Most of us set goals and resolutions for the New Year. Others of us have a more generalized hope that things will be better in the New Year than in the one we just finished.
How, though, is this year going to be better than last?
What are you going to do differently this year that you didn’t do last year? What are you going to change?
You may answer these questions by saying that you’re going to exercise more, or wake up earlier, or get a better job, for instance. And you’re going to stick to it this year.
That’s great. Those are worthy and worthwhile goals. How are you going to stick to it–sustain the energy and motivation you’ll need to achieve them?
It boils down to one thing and that is by changing your thoughts, which are the underpinnings of your attitudes. It’s by changing your thoughts and attitudes that you’ll then be able to effect the improvements you desire.
You can set all the goals and resolutions you want but if your basic thoughts are that it’s too hard, you can’t do it, you don’t have what it takes, then you’ll have a very hard time following through over the long haul.
I encourage and urge you to take time today and in the next few days to be mindful of your thoughts, especially when you’re faced with difficult or unpleasant tasks–or trying to get up the gumption to follow through on the goals and resolutions you’ve set.
Listen to your resistance to hear the tapes that are running and what you’re telling yourself. This is the first step in learning how to short-circuit them so that you can keep taking baby steps toward your soul-prospering life.
The only way we can craft our soul-prospering life is through being true to ourselves. Sure we may achieve great things by climbing the corporate ladder or by pursuing a profession that someone else chose for us but, in spite of all the success, we’ll still feel hollow inside. Even with financial success, material possessions, and the recognition of the world, we’ll feel that something is missing.
Stay true to yourself. Pursue your dreams, the whisperings of your heart and soul. Follow the Still Small Voice within. You may still achieve financial success and fame as well, but that won’t be where your focus is. You’ll be wrapped up in living your purpose, making a difference, and creating meaning in the lives of others.
It’s one thing to release and let go, but it’s a whole different matter to actually make a break. You might find yourself backsliding every now and again, perhaps telling yourself it wasn’t so bad and maybe you were a little hasty in turning away…. And then one day you find that once again you’ve got to go through releasing, letting go, and leaving.
How did this happen? You were doing so well for a while.
It happened because you let your thoughts have free rein and then you listened to them.
You’re probably thinking that all you have to do then is to control your thoughts. It’s true. It really is that simple. However, it isn’t always easy.
There are techniques and tricks for getting hold of your thoughts: mindfulness, breathing techniques, meditation, and a host of other things that you can do. I encourage you to do a little research and come up with a list of actions you can take to get control of your thoughts.
Oftentimes, though, it comes down to the fact that you just have to take yourself and your thoughts in hand. Dispense with the tricks, the techniques, the cajoling, and the bribes. Sometimes you have to give yourself a good old-fashioned talking to and tell yourself to grow up. Remind yourself that you know very well that going down a new path is the best thing you can do for yourself. Tell yourself: “So then, let’s behave like an adult and let’s get on with doing what needs to be done.”
I don’t know about you but sometimes I fight tooth and nail to hang onto something that’s leaving–or has already left–my life. Sure, I’ve heard the quotes about how each ending is really a new beginning and that no matter our success and achievement in the past, our best days are ahead of us.
But our thoughts go into overdrive:
What if our best days are behind us?
What if this new beginning is worse than where we had been?
Even though the people here maybe jerks, what if they’re worse at the new job or in the new neighborhood?
What if there isn’t enough money to pay all the bills?
What if we don’t like anyone in the new place and no one likes us?
Instead of giving in to these worries and fears, think about times in the past when you’ve left situations, even if you did so unwillingly. You’ll probably find that what got you through it was finding the benefits, the good stuff, in the new situation and focusing on this rather than glorifying the old situation and thinking it wasn’t so bad and you probably should have stuck it out after all.
Whether you’re the one choosing the leaving or if the decision was thrust upon you, give yourself the gift of honoring. What I mean by this is giving yourself understanding and compassion. Accept that this is a difficult time–even if you’re very excited about your future, there may still be some bittersweet feelings about moving on. Honor the old by recognizing that in its own way, it helped you–there were good things about it. But now, you’ve outgrown it.
Then, take the time to note the benefits of your new situation, even if you don’t want to be in it: What opportunities for personal and/or professional growth and development will you have in the new situation that you wouldn’t have had if you’d stayed in the old? For instance, if you’re moving from the country to the city, the rush and noise may be overwhelming and scary, however, the variety of cultural activities, the exposure to different ways of thinking and living are all benefits for expanding yourself that you wouldn’t have had if you’d stayed in the country.
Find little things to be excited about regarding this phase of leaving.
And, remember that leaving is a phase and that it, too, shall pass.
Feel free to share your thoughts as well as the tips, tricks, and techniques you use to make leaving easier on yourself. Thanks!
Whether we like it or not–or realize it–we’re constantly leaving. For instance, here in the US, this coming weekend we’ll be turning the clocks back an hour, signaling that we’re leaving Daylight Savings Time.
There are big leavings–significant leavings–such as leaving high school to go off to college, as a young adult leaving home to start a life of your own, and leaving your single status to become married.
Every day, though, is filled with leavings and, because they’re so small and we don’t fully appreciate them, these leavings slip by unnoticed. For instance, we leave each moment as it passes into the next. We presume that there will be a next moment and it’s sobering to remember that for a number of us, this is not always so….
With the topic Leaving in mind, here are a few quotes that will help us think about what leaving means to each of us and how it continues to impact our life.
If you are brave enough to say goodbye, then Life will reward you with a new hello.~Paul Coelho
There’s a trick to the ‘graceful exit’. It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over–and let it go. It means leaving what’s over without denying it’s validity or its past importance to our lives. It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry; that we are moving up rather than out.~Ellen Goodman
When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits–anything that kept me small. My judgment called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving.~Kim McMillen
Try to learn to breathe deeply; really to tase food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough. ~Ernest Hemingway
Holding on is believing that there’s only a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future. ~Daphne Rose Kingma
When we…go back into the past and rake up all the troubles we’ve had, we end up reeling and staggering through life. Stability and peace of mind come by living in the moment.~Pam Vredevelt
Just remember–when you think all is lost, the future remains. ~Bob Goddard
People always find it easier to be a result of the past rather than a cause of the future. ~Unknown
Happy trails to you, Until we meet again. Some trails are happy ones, Others are blue. It’s the way you ride the trail that counts, Here’s a happy one for you.
Stay tuned as we discuss the topic of leaving this week. As always, feel free to share your thoughts. Thanks!