Reflection for a New Year: I can!


I sit under an ever moving umbrella in Waimarama at our friends beach house.  As I lie on my wet towel with sea salty hair, I reflect on my 2018 and think about the year ahead. I have cicadas chirping beside me, the UE boom cranking out some sounds, tent zips zipping, the smell of sunscreen wafting through the air, the buzz of quad bikes out on the sand, and some freshly cut pineapple on the ground attracting a steady stream of ants.

 Everyone else is off to the beach and I am enjoying a bit of space to think about 2019 and what I want it to be. 2018 was a nitty gritty one. With so many challenges to navigate and emotions to contend with. But amongst it, some small wins, amazing happy times, and wonderful life changing decisions.

Life will never be perfect – but if 2018 has taught me anything – it is the power of gratefulness.

I think a good place to start our goal setting for 2019 is to take time to reflect on our successes of 2018 and the things we are grateful for. The small things that made us smile, the massive goals we achieved, the milestones we reached, the holidays we had, and the books we actually completed. Perhaps the garden you planted, the bike you fixed, the sister you phoned up, or the breakup you needed to make.

When we realise what we HAVE achieved and therefore CAN achieve – it gives us a great place to start focusing on the upcoming year. From a place of “I can”.

I have found myself often setting goals based on my shortcomings and weaknesses. I find myself saying things in my head like “I am so messy – my goal is to become tidier this year, I don’t want to be disorganised anymore”.

This is not particularly self serving. Yay I realised that!

I think the key to setting goals is to understand that we all actually want the benefit of that goal. We want how that goal will make us feel, what it enables us to achieve, how it affects other people and improves our quality of life.

When we understand why we want it – we will find ways to achieve it.

Our “why” needs to be greater than the pain we have to go through to achieve that goal! When it is – we are unstoppable.

Neuroscientists have taught us that focusing on that which we want to achieve will help our brains to create new pathways. So, based on positive thinking, my goal could be reframed as “I will put everything away when I have finished with it, in the place where it belongs, so that everyone can find it when they need it.” This will help my soul to feel peace and we will all be able to spend time with love ones without the distraction of mess around me or them.

Wow – this certainly changes how I feel about that goal.

I am no expert on neuroscience, but am thoroughly enjoying learning more about it. I highly recommend Dr. Caroline Leaf for helping to make a difference in your holistic health. She has a great 21 day Brain Detox programme that addresses our toxic thinking. (Doing this detox, or reading/watching her material could be a great goal perhaps for the start of 2019 to get our brains serving our life and goals).  

I read something else this week by Loren Lahav, reminding us that it is indeed the effort that we make to achieve our goals, that makes the achievement enjoyable. If we all had whatever we wanted with zero sacrifice or effort, then we would be bored!

So let’s have a lil mantra “Effort is my friend and the benefits are priceless”.  

And let’s say it while we walk away from the gossip we usually engage in, make the phone call we would previously be scared of, increase the incline on our cross trainer, chomp on our carrot, help with the homework rather than let Google be our kids’ companion, or take the four minutes to put things away rather than leaving them on the floor.

Happy holidays all – let the sand sink between your toes – take a morning swim before the beach gets crowded and enjoy your family and friends.

Be grateful, love any effort you put into 2019 and enjoy the benefits!

Oh and please don’t forget – New Years Resolutions (or the lack of achieving them in the past or year to come), don’t define you. You are perfectly enough with ZERO changes in your life, xoxo.

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