The New Year Doesn’t Have to Begin in January, part 1

The First 30 Days of the New Year don’t have to be about taking action or making things happen on a crazy schedule.  You can start fresh anytime of the year.

The New Year Doesn't Have to Begin in January |

The following are tips for starting YOUR year off in the right way. Take steps to feel alive again, look at life differently and make the necessary changes.

  • Downplay January, and up-play every month.
    Make this New Year one where January is not the be-all and end-all month for making changes and resolutions. We all make January and the New Year a big deal. The New Year creates a lot of pressure for goal setting, changing habits, and making resolutions, such as dropping 50 pounds, finding the soul mate, or writing that book. Other than society’s pressure to meet goals, there is no difference in starting something, or pursuing a change on January 1 or March 11th. We emphasize success and change too much in this first month of change. Instead, we must allow ourselves to disconnect from this impossible goal. There are millions of people who achieved changes, dreams, goals, and not that many would say they successfully started on January 1st!
  • Change every day, but not just at the start of the New Year.
    Make this year one where we implement change everyday. The 1st of January can be any day of your life.. The body and mind don’t like quick change. Sudden changes very rarely last- little daily changes result very often in big changes over time. We must allow the process of change to happen by being gentle and patient.
  • Start without knowing everything.
    Start the year by not thinking about change. Start with no fixed, impossible deadline or pre-set plan. We all wish and dream of change–in all areas of life and many of us don’t do anything about it. We have too many failed experiences or we cling to excuses It’s OK not to know how the journey will go, or to not have all the information. Lets just start, commit to change and be open to all sorts of help from people, books, ideas, and unexpected synchronicities that will come our way.
  • Decide and believe it this time.
    Make this New Year one where we decide to change and believe we can. It takes a decision and believing in yourself. If any part of you doesn’t believe you can make change, your ego will sabotage any effort, resist the change, and show you countless examples of why and what isn’t working.  Eventually you will give up. Your belief in it being achievable must be strong to counteract what is familiar for the body and mind. Eventually, the mind and ego get on your side and help you, but only when it’s clear who is in control, and who is strongest.
  • Remember how powerful and intelligent you are.
    Make this New Year one where we remember how powerful we are. We don’t need anyone or any book to tell us what to do. We have an infinite source of wisdom and a very strong, and often ignored, intuition. Make this year about connecting to that part of ourselves that knows what is right, knows the way, and knows what we need to do.  It’s the part of us that never changes, even in a world where everything seems to be changing. Let’s take the time to be still and listen to our inner voice this year. Make this year about finding yourself again and reattaching yourself to your core — your highest and best self.
  • Question things.
    Make this year one where we allow ourselves to question our lives. What do we eat? Do we love our job? What do we believe about the world? Do we like where we live? What were we taught when we were younger that today doesn’t seem quite right? Are we in the right relationship? Are we in the right church and do we need to be in one? Are we full of love or full of fear? Sometimes the way we live our life, our fears, who we are with, are not really our choices, but those of our friends, our parents, our religion. Lets question our beliefs, even if something appears fixed and permanent in our minds, like death. Go ahead, lets ask some different questions!
  • Allow change in.  Stop resisting it.
    Make this a year where we allow change into our life however bad it may seem. Very often it’s the resisting that is painful, as on the other side of a change is often a gift and a beautiful lesson. A lot of what we fear in change is temporary. Be open to everything and attached to nothing and see what happens.
  • Balance taking action and letting go.
    Make this year about balancing action, making things happen, being determined and hard working.  It is also about surrendering, letting go, giving some space for the unexpected, the unplanned, and the invisible to occur. The more we believe in this other order of help, the more we can invite it into our life. We always have free choice but we have not been open or willing to accept help from outside sources. Lets learn to trust more — good things will and can come our way.
  • Become more aware.
    Make this year one where we are more awake observant, and aware of ourselves, our reactions, our feelings, our beliefs, and what’s working and what’s not. Step back from our busy lives and notice things: why we think a certain way, why we like a certain person, why we are in a certain job, why we live in a certain place, why we are angry at certain people, and why we resist a certain change so much. Make this a year where we take control of our life, and our choices. Put yourself back in the picture and take a front seat to your life.
  • Take a big risk.  Do one thing that is really uncomfortable.
    Make this a year of taking a big risk and doing something uncomfortable such as forgiving someone and getting back in touch with them, telling someone you love them, going abroad, reading new books, changing careers, taking some time off, saying what you really mean and not what’s acceptable, telling the truth more, moving, breaking off unhealthy relationships, inviting an ageing parent to live with you, admitting a secret that has been weighing you down with guilt, trying alternative health methods, letting go of being in control, meditating and asking bigger spiritual questions, being alone for a while, dealing with an issue or an addiction…the list goes on. The one that is right for you is screaming at you in your head. Give it a microphone.
  • Let a goal or resolution encompass someone else.
    Include other people in this year’s resolutions. Too many of us have a long list of goals that we too often repeat next New Year’s. To turn this habit around, think of a few goals that involve other people, such as helping a parent, volunteering or helping someone lose weight. We have gifts, talents, and experiences that plenty of people can learn from. We are all connected at some level, and if you help someone else, you always help yourself in return. If you hurt someone else, you will feel hurt and pain as well. The reward of focusing on someone else is often hidden with gifts for ourselves. We meet someone, we learn something new, we get an idea, we feel more joyful, we are offered a new job, or we create friendships. We can lead ourselves to new experiences and change by helping others.
  • Be kind to yourself everyday.
    Become your own friend. We are in a permanent state of attack against ourselves and we look for our missteps during the day– bad food we ate, mistakes made at work, etc. We need to stop this vicious cycle. We do what we can in an ordinary day. That’s it. Take a moment to focus on what you did right, what you can be thankful for, what you did that you didn’t really want to do, what you learned, or what you didn’t eat. Being kind to yourself has even been shown to be good for the immune system, as your body isn’t under a constant state of fear and worry.
  • Stop trying to be perfect.
    We are all trying to have it all, be it all, and do it all — we all want to be perfect and have the perfect life. Then we feel guilty when we don’t. We have addictions, problems, obesity, debt problems because we think we will never measure up to others. Let’s remember this year, that no one has the perfect life- everyone has something they think is missing in their life, Instead, focus on making progress, growing, learning something new, moving forward, trying something new, reading a book, and having momentum. If you feel like you are learning and growing, you will feel like you are making progress. You will start feeling pride in yourself.
  • Forgive yourself.

No one succeeds the first time. No one succeeds everyday. No one does it all perfectly. Lighten up the load you have on yourself.

This post was written by Ariane de Bonvoisin, Founder and CEO of The First 30 Days LLC,

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