Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were restful and reflective and have been sparking new hope and optimism for 2019.
Have you begun seeding your dreams for the coming year, or decided on your word of the year? Are you all set with your list of intentions and now you’re feeling inspired to create a vision board, or already have? If none of these things are true for you, don’t despair. There’s no magic time frame by which we start visioning for the future, just like anything, start where you are now.
And honestly, it’s only in the past few years that I’ve begun getting really intentional about using this potent time of year to think about new beginnings and dream big. And lemme tell you, it totally works! Getting intentional about how we live our lives means we’re living with more purpose, clarity and motivation. Even if you think you know what your goals are, it helps to see them written. Getting quiet and honoring this time of year as a doorway to transformation can be pretty powerful stuff!
To begin the path of getting inspired to dream big and live an intentional life, let’s lay the foundation first and that for me, begins with a bit of yoga philosophy .
In the yoga sutras, the 5 Niyamas, or personal practices & observations, lay an ideal groundwork for our important work ahead. “The niyamas are an invitation into a radical exploration of possibility. Just how good can you feel? Just how joyful can your life be? We will never know unless we begin to make choices to support this exploration” -Deborah Adele
Here they are:
Saucha –Cleanliness or Purity of our thoughts, physical space, body and speech (quiet the self-critic)
Santosha- Contentment with our own life in all its abundance (stay in gratitude)
Tapas- Self-descipline, determined effort to stay focused (you’re worth it!)
Svadhyaya- Self study, knowing ourselves honestly and freely (you are a big deal!)
Ishvara Pranidhana- Surrender, letting go of perfection and any grip or pressure we may have wrapped around our goal (cultivate success)
These practices are evolving all the time because they’re rich and deep and to lay them out as a foundation for working with intention, dreaming and goal setting can be invaluable. So, let it be the framework you work within: as reminders to quiet the self-critic, stay in abundant mindset, believing you’re totally worth it because your a big deal and not even considering the self defeating word ‘failure’. You are a success because you’re even reading this!
Here’s what I wrote to my self to kick-start a positive dialogue around my Big New Year.
My word/phrase of the year is: BIG DEAL
This is my big year with big deal goals and dreams. I dream of being of service more, loving more and cultivating more compassion.
It’s my big year of travel, celebration and creation & I’m diving in! It feels so, so good!
So, now that I’ve written it out, I can come back to it on those days that feel uninspired and flat.
For this goal-setting exercise you’ll need: paper, pen, 2 different color highlighters and some time to yourself.
Now ask yourself:
What carry-over from 2018 are you gonna let go of so you can move forward energized, motivated and lighter right now? Write it down so you can begin to release it and take its lessons with you into 2019. (It may be a traumatic event, an emotion, though or feeling that’s keeping you small, limiting beliefs around time or money or love.)
Next, list your accomplishments from the previous year. Write down all you can remember that was good and positive, big and small stuff. Feelings, actions, emotions, successes at work, home, family, etc.
Now the really fun stuff: take out a big piece of paper, make 3 columns and label them CREATE, WORK & PERSONAL
If these categories don’t resonate for you, make up your own. I find it helpful to separate out my goals and dreams for my business as separate from my personal and creative goals, (though many in the creative category blend with the work category) but that’s me.
We gotta let these dreams be inspiring, and from our heart and soul.
Our end result is not a ‘to-do list’, it’s a ‘to-inspire list’!
Once you’ve written everything you’d like to create, grow, do, make happen in their categories, highlight which ones feel most attainable within the first 6 months of this year. Those will be your goals. Now, take out another color highlighter and use it for what feel, right now more like dreams, rather than concrete goals.
Now, do the columns again on 2 different pieces of paper with a Goals label at the top of one sheet, and a Dreams label at the top of the other sheet. Rewrite your goals/dreams starting with the highlighted ones first. So, now you have a goals and a dreams sheet, categorized and ready to begin manifesting!
Make sense? If not, then just do what feels right for you but DO look at these everyday.
Tend to your lists daily, change what needs to be changed, move things around, add more, take some away when needed/wanted. Life is fluid and transformation happens so let go of perfection and fear of failure and land in the energy of allowing dreams to happen.
The idea here is to live life on purpose, rather than letting life simply happen. It’s already doing that, so why not enrich it by seeding your dreams, tending the garden& encouraging growth?
What we focus on expands………
with gratitude & love,