By Barb Schmidt, author THE PRACTICE
1. Sit with yourself in silence as you mentally review the past year. Think about things that brought you fulfillment and good health. Also think about things that may have interfered with your forward movement in life or affected your well-being. This will give you insight on the things you want to do more of and those things you may wish to change in the coming year.
2. Change up your resolutions. Avoid falling back on resolutions you have made in prior years. If there is something you want to accomplish in the new year but have not followed through on in years past, maybe that particular change is not a priority for you or it is not resonating with you. Choose another path toward your goal.
3. Be specific. When making your resolutions, get really specific about what you will do to make the change. Create a list of activities or steps you will take each day to carry you along toward your new destination. Remember, it is all about the journey, so be sure you have a clear map to follow.
4. Have faith in your ability to make positive changes. Avoid self-defeating thoughts like, “I’m going to fail again,” or “This is probably not going to stick.” When you find your mind going down that path, say an affirmation or mantra to yourself to lead your mind back toward your heart and positive intentions.
5. Identify the aspect of yourself you wish to strengthen: mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual. Then, choose a resolution that aligns with that aspect. You may even wish to choose more than one aspect upon which to make a resolution. Quite often, making a change in one area will benefit other areas of your life as well.
6. Make smaller goals. Think of where you want to be a year from now and then identify monthly steps you can take toward that goal. Write these steps down and then reaffirm your resolution on the first day of each new month. Even if you have not followed through during the previous month, you will still have many more opportunities to get back on track and move forward. We always have the choice to stop and start again.
Barb Schmidt is an international speaker, philanthropist, spiritual mentor, and best-selling author of The Practice. She has devoted more than 30 years to her studies with inspirational leaders such as Deepak Chopra, Thich Nhat Hanh, Scott Peck, Buddhist nun Tenzin Palmo, Thomas Merton scholar James Finley, and Marianne Williamson.
Believing that “outer peace begins with inner peace,” in 2011, Barb founded Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life, to further serve those who seek to live a meaningful, happy life, and to fulfill her passion to bring peace to the world. Through this nonprofit, she teaches The Practice—a three-part guide to practical spirituality in today’s modern, and often chaotic, world. http://peacefulmindpeacefullife.org/blog/