While the new year is on its move, many of us still may be grappling with what we want to focus on or create in 2017. Do you choose to resolve, create intentions, pick a word, vision board, or set goals? I used to be that girl who made the lists, mapped out the course, over planned and under felt. I used to be on fire for a solid month and then combust; enter guilt, disappointment and fear. My inner mean girl took this opportunity to wreak havoc and I’d find myself falling into the drudge of playing small, the comparison game and feeling stuck.
Once I started shifting my focus to how I want to feel rather than checking boxes of the what I want to achieve, my perspective changed. I was no longer chasing a goal but rather following what lights me up. Now, I no longer choose to resolve, I choose to evolve.
A new year means we get a lot of white space to work with. Give yourself permission to indulge in the blankness and honor whatever enters. Even if you have a dream or a goal in mind, are you chasing the check box or yearning to be, to feel or to create? Here are 7 questions to ask yourself to help get from where you are to where you want to be in the new year:
1) How do you want to feel?
Try ditching the ‘goal first, feel later’ mentality. One of the most powerful books I’ve ever read is “The Desire Map” by Danielle LaPorte. It totally changed my perspective on goal setting. Instead of creating a goal and hustling to achieve it, I now get clear on how I want to feel and then seek out experiences that bring me more of that feeling. One of my core desired feelings is joy. In the new year, I am planning to travel, spend more time outside and tap into my creative energy-all things that bring me more JOY.
2) What lights you up?
I’m not talking about what makes you happy, I’m talking about that excited, energized, lit up feeling. What gives you that burst of electricity? Whatever it is, do THAT. One of my favorite inspired actions that I suggest to my coaching clients is to complete the list of “30 Things That Light You Up”. You would be amazed at the shift that can occur when you get clear on what lights you up. Try it. You don’t have to do it all at once. I actually love to keep this list on my phone because when I feel lit up, I can mark it down right away. That list is something to tap into all year round to feel a bolt of energy or inspiration when I need it most.
3) Who is in my Tribe?
Do you know who is in your tribe? I’m talking the people in your life who are always lifting you up, inspiring you to be your best, and offering unwavering and unconditional support. Take some ample time to really look closely at who you allow into your inner circle and who you want to be more cognizant of allowing into your space. Set boundaries with those who may challenge your energy or dim your light. Seek out connections where you can feel safe, supported and inspired to move along your new year path.
4) What is getting in my way?
Getting clear on what blocks you isn’t meant to steer you down a rabbit hole of negativity or shame. It is meant for you to take an honest intake of your fear so that you can see it, feel it and then rebel against it. In one of my other favorites books “Big Magic,” Elizabeth Gilbert talks a lot about fear. She shares how fear is always going to be lingering around, but it does not have to take control of our lives. I believe that when we honor the fear (ig: doubt, shame, guilt, comparison, perfectionism, etc.) and choose love (ig: compassion, courage, joy, gratitude, etc.) we are starting a tiny rebellion that leads us to start stepping into our own power. And spoiler, the biggest thing getting in your way is YOU.
5) Where can you insert more self compassion?
I believe that self love is the foundation of everything we do in life. We can’t chase after passions or dive into dreams without being grounded in self love. I mean, I guess you can but you will soon find that the things bubbling up all stem from being able to be kind and caring to yourself. When we are grounded in self love, that is when self confidence naturally blooms. Start tuning into your thoughts and self talk. If you find there is room to infuse more compassion, try talking to yourself as you would your best friend. Would you treat him or her that way? Probably not! So be sure you are giving yourself as much love and kindness as you give others.
6) When can I give myself permission?
One of the biggest game changers has been a tip I took from my other favorite guru, Brene Brown. Brene shares a lot of magic in her books “Daring Greatly” and “Rising Strong,” but one of my favorites is the act of the permission slip. Permission slips are some of the most simple yet most powerful acts we can do. Giving ourselves permission opens up the space to feel, do, create and be whatever we need in that moment-without judgment, fear or expectation.
7) What is it that I really want?
When you take a moment to really think about it, are there any ideas, daydreams or goals you’re harboring in your heart that you want to bring to life? Getting clear on how we want to feel is key, but what also holds importance is knowing what we really want. Dream with me for a moment. If you took away the barriers such as money, time, approval, etc. what would you really like to explore, try or achieve this year? Grab a journal and pen and let the words, thoughts and ideas flow.
Now is your chance to start forging a path of possibility. You don’t need to be ready, you just have to start. Cheers to a new perspective on a new year!