We’ve all been here before. The beginning of a New Year with its promise, potential and possibility.
Yet, we also tend to approach the new in the same manner we did the old, expecting to create change.
Reminds me of the definition of insanity.
So, what to do?
It’s a tricky thing to approach shifting your mindset to align with the direction you want to go. It’s a bit like trying to sneak up on yourself.
We don’t know what we don’t know, and if we knew, we’d be doing it already.
One of the tools I like to use is to get it all down on paper. Yep, pretty simple, and nothing we haven’t heard before.
The great thing about getting it down where you can see it, is that it creates an ability to have a different perspective of things. The writing, itself, also stimulates connective points within us that illuminate all sorts of cool and interesting stuff.
Having something written out allows me to look at what I have put down and focus on the language I’ve used and what it reflects back about my perception, attitude, beliefs and story patterns.
Personally, I can catch myself, quite a bit, in feedback loops that reflect ways of looking at things that don’t serve me. I guess when you focus on growth and self improvement, this happens.
I might hear myself say something a particular way or read how I’ve written out a “stream of consciousness” in my journal, and suddenly, I am aware of something I need to shift.
This is one of the reasons I recommend daily journaling. It provides an opportunity to stay on top of areas where change is needed and keeps patterns that don’t serve you from continuing to inform your operating system.
In my daily writings, I might see the way in which I’m looking at something and the particular meaning I’m giving it is blocking me from moving in the direction I want to go.
I know it’s me, not the circumstance or someone else. Me. I’m the creator of what I experience.
When this happens, I will get curious about what other perspectives and meanings might make me both feel and see things in a better light.
It’s important to approach this method of self inquiry with the greater WHY in mind. The “why” is the life I’m wanting to create and experience. Some might call it Mission. I like to look at it as Legacy. I think about the vision I have for this when addressing my story line and whether it fits this vision or not.
By focusing on my WHY, I can move beyond the story to see it in the greater context of the lesson, potential growth and the ultimate purpose.
So, if you are wanting to get on track for the New Year, it might be good to begin by observing your life in “real time.” This can help stimulate the writing process around ways you feel you’ve been challenged in meeting the goals you have set for yourself in the past.
The process might look something like this:
- You become aware of a trigger in your life – this can come from a feeling, a mental observation or something the outside world reflects back to you through a situation.
- Remind yourself YOU are the creator of this trigger and that it is being presented FOR you as an opportunity to LEARN something and GROW. To help develop this mindset, I highly recommend the book The Power of TED by David Emerald. For more on this, read my post Winds of Change.
- Next, write it out. Put it all down on paper – the story, how you feel about it and why.
- Leave it. Put what you have written aside for 24-48 hours. Make a committed choice not to think about it during this time. If you do, gently remind yourself that “a watched pot never boils.”
- Go back to what you’ve written and focus, first, on the language – WHAT you are saying.
- What tense & tone have you used?
- Is it passive or active voice?
- Is the language reflecting ownership or projection?
- What emotion(s) is/are reflected in the language?
- Are there any language patterns that stand out (repeated words, phrases, meaning, sentence structure, etc.)?
- Next, look at what role(s) you are playing in your written story – HOW are you showing up?
- Am I rescuer, perpetrator or victim?
- Am I playing more than one role? Where?
- How does this look from my, now, 3rd party witness perspective?
- Finally, look to identify #1 – the overall meaning you’re choosing to give something and the beliefs that you’re holding in your story. #2 – the lesson(s) in all of it and ultimately, #3 – WHERE you get to grow& change your perspective to allow yourself a peaceful, open and expansive resolution that holds you 100% accountable and responsible for how you wish to be and feel. Look to see what will allow you to actively move in the direction that you want and that best serves you.
I wish you a wonderful, adventurous year filled with purpose, fulfillment and plenty of intentional growth opportunities!