as a guide write down these categories:
- Mental/Emotional (Mind)
- Health (Body)
- Growth (Education)
- Connection (Relationships)
These are the areas of your life you want to focus on, beware of and be intentional about. In each of these categories determine where you are and where you want to be. Call it a gap analysis of your life. It will help you identify Point A and Point B and what it will take to get to your destination. Now, here's my perspective and strategy on this exercise. Most focus on the destination and do whatever it takes to get there. Forget about the quality of the adventure. Just do it! Say, "WHAT?"
I see and hear this often from traditional motivational speakers. Yes, there are instances where you need to be a beast and drive yourself forward with tenacity, but the journey doesn't have to be that way all the time. If you plan, you can make the journey a freaking amazing adventure. You can make time for self-care while you pursue your destination. You can enjoy life while you climb that mountain. You can eat better, you can make time to workout, you can make time to spend quality time with your partner or your kids. This is possible when you do the preparation and planning up front.
For each of these categories write your goals down, then write down;
- Why you want to achieve that goal -- what does it mean to you?
- What it looks like when you accomplish that goal?
- the emotions you will feel,
- the people you will meet or need to support this goal,
- the education you wil need,
- the tools and/or resources you will need
- What you will need to stop doing in order for your goal to become a reality?
- The date or timeframe you want to accomplish the goal
It's important in the exercise about to make room for The Universe to manifest what you are truly asking. Often times, we get what we asked for not what we envisioned. It's important to be clear; that what we want aligns with our emotional desire and physical desire (what we see). You have to be open to what The Universe delivers to you. It knows better than we do!
Now that you've written down what your goals are: what that feels and looks like, what it will take to accomplish it and the deadlines you will need to meet to achieve your goals; you will need to do the following to keep focused and moving forward.
Make your goals a reality by printing each one of your goals. We'll use these later on in the next chapter. Create a vision board and hang it on the wall where you can see it on a daily basis. Have fun with this exercise. It doesn't have to be extravagant. It can be pretty simple. The goal is to make it fun and to really envision what it looks like come to life. You can cut out each goal from the sheet you printed and glue them on your vision board as the headline. Next, find photos/images that represent the achievement of that goal and place them around the goals you printed. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words. Being able to see a picture of your goal will make it more of a reality. Everything we see in life started as a thought, an idea in our mind.
Now you have something visual to look at every day and you have identified what it will take to achieve those goals. Write your goals and deadlines in your planner or better yet, enter them in your smartphone or computer. Set milestones and reminders to keep you on track and keep you focused on achieving your goals. Don't be too critical on these dates. Just use them as a gentle reminder. They are there to help you and not punish you. Life can get hectic with all the demands of being who you are, so you need to put into place tools to help you stay focused and on track. That's what they're there for. You might also find that along the journey you no longer want to pursue a specific goal. That happens all the time. Be prepared for it.
Dedicate at least the first 45 minutes of the day to your wellbeing. Wake-up at least half-an-hour earlier to do at least a 15-20 minute workout. Make it a high-intensity workout. First things first, drink a glass of lukewarm water or lemon water. We all need to hydrate our bodies first thing in the morning. When we're sleeping our bodies go through replenishing the nutrients we've used and then repairs damaged tissues in our bodies through cell regeneration.
Next, brush your teeth. You should be awake by now. Get changed. Throw on a pair of comfortable shorts and a t-shirt, and a pair of sneakers. Workout. Lift weights, jog or walk. If you prefer, turn on your amazing playlist and dance your heart out. The goal is to increase your heart rate. If you can mix weight training and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) you’ll be losing pounds and gaining strength rather quickly. Working out is going to release a lot of feel-me-good hormones and you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment after the workout.
Meditate. After your workout meditate and relax. Slow your breathing. Relax. Focus on your breathing for three to five minutes. After you have relaxed your mind keep your eyes closed and go through a visualization process. Visualize the experience and the photos you have on your vision board. Acknowledge the feeling of having accomplished those goals. Think about the lives you have helped along that journey. Celebrate.
Journal. Write. Scribe anything: ideas, thoughts that weigh heavy on your mind... plans, goals, and dreams. You'll feel a lot lighter when you put all those thoughts on paper. Plus, you'll get to share these thoughts with your grandkids someday. Write what you plan to accomplish that day. Keep it simple. Three very important tasks completed is better than five you didn't complete.
Read. Read a book, a magazine, or newspaper. Expand your knowledge. Get connected with the world around you. The more you know the well-rounded you are intellectually. You'll be able to have meaningful conversations with people. Knowledge is power. Then read and review your goals for the year. Ask yourself; are you on track? If not, what do you still need to do?
Action. Take action. Whatever you need to do today to get closer to your goals, do it!
Listen. Listen to your favorite song and visualize you accomplishing your goals. Lift your energy high. Listen or watch your favorite motivational speaker.
Gratitude. Practice being grateful. The way I get my energy in a place of gratitude is by writing "I am grateful..." statements every day in a Gratitude Journal. It's amazing how much more good you feel when you come from a place of appreciation and gratitude. You'll also experience more abundance when you do. Being thankful for what you already have opens the door to more of the things you want manifesting in your life.
Surround yourself with positivity. Buy home decorations that reinforce positive energy in your life. Buy a mug that has a message that resonates with your soul and lifts your spirit up. Wear apparel that has positive statements, like PurePositive Design. Be intentional in what you invite in your life. We are constantly being bombarded with messages that do not align with our purpose and focus. Anytime there is space in your mind fill it with positive "I am" statements. Where there is space in your life, fill it with an activity that grows you; that fulfills you -- Learn to play the guitar, learn the tango or salsa, paint if you love to paint or start learning. Read a book you've always wanted to read. You get the point. Don't waste your precious time on Netflix binging and watching a whole season of Stranger Things.
Wrapping It All Up
If we want to live intentionally in the New Year we need to reflect on the positive and negative experiences of the previous year. Celebrating our accomplishments is essential to identifying and acknowledging that we can achieve greatness. Likewise, it's important to recognize the negative experiences of the previous year: the failed relationships or missed opportunities. so we can decide what to do moving forward. We can either forget about it or decide it is not an experience you want to happen again in the new year. You can't have one without the other. They help clarify what's important to you and how you will want to live your life in the new year.
We want to a first create a healthy mindset because everything starts from a thought, which comes from a foundation of beliefs. Make sure you clear any limiting beliefs or any beliefs that no longer serve you. This is really important because these limiting beliefs could be the demon(s) that are sabotaging you from reaching the life you've always dreamed of living. If you need help with this, I can guide you through a series of questions to uncover them. We may need to peel several layers to identify them all.
All of these activities will help you prepare for the day. Self-care should be your highest priority. Going into your day prepared and knowing where you are going will help you get closer to your dream. These activities will keep you focused and on the path.