What is your take on New years resolutions? Some of us like to set goals and some of us see it as a waste of time, after all, apparently more than half of people drop the resolution by the 5th January…
I like to find some time to reflect on the year that has gone, and decide what I want to do to move forward and be a happier and a better version of me. I also over the past few years have a new outlook or phrase for New year to drown out the negative view that I had growing up, I actually remember crying every new years eve and in a state of dread about having to go through January and February – seriously! This new phrase has actually become a self-fulfilling prophecy “Life is getting better every year” that’s it easy… Repeating this over and over is a simple but effective strategy.
6 of my realisations from 2016
Setting questions is a perfect way of helping you to reflect and so I would love you to engage and share some of your responses to these questions. Before I go to these, I want to share some of my own realisations and some of what I have learned from 2016.
- Your thoughts are important
I have learned that your thoughts are your own perceptions and mere illusions, and so they can be manipulated and changed. It is not always easy, however, it is always possible.
I remember reading ‘The secret’ by Rhonda Byrne more than 7 years ago and the wonder that there could be some truth within the pages. Little did I know this was just the beginning step to understanding my thoughts are more powerful than we know. Forever the optimist I wrote a list of things that I wanted to come true within a thank you card and I looked at the thank you card every morning and night before bed. Within 4 years everything on the list happened… It was then I began to be a seeker of knowledge and discovery for how the mind works and success.
I suppose you could call ‘the secret’ a gateway book as it peaked my curiosity and I began the journey. Since then I have read so many books that have fascinated me and shaped my world view, books about success in all areas. A range of books from ‘The slight edge’ by Jeff Olsen, ‘Think and grow rich’ by Napoleon Hill ‘How to win friends and influence’ by Dale Carnegie authors including Stephen Covey, John Maxwell, Brenee Brown, Dr Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Gabby Bernstein, Tim Ferris, Ryan Holiday, Tony Robbins, Eckart Tolle, Zig Ziglar, Joe Vitale, Arnold Schwarzenneger, Rosamund and Ben Zander, Elizabeth Gilbert, Esther Hicks, Pam Grout not to mention the many nutrition books!
Suffice to say I get that our thoughts are important, but it is not enough to say ‘just think positive’ to yourself or someone else. This year I realised that past conditioning rules your thoughts and it is important to face your demons so to speak. Although, I have amazing parents, fortunate in growing up with a close bond to my gorgeous younger brother, having so many good childhood memories. I also carry much guilt and shame through from my younger years and some may say from past generations too. Many of us carry this guilt and shame unknowingly and it can dictate so much of our lives without awareness.
Changing your thoughts is a journey and it will take time and patience. Take stock of when you overreact to situations, or when something really knocks you or affects your feelings of happiness. Write it down and then write a sentence to change that thought, repeating it and writing it at every opportunity. When feelings of shame and guilt come up for me something that really helps is a guided meditation by Dr. Hew Len (Joe Vitale’s book Zero limits explains Dr. Hew Len’s work and is an excellent read to support you in letting go, clearing and forgiveness).
2. Every challenge holds within it a lesson
I am truly blessed and life for me with family, friends and financially is getting better year on year. However, challenges are a part of our life for a reason. Face them and learn from them is my advice to myself. You always have a choice, you can say ‘why is this happening to me’ in a woe is me, life is rubbish type of way or you can switch your perception to ‘okay, what am I supposed to learn from this’ in a roll your sleeves up let’s make a change type of way.
I choose the latter, although sometimes I have to admit to a few minutes of ‘pity me’. The only way to overcome and make positive change is to change the way you see things. The Marianne William’s statement always helps me with this and saying it out loud just seems to work ‘help me change the way I am looking at this’
You can get the ‘Return to love workshop’ on audible.co.uk if you would like to learn more.
3. I want everyone to be happy and I make no apology for my ideals
I think that we are all seekers of happiness and I have certainly sought and if I am to be truthful probably continue to seek happiness externally, be that from things, people, food, experiences or even places. However, I love to influence people’s happiness. I want everyone to be happy, it is just something I have always wanted but was scared to admit for fear of judgment.
In November I visited ‘The happy pear’ in Ireland and the whole experience was magical, they were so generous with their time, even though they have a thriving business taking them around the world, cookbooks and more than 85,000 youtube subscribers. They invited me to yoga with them and run into the Irish sea no less! I was humbled and invigorated by the experience. I felt I was around these people who had completely thrown off the expectations of others to live by their own rules, the main of which is to make a happier healthy world. To me these twins are thought leaders, they are successfully building a community of like-minded people with no apology for their positivity and their ideals.
Giving to others makes me happy and part of my goals for 2017 will be thinking of more ways to spread happiness, love, and light.
4. The quiet is when the magic happens
I could argue that this may not belong in this year’s realisation as I recognise I have ways to go in learning to be in quiet (not to mention when to shut up – haha!) Nonetheless, it is a realisation that when I am able to find quiet, the inspiration and ideas flow and I am seeking ways to be quiet and allow. In the coming year, I will dedicate more time to meditation and breathing techniques.
5. Judgment of others come from our own darkness
This year I have worked on avoiding the judgment of others, gosh it is not easy! When you become aware and start to look where you are judging others it can be surprising. We judge because of our own fears. Spend a day identifying when you are making a judgment of another, making them wrong and you right. Who is to say what I think is right, after all I am living from my own perceptions and they are living from theirs. In addition to this we are one and the same and judgment only causes a break connection and separation. this continues to be a daily practice. “A course in miracles’ can support you on your own journey.
6. Where you put your locus of control matters
I am fortunate to have been familiar with Carol Dweck’s work since becoming a teacher. This research focuses on school children and the idea of a growth mindset (internal locus of control) v’s a fixed mindset (external locus of control). You can recognise very quickly a person who is coming from the fixed mindset, they will blame external factors for their success or failure with a belief that they have no control over outcomes. A person with a growth mindset recognises that they have control over their own success or failure.
Charles Duhigg explains in his book ‘Smarter, faster, Better’ that those with an external locus of control are more likely to be stressed and unhappy. Whilst a person with an internal locus of control is more likely to be happier, stay married longer, make more money etc.
I have also learned that wherever you place yourself in terms of locus of control, it can be changed. Taking control and making choices that move you into the external locus of control is all up to you, no one else can do it for you. Avoid blaming something outside of yourself, it is more than likely an excuse taking you to the internal locus of control.
Your mind is so powerful, you can do anything
Here are some questions that can help you reflect on 2016 and how you will move forward with hope, love, and happiness in 2017
Feel free to declare and comment below x
- What have you learned this year?
- What do you want to learn in 2017?
- What did you do to have fun in 2016?
- What are you going to do to have fun in 2017?
- What experiences do you want to have in 2017?
- How will you shine your light in 2017?
- What are you going to do to be an even better version of yourself or have more love in your life or be financially stronger etc?
- What are your health goals and how will you achieve them? – How are you going to be healthier?
As you answer these questions (so good to note these in a journal to revisit them often) think about making these realistic but also slightly stretching. These are not resolutions to break, these are for you to move forward to living the life of your dreams.
As always, please feel free to email or contact me through any of my social media, also subscribe to hear more about shining your light on iTunes or http://www.shineyourlightpodcast.co.uk
lots of love, health and light
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