So, like many people, I had some pretty nice ideas for the beginning of the new year. I worked hard to wrap up some stuff from 2017 that was weighing me down. I put energy into setting a good foundation for 2018; and then somehow, it all seemed to fall apart. And quite frankly, I seemed to fall apart. I couldn’t put my finger on why or how, but nothing seemed to be going the way I had planned. Mostly, life happened. We had schedule changes, illnesses, snow days, etc., etc. I’m guessing you can relate.
It is incredibly frustrating to set goals or intentions and realize a month in that you are nowhere close to where you hoped you would be. This isn’t because you failed or there is something wrong with you. Typically, it has more to do with the goals not being a good fit for the new present moment. This makes February a great time to check in with where you are – mind, body, and spirit – and whether that continues to align or not align with those new year’s resolutions.
For example, I didn’t factor in an ankle injury when I initially envisioned my physical goals for the new year. I had to drastically readjust my expectations for my body. This in turn impacted my mood and I found that I needed more restorative practices for my emotional wellbeing. Then our schedule changed; I lost work time with illnesses and worry which just exacerbated my anxiety. Initially I got frustrated and reactionary and I felt so far away from where I had hoped to be. So, I decided February is a good time to check in and re-assess.
If your hopes for the start of 2018 also seemed to fall flat, you may want to consider taking a look at where you are at now and ensure you are responding to the here and now. Here are some suggestions on how to do this:
First, ward off any shame with intentional self-compassion. Somehow, life changed between this moment and the last; this day and the last; and this week and the last. Recognize that you are still doing the best you can even when the moments are more challenging. You may even want to place your hand over your heart and take a few breaths.
Take a sheet of paper and make 3 columns – mind, body, spirit. Reflect on how you feel mentally, physically, spiritually then jot down some notes in each column about what you need for each area. Consider how you can incorporate this into each day.
Make a list of the 5 most important things to you right now. They may be personal or professional – try to have a balance. Next, look at your calendar for the next week. Are those 5 things reflected in how you are spending your time? Are they realistic for where you are at?
Take a look at your daily routine. Is it the same routine you’ve had for some time? Does it really fit what you want right now? What small changes can you make to meet your current needs?
Take 3 breaths before agreeing to something. Sometimes we agree out of habit. When you take 3 breaths it creates an opportunity for you to respond thoughtfully versus habitually.
Take time for meditation. This is the best way to sit with the you of the present moment. It’s very easy to function based on the person you used to be or hope to be. It’s most meaningful to befriend the person you are right now.
May you continue growing in 2018 with openness to each moment.
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