I have a question to ask you if you don’t mind.
I’m just curious what your New Year’s Resolution…ahem…ACTION Plan is?
You see, we all have resolutions at this time of year. I get it. This is the time when we start thinking about what we want to accomplish in the New Year.
It’s a fresh start, a new beginning. So many possibilities ahead and on the horizon. It truly is an exciting time!
Yet as with all excitement, it comes and it goes. Waxes and wanes. And with all resolutions, they come and go as well. We’ve all been there, I know because it’s happened with me as well.
So I encourage…no…I invite you…to consider taking action by being intentional about your New Year’s Plan.
I’m going to map out a way that will hopefully make it easier for you to put your resolution into ACTION and execute accordingly.
What are we waiting for? Let’s get started!
A – Affirmations/Afformations
These are the things that you say to yourself on a daily basis, and preferably multiple times per day, that help keep you on the positive track. These are the words that you repeat that remind you just of how special, driven, and motivated you are. As with all affirmations, they are stated in the now, since your mind doesn’t understand the difference between past and future. So what do you choose to say to yourself on a daily basis that helps keep you on course?
It could be something like:
“I am focused and always on task when it comes to my goals.”
“I am powerfully productive.”
“I have amazing gifts to share with the world and myself.”
“I am becoming healthier and healthier each and every day.”
Those are just some examples, but the truth of the matter is you can substitute whatever words and emotions you want to in there to suit you best. Remember, they are there for your benefit.
In terms of afformations, as you may or may not recall from my book What’s Your ACTION Plan? 6 Powerful Ways To Get Unstuck in Your Life Now!, I spoke about what these are all about. It’s kinda like an affirmation, except it’s stated in question form (a la Jeopardy!). The point of asking whatever question you decide is not to necessarily answer, but to acknowledge just how effortless and easy something really is. We tend to over-analyze, over-complicate, and over-think so much.
Part of that is our past experiences. I know. You don’t have to convince me! And where that comes from is our survival instinct. We avoid pain, hurt, fear at any and all costs. But what if it doesn’t have to be that way all the time?!
So we phrase it in the form of a question such as the following:
“Why is it so easy to remain focused and on task with my resolution(s)?”
“Why is it so effortless for me to follow-through with what I set out to do?”
“Why is it so easy to accomplish my goals?”
Again, these are just examples, but feel free to play with these until they fit you best!
C – Creativity
I’m curious, how do you plan on expressing your creative side this year? What do you want to do that you’ve been yearning for, yet a little hesitant to seek or engage in? A little gun shy?
I know you have something you’ve been wanting to do – start piano or guitar lessons, take a dance class, start painting, writing your blog, taking photography classes.
Whatever it is, I again invite you to take lessons. And it really is easy in the age of digital classrooms and Youtube. Now, I wouldn’t necessarily prefer that, as I learn best with hands-on teaching, but to each his own. As long as you’re learning and doing, that’s the most important thing!
T – Talking
Who are you going to talk to about what’s going on in your life this year?
Who will you decide to open up to in order to let off some steam, let some things off your chest?
We all need it. And here’s the kicker – you don’t have to be “crazy” in order to seek out help. You just have to be “human” with “life experiences.” Isn’t that amazing how that works?!
So who will it be:
A religious figure?
Whoever you choose, know that there are plenty of people out there who have been trained to deal with exactly what you’re dealing with or want help with. And if you don’t find them immediately, don’t give up!! Keep searching – the right fit for you is out there!
I – Introspection
It’s time to do the internal work.
Take a look inside and conduct an assessment as to how your life is going up to this point.
Are there areas of your life you know could use some improvement (and if you say no, then I truly am envious and honestly, a little skeptical!). There’s always work to do, something to improve upon.
Home life and/or communication?
There are so many ways to take a look at how you’re operating, and where you could use some help and betterment, so do yourself a favor and look at those areas. You can even do a likert scale (on a scale of 1-10) look at each of these areas. Where do you stand? What is most important to you as you prioritize these goals?
This works best when you are honest, so don’t hold back!
O – Openness
We all have dealt with something in our lives, or continue to deal with something in our lives, where we might hold a little shame. A little guilt. A little embarrassment. Well, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. As Brene Brown has stated, those things cannot exist in the light. So now it’s time to step out of the dark and let people in. Let someone know what you’ve been dealing with, holding in, keeping close to your vest (or is it chest?!?). Either way, by starting to open up to others about what you’ve been going through, you will soon find that you are never alone, nor have you been alone. That’s all been in your mind. And sometimes our minds are dangerous places to stay (at least in silence and darkness)!
I invite you to challenge yourself and begin to open up to someone you trust (note: don’t just begin to willy-nilly open up to anyone on the street, or someone you just met but don’t fully trust). See how they respond. Yet most importantly, see how it feels to share and be vulnerable. While it can be scary and daunting, it is also liberating. And don’t you want to be free??
N – Nowness
One of my favorite artists, Oddisee, said in one of his songs “I live every day like it’s my last but I plan for tomorrow as if I will never pass.”
This embodies this last portion so perfectly.
While we tend to get caught up in planning for the future – just as resolutions are all about – we tend to forget about the present moment. How can we bring ourselves back to the now, and appreciate the journey. Appreciate every step we’re taking instead of only looking off in the distance.
It’s so important to revel in each of these moments in your journey. And you can do that by taking stock of what’s around you. What do you see, smell, hear, taste, feel? Breathe those in!
Meditation is also a great way to practice being in the now. You don’t have to start with 15 or 20 minutes. You can start with 1 minute. Just follow your in and out breath for a total of 3 breaths. That’s a great start. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself. You don’t go to the gym after taking a break and expect to lift 300 pounds (or even 100 pounds if you’re like me!); you simply start where you are and work your way up. Meditation is the same.
Keep exercising that muscle in the mind until it gains strength…and then keep going. Don’t give up.
Ok, so there you have it – your New Year’s ACTION Plan!
I know, it’s a lot. So start with what rings most true or relevant to you. Is it exercising your creativity? Is it talking to someone? Whatever it is, don’t set yourself up for failure. Do one thing and work your way on up.
I just urge you to engage in this on a regular basis. Whether monthly, weekly, daily. Be consistent, because that consistency and persistence will truly pay off, trust me on this one!
Here’s to your ACTION and success in 2019!
And again, if you need a refresher in the ACTION Plan book, you can get that here! 🙂
Peace, love and light,
Dr. Damon Silas