Two days into the new year, and I am feeling great about 2017. This new year still has that new car kind of scent to it, and everything just feels different, in a good way. I have welcomed a new commitment to old goals and dreams and added a few new intentions, and right now, everything seems possible.
In fact, things are going so well, that I almost want to stop right here, then, fast forward to the next year, before this fresh start becomes stale. Not long after that thought entered into my mind, another thought emerged. How do I keep this going all year?
Every new year, I am giddy with anticipation and excitement, and I have such high hopes and expectations for what I can, and will do, better or differently in the course of 365 days. Then, usually by mid-January, the shine of the new year already has started to fade, and everything feels like it did prior to midnight on the first of the year. That’s what has happened, but I am determined that it will not happen this year.
As 2016 came to a merciful end, I took stock of what my intentions were on the first day of the year and what contributed to the success or failure of those intentions. Some goals I did reach, but there were ones that I didn’t reach, for a variety of reasons. The biggest reason for not reaching my goals, without a doubt, was myself.
As I reviewed the failed and discarded goals that littered 2016’s path, I began to see very clearly that I always attempted to reach my goal, usually with a great deal of enthusiasm and effort. Then, something would happen to derail me. An illness. My own self-doubts and fears. Work. Family commitments. Lame excuses. And a host of other reasons, some legitimate, but most were far from legitimate.
This realization led to another one, which shed even more light on what went wrong last year and in prior years. I realized that I continued to employ a negative thought process about myself and my goals, and when I veered from these goals, even for a brief period of time, I tended to never get back on track. It was subtle at first, as I would tell myself that I would resume pursuing the goal tomorrow. Only tomorrow never came. Then, the chorus of thoughts, sounding a death knell for the goal, would erupt. It’s too late now. You can’t do it. If you really wanted it, you wouldn’t have stopped pursuing it. It was a stupid idea. It’s too hard. Rest in peace, my goal. Only many of these unfulfilled goals did not rest in peace, as they begged to be resurrected.
So, how will 2017 be different? One of the things that has made a difference, for all two days of this year, is the quote pictured at the top of this page. Live the life you’ve imagined. A very simple, but very powerful, mantra for me this year and for every year to follow. I have great appreciation for my life in the present, and I also have a grand vision for the life that I’ve always imagined. When I think of that sacred vision, it makes me smile big time, and the thought of leaving it to chance or giving up on it altogether feels like losing a part of who I am. It’s that precious to me, so, perhaps, I need to live my life as if it is. Because it is!
The life I’ve imagined is not a perfect one, as that would be tragically boring, but it definitely does not contain any of my tried and true self-sabotaging behaviors, negative thinking patterns, fear-based decisions, and unhealthy relationships. If the life I imagined does not have those things in it, then, the life I am currently living does not need them, either. What it does have is all of those daily habits that pave the way for me to succeed. Getting enough sleep. Eating healthy food. Staying hydrated. Exercising. Writing. Surrounding myself with supportive and positive people. Reading. Keeping a gratitude journal. Being present. Listening to music. Taking time to be silent in prayer or meditation. Allowing myself to love and to be loved unconditionally. Dreaming big.
Ideally, all of those healthy habits would be practiced every day. Realistically, they probably won’t. When the latter happens, I will remind myself that perfection is over-rated and that the life I imagined is still attainable, if only I try again. And again and again, until it makes its way from my imagination into the realm of this world. Anything is possible, especially in the new year.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: Just One Thing Each Day