As we’ve moved through the first week of January 2015, and hopefully have explored, written down, and planned for our New Year goals, let’s now be mindful about the process. The mind, as we have heard countless times, is the most powerful tool that we have, and yet we so easily underestimate that power. Think for a moment about your own life, or possibly someone else’s life, and remember a time when you thought there was no way you, or that other person, was going to be able to complete (or survive) what they were doing or going through. Surprise! You or they managed somehow…but how exactly?
The mind is so powerful and being mindful about habits you do, the good and the bad, is going to make or break you this year. So often I don’t feel like working out or making a clean dinner, so what I started doing a few years ago was putting myself in the mind of the girl who did both and then didn’t do either. I’ll sit down and close my eyes and imagine I just came back from the most amazing run. I’ll imagine being super sweaty (which I happen to LOVE), tired, and relaxed. I’ll let myself sit there with her for a while, moving through my moments after I get home. How much I love that hot shower, making dinner, cleaning (haha), when my body has just worked so hard. That feeling is amazing and I love it. Then I transition to another scenario. I fast forward the time a few hours, and imagine how I am going to feel doing those same things, but not having had worked out. I’m more stressed, mentally annoyed, concerned that I lost a little bit of my commitment confidence, and planning for how I am going to do it tomorrow. The second scenario is never any fun and always filled with regret. I then ask myself, “What is two hours? What’s an hour? What’s 30 minutes?” You will never regret doing it, but will ALWAYS regret not doing it. I say with confidence that I have never regretted a workout.
Being mindful about yourself and your daily habits not only helps you to stay committed on a daily basis, but also helps you put yourself in the mind of the girl one year from now. Close your eyes. Who do you want to be one year from now? This goes back to the miracle questions: Where will achieving these goals take you? What kind of friend will you be and relationships will you attract? What kind of physical goals will you conquer? What will no longer seem seem impossible to you? What negative thoughts will no longer have significance in your life(and not because those things about you have necessarily changed, but because you have begun to love yourself enough to take control of your thoughts)? Do you want to have these exact same goals on your New Year’s Resolutions 2016? And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, what kind of person do you want to be? The truth about all of this is that time goes and goes, and it goes whether we make changes or not. So often we feel (and allow ourselves to be) defeated before we even begin because of the time it will take to get it done…NEWS FLASH: THE TIMES GOES BY ANYWAY!
I remember one year that this realization hit me like a ton of bricks. As I was deciding whether or not to go to back grad school, I started asking myself if it was really worth it. I had just finished a Master’s program, I had a great job, a dog I adored to the point of obsession, lived in a city I was in love with (and still am….I ❤ San Diego!), and I was in the longest and most significant partnership of my life. So the battle began. I wrestled with leaving, staying, and then just going to a school in San Diego. Ultimately, I knew what I needed to do, but I was scared of the time it was going to take. Throughout my life, I never thought much about picking up and leaving. I was always flying by the seat of my pants, traveling and living in as many different cities and countries as possible. But something was different this time– I had my pup who was dependent on me, I owned a home, and I had a partner. Picking up was not as easy, yet, deep down, I knew I needed to go. Sometimes you gotta leave even when you don’t want to. So, I put it all on the line and I left. Two years flew by and before I knew it, not only was I graduating, but I had the opportunity to live in possibly the most amazing city in the world, meet inspirational people, and be challenged like never before on my own social and ethical beliefs. Leaving was the best decision of my life—but it came at a cost. Nothing that worth it ever comes free, because if it did, our soul would not be challenged and we would cease to grow.
All this is to say, the time went by anyway. On graduation day I remember closing my eyes and imagining the girl that didn’t go. It was emotional because I had been so close to being her and risk losing some of my confidence to pursue that which scared me. I truly believe that we are all born with a sense of adventure, but unless we feed it, even just a little, we become really nervous, scared, ambivalent, and unaware of how challenges fuel our soul.
So this week, sit down and think about those things in your life that you want changed, the adventures you want to take, and the things you want to let go of. Put yourself in the mind of the girl that did all of those things throughout this next year…and then imagine the kind of person you are because of it. This girl should excite you. Let her out! This year, let’s continue to work our way back to the women we were born to be.