How to begin 2019 with balance
At the start of a new year, it's tempting to write an enormous 'To Do' list and then panic about all the things we hope to get done, but we're more likely to achieve our dreams when we approach them from a place of peace and with a deep connection to ourselves
At this time of year, we're bombarded with social media posts, blogs and workshops about setting intentions and getting clear on our hopes and dreams for 2019. I'm no exception - I'm hosting a few intention-setting workshops myself. I believe in setting intentions and having dreams. And I believe in taking steps towards our heart's desires. I wouldn't be a coach if I didn't.
However, the problem is we can wind ourselves up into a panic. 'Quick,' we think, 'I need to sort my life out immediately. All of it. In this first week of the year.'
Or is it just me who thinks that?
We get all stirred up, anxious, worried and stressed, and that isn't a good state to be in when we're trying to set intentions or plan our goals.
Stress, anxiety and excessive activity detach us from our true selves. We lose the connection with our heart, soul, spirit and intuition - a connection that's important when we're trying to work out what we want 2019 to bring.
We end up taking actions that are misaligned with our authentic selves or that prove to be counterproductive in the long run. We end up reacting rather than acting. We waste vital energy and resources on things that don't bring any benefit. We end up self-harming in some way: over-working; hurting ourselves while rushing; over-eating (all of which I've done).
So don't panic. Take a deep breath. You have enough time. Let go of control.
And before you rush headfirst into 2019 and frantically start scribbling your goals or taking actions to achieve them, try one, some or all of the following steps:
Meditation doesn't have to be complicated. Download a meditation app or search for a guided meditation on YouTube and sit still for 5, 10 or 15 minutes. Or play some soothing music and tune in to the words or to the notes. Try a walking meditation - in other words, walk mindfully. Notice the scenery; notice the feeling of the earth beneath your feet; notice how your muscles power you forwards; notice the colours, smells and sounds all around you.
Write or Draw
Take out a notebook and write freely. Write down your thoughts and feelings. Don't edit. Let the writing flow from your heart onto the paper. Or try drawing. Get some coloured pens or pencils and let them guide you around the page. What comes up for you? This is a great exercise to do after meditation because you'll be more connected to yourself and to your truth.
Take a bath
Showers are quick and convenient but baths allow us to slow down, relax and connect to our emotions. They also allow us to tune in to the feelings of guilt or shame that inevitably arise for some of us when we allow ourselves some time and space to relax, when we indulge ourselves a little, in the best sense of the world.
Take a walk in nature. Breathe in the fresh air. Open your eyes wide and take in the big sky. I find being in nature helps me to put everything into perspective. I am very lucky to live close to the sea (although I give myself credit because I made it happen!) so I get to walk on the beach (and to swim in the sea) whenever I want. I was there this morning, walking along the beach and back before recording a video on how to move gently into the new year. You can watch it here.
Phone a friend
Sometimes I have to reach out to others in order to get in touch with my truth and to get to the bottom of how I really feel. Ring someone you're close to and share any anxiety you're feeling about the start of the new year.
Feel your feelings
All of the suggestions above are designed to help you to connect to your feelings. I spent much of my life avoiding my feelings - through binge eating, binge drinking, over-working and compulsive activity - so I'm pretty good at it. But I now know the importance of feeling my feelings in order to heal any pain. I'm not scared of my feelings anymore. They are my guide. So ask yourself, 'How am I feeling? How am I really feeling?' And allow yourself some space to feel.
Give yourself a break
If the first few days of this new year haven't gone to plan, don't stress! We get to start again every day. Don't be hard on yourself. Be gentle. Accept yourself as you are, with all your wonderful quirks.
I write this for myself as much as for you. We all deserve to be kind and compassionate to ourselves.
Relight Your Fire: Find Your Passion & Purpose. Evening workshop, London. Jan 15.
Stop Emotional Overeating, Lose Weight for Life. Evening workshop. London. Jan 16.
Love Yourself. Love Your Body, Love Your Mind. One-day mind, body, spirit workshop in Bournemouth with yoga. Saturday, Feb 2.
For How to Fall in Love and mind, body, spirit retreats in Dorset, Spain and Turkey in 2019, click here.
Free Facebook group for women: Being Real, Becoming Whole.
Watch my free webinar: Create the Life & Love You Want in 2019
Email me on: firstname.lastname@example.org