A new year signals a time of opportunity, a time to consciously give our lives an overview, to see what’s working, what no longer serves, and to take action steps to create an exciting and fulfilling year ahead.
However, letting go and change also can create some fear of the unknown, it can bring up uncertainty, maybe even some feelings of anxiety around what you actually want to bring to life?
So how can you move into 2018 with clarity and purpose, moving through any barriers you might have, or to overcome any self-doubt?
Here are 6 ways to move into your full potential for the year ahead.
Gratitude For What’s Been
At the end of the year, most people I speak to are generally ready for it to be over, a feeling of, “Thank god that’s done!” Let’s face it, in general, every year has its tough moments, and some definitely more than others. However, even if you feel like 2017 was more difficult than most, I encourage you to look back all the way to last January and take some time to acknowledge how far you’ve come.
What are the moments you can be proud of? This might be something you’ve achieved, a special bond you’ve created with someone, a challenge that you’ve overcome, or a gift or a learning that has arisen, even if it’s been through some hardship.
Take note of these wins, including all the little small ones that you might not think are that important, but that all add up to your growth and development in 2017.
Who are the people and situations in your life that you’re most grateful for? Write down as many as you can think of.
The precious part about self-reflection is you also start to see what’s working, what you appreciate in your life that you might like to create more of, as well as seeing where you might need to make changes and let go of anything that is past it’s used by date.
What Do You Need To Let Go Of?
What hasn’t served you in 2017? Perhaps it’s an outmoded way of being? A limiting belief about yourself that holds you back, or old patterns and habits that no longer serve you? There may even be people, a job, or a way of life that it’s time to let go of?
Even when we know deep down that it’s time to move forward, there can be a lot of fear around letting go, we tend to want to hang on, as change can be unsettling. Old habits that we don’t want any more can have their comforts that are hard to say goodbye too. However, if we hold on too tightly to the past we will find that we become stagnant, and at some time down the track, if we don’t let go consciously they can actually tend to be taken away from us more traumatically if what we’re clinging to is not in our highest interests.
So, letting go involves a lot of trust as we don’t always know what’s on the other side of the space we create. The one thing I do know though is that it’s in the space where all can be created, where the new can emerge, and that can be truly exciting.
Trusting Your Intuition Will Guide You
So, what do you want to create in the space? Sometimes we know exactly what we want, but there are times when we want to change, but actually have no idea what we would like to move into. What are your next steps?
This is where the trust really needs to step in, to move past our fear state, and to sit in the gap and allow ourselves the time and the space to grow and evolve. It’s not always a comfortable place to be in the unknown; self-doubt, and worry that we’ll never find our way can creep in.
I encourage you in these times to be still, to settle the mind through meditation, or getting out in nature, and connect into that inner wisdom that resides within all of us. We all have intuition and inner knowing, however sometimes we don’t allow ourselves to listen to these insights, or trust them.
The more we can tune in, sit in the space, and allow things to arise, the more we learn to connect to the next steps on our path, trusting that what comes up, no matter how small, is here to guide us. You might only get an inkling to take one little step in a certain direction, but you take it, and then the next one is shown to you, then another, and another, until the way begins to become clear.
And if some of these steps don’t always work out the way we plan, it can be a forward movement in our growth. After all, it’s the events that don’t go so well or what we judge as our “mistakes”, that the lessons come from, to take us on to our next part of the journey. After all, there’s not a lot of growth when everything goes along perfectly, or we are stuck in our comfort zone.
In those times, you might judge your intuition as being wrong, “I shouldn’t have gone down that path!” But what if you could look at it as your intuition guiding you to learn that lesson, so it could help you develop into the best version of you?
Listening To The Heart
Our heart holds our greatest wisdom, it is the place where there is only truth. After all the mind, can get caught up in a whole load of judgment, story-telling and negative thinking patterns, that aren’t actually real.
We can easily get side-tracked by what we think we “should” do, or what we “can’t” do, going over all the pro’s and con’s trying to figure out in the mind what is the right path for us to take, how we should handle things, or how we should live our lives.
I’ve always loved the yogic philosophy of the head bowing down to the heart. That the heart knows the answers, letting it make the decisions; to follow the path of the heart to what you truly desire, and what is going to fulfill you on a deeper level.
I invite you to tune into your heart and ask it how you want to feel next year?
What kind of energy do you want to bring into your world? It might be joyfulness, peacefulness, adventure, or a year of action and energy. There is no right or wrong here, however, when we know how we want to feel, we can start to create our intentions around it, rather than based on our “should do’s”.
10 Intentions For 2018
Once you know how you want to feel in the year ahead, now is a time to set your intentions.
I encourage you to take 20 or 30 mins to come to a quiet place, let go and dream big, allow images to arise naturally, don’t get caught up in analysing them or judging them. You might even like to ask your heart “What is for my highest good in 2018? What would I like to create?” Let your heart and intuition work its magic and give room for anything to come up spontaneously.
When you’ve finished writing down all that came to you. There might be some surprises in there that you weren’t even aware of.
From here I encourage you to develop 10 intentions for your year ahead. Write them down as positive statements (instead of things you won’t do), and you might even like to write them in the “I am”, rather than “I will”. The more we come from a place that believes these events are already underway, rather than in some distant place in the future, the quicker we are able to manifest them into our lives.
There is no forward movement without action, you don’t need to wait for things to come to you, or ask for permission to start making changes.
When you know where you’re headed start taking small steps (or leaps) towards them. Set achievable goals, and get into creation mode.
And even if you don’t know where you’re headed, you can still take make advancements forward; for example, perhaps you decide to do a short course in one of the areas you would like to grow in and see where it leads.
Or if you feel there is something blocking you from action, take the time to see a practitioner such as a Kinesiologist, or delve into some meditation to assist you to move past any out-dated beliefs. Taking time to move through and understand what holds us back is action orientated in itself, so remember that there is always support out there if you need it.
Remember too that small shifts can make a big impact, you might like to read the article I wrote a while back on how to create change here.
So here is to a new year, one that as always will be filled with its challenges, with growth, ups and downs, wins and losses, but also hopefully one that is fulfilling, nourishing, enriching and full of rewarding and joyful moments.
Trust that you have everything you need, you have the courage, the strength, the love and compassion, is already within you, for anything that comes your way.
Article by Sacha Stewart
Beginning her career in the advertising/film industries, Sacha knows the pressure of the corporate world, and experienced first-hand how much impact stress and anxiety had on the mind and body. Her passion became about educating others in wellbeing and holistic methods, to create balance, peace, greater awareness and connection.
A certified meditation teacher, Sacha is educated through both the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and Wellcoaches as a Health & Holistic Life Coach. She is currently completing a double diploma in Kinesiology and Mind Body Medicine.