‘Happy’ New Year sometimes doesn’t feel that happy when resolutions start bursting your bubble…
At the moment I am feeling quite overwhelmed with the amount of New Year resolutions posts that are knocking around at the moment. My senses are groaning at the over exposure to them and my brain fizzing with pressure as it’s easy to feel like you should be doing the same. Well you don’t have to.
Most blogs and social feeds read like modern day ten commandments:
Thou shalt exercise every day
Thou shalt not covet bad boys
Thou shalt only consume holy water until the end of time
Massive yawn right?
January is bad enough without being mean to yourself
January is a bleak month. We feel pressure to review our lives, criticise how we are doing things and set ourselves an unreasonable resolve as to how things are going to be from this day on.
This month is always a challenge for our mental health. We feel naturally despondent going back to a work routine, dealing with the grey weather and trying to stretch out our ailing finances. When you’re contending with all that, why would you decide to add even more restrictions and punishment to your life?
Why resolutions aren’t my bag
Over half of us make resolutions yet less than 10% keep them. If you’re anything like me, I was raised in a treat culture i.e. going to the dentist meant I received sweets afterwards. This has filtered into adulthood so dealing with a rubbish day at work or generally feeling down = glass of wine/inhaling a box of Milk Tray as a reward.
Resolutions are all about stopping things you like or perceive to be bad for you and doing more of stuff you don’t like but is good for you. Nobody ever says ‘Oooh in 2018 I will put nice oil in my bath’. Nope, doesn’t happen. Resolutions are finite, firm and specific like the SMART goals we’re forced to make at work. They turn me off. The rebel in me and all of us will be defying our own authority quicker than you can say ‘a large G and T’.
Why I’m a Mistress of Manifestation
My focus of 2018 will involve manifesting my intentions. An intention is just that – a goal, wish or desire. Manifesting means declaring something you want to be true (an intention), truly believing it and imagining it happening.
Think about the things you want (your intentions) and imagine yourself doing it, now write it down.
- Create a ritual – you might make your big list at new year but revisit it daily
- Be specific – Be clear on what you want and every day keep this in mind. Tell yourself and the universe that this is what you believe
- Get creative – Allow yourself to dream. For example, ultimately see myself sitting in a beautiful cottage in my office with copies of my novels behind me on a shelf. I look out on to the countryside and watch a child, my child running around with our dog and my husband playing football. I am content, dare I say happy as I have all I need.
- Get into the feeling space – Every day have small goals to take you closer to where you want to be and make yourself feel even closer to your intention through writing these.
- Reflect with gratitude – Every day acknowledge what you’ve done
- Let go and let the universe do the rest
My affirmations are as follows:
I am a successful writer
I make good money from writing
I’m healthier than I ever have been
For someone like me that wasn’t blessed with willpower and is easily distracted, this keeps me focused. Every day I think of the three most important things I need to do that will bring me closer to my goal and make sure I complete them. To help my focus, I use the bestmelife journal that has been developed for this exercise, though a notebook would suffice.
What if I can’t think big as my mental health isn’t great right now?
Firstly, you won’t always feel like this. Mental health issues can make you change adverse and that’s fine, adapt your goals to suit. Two years ago, my affirmations might have been ‘I am able to leave the house without having a panic attack’; that to me was more than enough.
How this has helped me
Last year I was finally strong enough in my mental health to start thinking more positively and implement change. After writing down my intentions for a few months, I realised what the blockers were and decided to remove the toxicity. Working for a large corporate wasn’t helping me move towards my writing goals but my blog was so I needed to do more of the latter. My corporate job made me feel unfulfilled, less confident in my abilities as a writer and impacted my relationship so it needed to go. Walking away from a senior marketing role is a risk but I am manifesting success now and this year will be my best year yet.
If you are one of the 8% that can stick to New Years resolutions with military precision then by golly I salute you. And if you can’t, it doesn’t make you a failure it just means this isn’t the right path to follow. Try getting on the intention bus with me instead. I promise it’s a much more enjoyable ride.