Love and accept yourself
Change doesn’t come by berating, judging, and criticizing ourselves; it comes from lovingly accepting the things we cannot change and growing each day to change the things we can.
This does not mean we cannot improve. It means that we are lovable where we are. Wherever we’re starting from is the perfect starting place. Practicing self-love is paramount to creating transformational shifts in our lives.
Be kind, patient, gentle, and compassionate with yourself. Treat yourself as you would a two-year old child.
I used and continue to repeat this powerful affirmation daily:
“I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.”
Whenever I feel fear, doubt, insecurity, or anxiety, I repeat this over and over silently in my mind and it engenders the most calming effect over me.
If we are not aware of our thoughts, feelings, emotions, beliefs, likes, dislikes, or fears, then we are missing the starting place for change.
Consider spending time in quiet meditation and reflection, asking yourself, “What are my deepest fears and insecurities? Who am I still angry with and whom do I need to forgive? Whose approval am I seeking? Who will I disappoint if I change or succeed? What do I see and feel when I look in the mirror? And where did I learn it?”
Being fully aware of who we are and what we believe will help us end self-sabotage, make clearer choices, and create change in the present and future.
Change old, negative beliefs into new, empowering beliefs
Many of us hold unconscious, negative beliefs that we learned as children from our parents, grandparents, teachers, leaders, cultural and religious institutions, or the media.
Our actions stem from our beliefs. If our current belief is “I am too old and boring to find happiness,” then our brain will guide us, whether consciously or unconsciously, to find evidence that supports this belief, and our choices will reinforce it.
We can change this belief by first creating an affirmation that reflects the new belief we want to adopt, such as “I am youthful, healthy, and full of energy and vitality, and my life is filled with joy and pleasure.”
Then we can search for evidence in our lives to support this different, positive belief.
Additionally, we can make a conscious choice to search for activities and experiences that align with our new belief, such as electing to spend time with friends that inspire and uplift us, taking up a new class or hobby, joining a club or organization, or volunteering with children.
Through our focused attention, and with time and practice, our new belief becomes embedded into our subconscious minds, and we begin to search for people, opportunities, and experiences that match it.
Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want
I recognized that I was creating my own unhappiness by focusing on the negative.
By letting go of my own resistance and focusing instead on the important things I wanted to create, a new career and to start my own business, I was able to focus on the steps necessary to create that life.
If we change our mindset, from moving away from something to moving toward something, our thoughts begin to shift and then our actions begin to shift. Then we make choices that align with our new desires. What we give our attention to will always expand.
Gratitude is the gateway to creating peace and happiness in our lives. It is the starting point to creating change. A grateful heart is a loving heart, which draws more love into our lives.
It’s something I’ve started practicing and it has started changing my mindset completely. I think more loving, positive thoughts, which in turn, create more loving and positive experiences.
There is always something to be grateful for. Simply writing five to ten things you’re grateful for daily will begin to shift your mindset and move you toward the changes you’re seeking.
Set realistic, achievable goals and take actionable steps
Sometimes we seek change so desperately that we set huge goals that we can’t achieve quickly and are left disappointed. But starting with a small goal and growing into a larger goal can often create a more lasting, impactful change.
Be honest with yourself and set a goal that resonates within you and seems achievable. For instance, maybe start with half of your weight loss goals for the year of 2016. Or save up a portion of the money you would like saved by the year’s end. Maybe plan to have your business plan completed rather than the entire business up and running within a year.
Rise each day committed to taking an actionable step toward your goals and intentions. It doesn’t matter how small or big the step. Just take a step. It is the series of small steps that create our big steps.
Never say never
We set resolutions such as, “I am giving up chocolate,” or “I’m never shopping again.” These statements all start from focusing on the negative of one’s behavior rather than the positive behavior that one hopes to create.
Furthermore, when we make declarations and commitments like “never” or “forever,” we are more likely to fall short of our goals and expectations. This leaves no room for balance and flexibility.
Giving up the things we love and enjoy is punishment. Why give up entirely the things we enjoy and bring us pleasure if it’s not harmful to others or ourselves?
Meditate and visualize
With consistent focus on my intentions and desires, and taking actionable steps toward my goals.
When we keep our intentions as our focus and take action from a place of gratitude, we open ourselves up to the people and opportunities to bring us to the change and intentions we desire.
And lastly, believe in possibilities. Belief alone doesn’t make things happen, but magic unfolds in our lives when we believe in a possibility and work toward it.
Wishing you much success for a happy, healthy, and prosperous transformation in the New Year!