Dear future I'm ready written on a lone road

Wow, it is 2017! The new year always feels so fresh to me.  Even though nothing (except the date of course) truly changes between 11:59 p.m. on December 31 and 12:00 a.m. on January 1, it still feels significant – like 365 brand new days holding the promise of new opportunity.  Opportunities to show-up, be present, and make choices that produce the best version of me the world has ever seen.

The new year gives us reason to push a new start or refresh button. I don’t know about you, but during the first days of the new year I always perform a few rituals that feel terrific. They also create the physical, mental, and emotional space I need to begin the year intentionally choosing my thoughts, words, and actions.

These are my favorite new year rituals:

  • Return to a healthier diet. I’m not trying to lose weight, but I know – as much as I enjoy the holiday decadence – I start feeling lighter and more energetic as soon as I return to a healthier daily eating routine.
  • Clean out my file cabinets and closets. I love creating space for new projects, documents, and “things” by clearing out the old, outdated, no longer used or needed papers and “stuff” filling up my world. Kicking off the year with more space and organization feels so good!
  • Reflect on last year’s desires and goals; get real with myself about how I did with them and what they did for me; determine whether they are still my priorities and why; then update them. This exercise has the proven to take me in new and exciting directions personally and professionally. It also helps me refocus on things that remain important to me, but I know I can do better with.
    • I use the following categories (which I learned through Jack Canfield’s coaching program) to make sure I include my life’s most meaningful elements:
      1. Health and fitness
      2. Relationships (family, friends, business)
      3. Financial goals (income, savings, investments, debt)
      4. Career goals
      5. Personal growth (training, education, spiritual,)
      6. Philanthropy (volunteer service, charitable donations)

My new year rituals take time, thoughtful (maybe a bit painful) reflection, and some creativity.  They also require commitment if I want any hope of being successful with them.

That’s the way it is, you know?  First you have to decide what is important to you – what you really want – and then figure out what actions you must commit to in order to bring them to fruition.

One critical element many overlook: Your “why” is super important.

If you want to be successful with your goal, figure out your motivation. It is nearly impossible to achieve, much less sustain, positive change that is externally motivated.  Goals are often set for us, by a boss for example, but if we don’t tie them to an intrinsic motivation we will not experience long-term success. They also tend to work out best when they are grounded in goodness. Manipulation always backfires – not always in boom-a-rang fashion, but always. Ponder that a little while, as you consider your desires and goals for 2017.

Every day is a new day bringing new opportunities for us to make choices that will produce the best “us” the world has ever seen.  We don’t need a new year to make great choices, but I sure do love taking advantage of the feeling of freshness the new year brings!

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