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Well, here we are at the end of January, the first month of the New Year all but gone. So, be honest with me: it's been over three weeks (the 'magic time' for new habits, good habits to be built). How did you do in that time with your resolutions to lose weight, get organized, exercise more, be more present, whatever your goals had been? Not so good, you say? I swear - it's because of the Guilt Factor! Follow along ....
Our yoga instructor recently was sharing her thoughts on resolutions vs intentions. I hadn't really given the matter much thought, but did realize that in my wee mind, I always thought of resolutions as negative: something with a final outcome; success or failure; do or die; solving, fixing some problem or issue you had. Yes ... pretty much all to the negative. Maybe that's why we just can't ever get them to the Finish Line? "To Do or NOT To Do," right? Guilt at 100% if you don't succeed!
OK, so where do intentions lead us? An intention has a much 'softer' goal. There isn't a road to success or failure; it IS the road, the process, the journey. Wow - that's an entirely different mindset, isn't it? You are NOT a problem to be 'fixed! You just do the best you can to be the best you can be, a much more promising prospect, right? It's much more effective because it's harder to fail: you just aim to be/do better tomorrow; it's harder to fail; very much more positive. Concentration is on the process, not the outcome. You are trying to be mindful to live your intentions each day, based on your needs and with the utmost appreciation that you are already wonderful - you're just being realistic that you could make some changes for the better. Healthy choices in small steps; aiming for a bit better each day; but no sense of failure!
So, is all this just a matter of semantics, a bit on the woo-woo end of the spectrum? I truly don't think so because of the change in Mind Set. Resolutions have no consequences if you take no active steps toward their accomplishment, but boy, oh, boy is there guilt, shame and a huge sense of failure if you don't meet that resolution!
Intentions are empowering, more attainable, more realistic and you feel better sharing them with your accountability partners. Because they are at the positive end of your thinking and not at the negative (I MUST!) end, you just automatically make better choices; instill better habits; accept that instead of everything working out perfectly, that by making your intentions known, opportunities and strength will arise. So, instead of promising yet again that "I will lose X pounds, run X miles a week and never leave anything undone," your intention will be to "take better care of myself; be strong: and be comfortable with my body." Yes, some specificity is desired, but therein, too, lies the chance of that nasty word, failure! Do you notice the difference in the POWER to succeed with the change in verbiage? Wahoo!
Let's reset that mind set, shall we?
1. Be active in setting your intentions, noting action steps and the road map for the journey.
2. Visualize or meditate on what the positive outcome will be.
3. Share your goals so you have someone to be accountable to.
4. Make choices that concur and align with your intention.
5. More importantly: be gentle with yourself; no shame; no guilt!
Yes, the first month of this year might be about gone, but we have a new chance every single day to try to be the better WE that we know is possible! Don't worry about the New Year's Resolutions that didn't quite make muster into the 4th week of the January. Let's set new Intentions that we work on each day, bit by bit, step by step, knowing that some days we are more successful than others at following our new paths, but that The Journey is the most important part of the passage!
Here's to YOU and a bright year of happiness and acceptance!
Happy 2018, All! As you put away your holiday decorations, make sure you keep only what you love; that they are in great shape; and that they are stored protected and labeled for next holiday season. Let's keep the Season of Giving going all year, so please donate all those items you may have received that you don't need, that are duplicates or you don't love.
Well? Did you get everything under control on Thanksgiving? Pies all baked? Was the turkey cooked properly? Everyone arrive on time? Did you remember the cranberry sauce and the rolls? Now, you start hitting the malls or your computer for shopping; decorating the yard and house; putting up the tree; baking the holiday cookies; sending out cards for Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa; and on and on and on, still... Lack of sleep, grief or loneliness, limited health, shopping - huge stress sources, right? Are you mentally and physically exhausted yet? How about overstimulated? ACK!
Family and cultural traditions, along with expectations (real or imagined), can have a tendency to blow up your stress levels to a frenzied pitch. Depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder or the thought of spending way too much time with that rude Uncle Fred could just make you want to junk it all and take a hot bath, true? Stop and take a deep breath! You know me: I'm not one to dwell on the negative, so let's find the hope in this scenario, OK? You are not alone!
How DO we deal with all this? You'd think we'd all be experts at handling the holidays because we do it year after year after year. History will repeat itself until we learn the lesson, eh? Guess we're still learning! So, here are some tips to keep in mind and practice so that maybe, just maybe, as we are launched into the beginning of some wildly hectic weeks, we can set some boundaries, be realistic, instill some good habits and get through it - with smiles on our faces and love in our hearts!
• Maintain a healthy routine and keep practicing your good habits: keep walking; keep going to the gym; get plenty of sleep; be mindful of what all this is about; watch the alcohol and food intake (less pounds gained = easier to get rid of it in the New Year!). Get outside! That always helps me put everything in perspective!
• Be realistic! Nothing is perfect (ever!), so expect the unexpected and try to 'go with the flow.' There should be no 'shoulds!' Be flexible, but do set boundaries and be prepared to 'just say no' (delay your response so you can think about the full ramifications - politely!). You will make yourself ill if you try to please everyone, all the time!
• Practice an Attitude of Gratitude: don't dwell on the negative, especially things you can't change (Maybe turn off the news for the month? Someone will let you know if anything important happens!). Pay attention to enjoying your friends and family and counting your blessings.
• Plan ahead and get organized! (Gee - where'd that come from?!) Make sure your to-do lists are reasonable, with goals you can actually reach (so you can cross them off!). Keep some white space on the calendar because challenges and the unexpected will happen. Allow some time for R&R, too: a good nap can put everything into proper perspective. Set a budget and stick to it - paying for one season of the year during the entire next year is just ___ - you fill in the blank! You, your family and friends can find a lot to do that's even free!
• Practice self-care! This goes with the nap-thing above! Focus on the NOW and be mindful of each moment: breathe; do things just for YOU; always fit in some things that you enjoy! If too much socializing is getting you down, keep your gatherings limited to certain days, certain times and maybe those limitations will help you cope that much better.
• Make sure you're connecting, sharing and caring with others, especially if you are alone, lonely, grieving. No family locally? Find a local church or soup kitchen you can help in while helping others. Such tiny Acts of Kindness will just warm your heart and ease the pain that having to make 'new' traditions might garner. Try to find the proper niche for you at Volunteer Match, for instance.
• Know if/when you might want to seek help from a health care professional. Symptoms lasting for weeks on end and your SAD lamp not really helping? Reach out!
OK, enough of the reminders of what you already know, right? Now, get to all that baking, shopping and decorating - but now with some recollection that all this is supposed to be fun; be a reminder of how blessed we all are; and enjoy these next weeks with joy and peace in your heart and soul!
Have you noticed that I've gotten a bit off track with my correspondence lately? Hmmm.... Yep, busy playing in this long, hot summer and just plain enjoying Life! Now that Fall is officially here, I'm back at my desk and paying attention once again!
We had a call from our electric company recently, informing us that we'd won $50 since we do e-bill and e-pay and our prize can be credited toward that bill. Wahoo! Feeling like I'd just won the Big Lotto or something, I started really being cognizant of all these little 'prizes' that come our way each and every day:
Seems all we have to do is just pay a little attention and our Abundance Reality just comes pouring out! Nope - I'm not a 'religious' person, but do believe in being thankful for all that comes my way, and counting blessings along the route. And you know what? It isn't even close to Thanksgiving yet! HA!
Here's to recognizing and cherishing the abundance in your life! Just start making note of the little things - even your nice, even breath - and you're on your way!
Providing Peace and Harmony for your Home or Office. Tips on getting organized and staying organized. Cleaning up the clutter in your home or office.