New Year, New You…

ny clock

So here I am.. Starting again, over and over and over again. This is why I named this site Dare2Begin… I conceived on it while laying half naked on a massage table, floating between bliss and pain. It was meant to remind me that we begin each day, every day, every moment, really. But how do we know WHAT we want to begin? And once we do begin, how do we keep that momentum going, sustain that energy? Well, that’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? (BTW – this is why this blog contains work out, nutrition and rest tips. These are the things that sustain me long term. Because when my body is strong, my mind follows…)

Speaking for myself, to be honest, the latter part of the year and the beginning of this one has been a confusing time in many respects. Aside from work and family demands that pulled me away from nourishing my personal goals, I have also been undergoing yet another inner shift, a deep reveal that I am still wrapping my hands around. (You know when you find a door and turn the key, pass through and see something you truly can never forget? This is what happened to me. The door was the inner door and yielded a lot of knowledge about myself I cannot ignore. In fact, if I use it right, it can empower me and those around me. But, as I said, coming to terms with so much new potential can take time so I’m trying not to push myself too much. At the same time, blogging and connecting with the world helps me integrate and further evolve the newness…)

So today the clouds finally parted a bit and I took all the air in my lungs I could and tried to blow off enough steam to finally see the glory of my inner sunshine. That was energizing, hence this post. I want to take this opportunity here now to delve back into what truly matters to me in this life, and work on ALIGNING my daily choices with my long term goals and less so with the desire to mostly cater to the momentary pleasures that get in the way. (Of course we need some of that too as they alleviate pressure but never at the expense of the former.) What are my long term goals? To become a creative powerhouse and get my books into your hands! Now, a novel does not get written over a weekend retreat but it can be written one page or paragraph at a time…

So, I’ve been reading some articles about setting and achieving resolutions and since the new year is upon us, I deem it an appropriate topic to explore today. Why do people fail with their resolutions? There are two keys to the magic, it turns out – knowing what truly MATTERS rather than basing the resolution on a “should,” and building processes and systems to SUSTAIN our new behaviors.

Navigating the choppy waters of life’s endless distractions while holding the ship on course and steadfast requires a lot of willpower. But it gets easier when the goals we focus on truly matter to us. How do we determine what those are?

STEP 1: Determine the resolution that MATTERS

It helps to spend few moments in solitude and ask yourself those questions:

  • Who do I want to be?
  • What do I want more of in my life?
  • What do I want to offer to the world?
  • How might I get there?
  • What would create them as a consequence?

Look for choice points in your daily life to align your energy and attention in the direction that really matters most. According to Kelly McGonial (Stanford University psychologist – link at the bottom of this post), too many people worry too soon about implementing behaviors (stop smoking, go to the gym) before giving themselves time to determine what really makes them light up and focus on that. Once the goals/desires/dreams/resolutions for the year (or lifetime) have been determined, below is a process McGonial suggests that can help us connect with the EMOTIONS that will further inspire action.

Step 2: Finding AUTHENTIC ALIGNMENT before taking action.

The psychologist suggests taking a moment to do an exercise. Imagine it is Jan 1, 2015. Ask yourself: where am I? What does it feel like? Am I grateful for the choices I’ve made? This simple thought process helps us tap into the authentic.

Finally, there are few other things we can arm ourselves with:

  • Build support systems – ask for a friend to join you in the gym
  • Bribe yourself – I get to watch the whole season of such and such if I focus on that for this amount of time
  • Give yourself permission to do small steps, rather than expect to create something close to an ideal with the first pass
  • Look for resolutions that MATTER and STRENGTHEN the good that’s already in you. That’s true self-investment!

Following my own advice now, my resolution is to spend at least 15 minutes each day reviewing the current chapters of my book. Once my current novel is finished and passed onto my editor, I promise myself a vacation! (I’m long overdue…)

Happy New Year!

xo AK

If you want more: http://kellymcgonigal.com (I just discovered this brilliant soul!)

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