Self-insight, Self-improvement, Self-awareness…Self-sabotage?

Self-care: Reduce mental fear and anxiety by creating more time for harmony and balance.
Self-care: Reduce mental fear and anxiety by creating more time for harmony and balance.

CRUSH THE COMPETITIVE INNER VOICE

Is this you? In the back of your mind you hear a voice saying:

The beginning of the new year is considered to be an excellent time for creating new routines, implementing healthy habits and creating action plans for the goals you want to accomplish in the new year. (I can hear a record needle screeching to a halt as I write this).

But wait!

Did I hear you correctly? You don’t have any concrete goals or an action plan in place and you feel overwhelmed by thought of taking action?  Or you feel frustrated or stuck by the thought of trying to achieve all the goals and changes that you want to implement this year? 

What’s my advice? Don’t freak out but do turn off the voice of the inner critic. I love this simple guide to optimal wellness by Deepak Chopra: 5 Steps for Creating Healthy Habits. This post outlines simple strategies to start your wellness plan.

CREATE A REASONABLE TIME FRAME TO ACHIEVE GOALS

Attempting a total make-over in the first month of the new year is just as much of an act of self-sabotage as doing nothing at all; in fact most people are better off making room to achieve some smaller more manageable goals in addition to allowing for more time to achieve larger goals. Here is an interesting post that debunks the 21 days to form a new habit myth: How Long It Takes To Form a New Habit. I’m adding this post as a gentle reminder that sometimes our goals for the new year have the addition of an unreasonable timeline. Is it possible that loving yourself, flaws and all, is the first necessary shift to make in 2015?

LOOK FOR INSPIRATION AND BEAUTY IN YOUR IMMEDIATE ENVIRONMENT

It's ok to be exactly where you are. Master the fine art of contentment.
It’s ok to be exactly where you are. Master the fine art of contentment.

Keep in mind that self-care is not a competition. If you feel shut down by the thought of making any changes or overwhelmed by all the changes that you feel that you need to make it might be time to take steps to reprogram your own mind to be ok with where you are in your life.

How can you be happy with your life just as it is? How can you take a more playful and optimistic approach to the new year? How can you be more care-free, light-hearted, and freedom-loving in the choices that you make?

Leave some room to be pleasantly surprised, you don’t need to map out every detail to begin to make some changes.

If you are looking for some playful inspiration, check out some of the suggestions for being a happier person in the post, 43 Simple Ways to Make Yourself Happy by Gina Vaynshteyn over at Hello Giggles.

ENJOY SIMPLE PLEASURES

This is my top 10 list for navigating the new year simply and healthfully:

1 Focus on the positive (Recently, a colleague posted some ideas about the new year’s tradition of keeping a gratitude jar filled with whatever you feel grateful for each day. At the end of the year, you will have lots of positive memories to jump start the new year).

2 Turn off the voice of the inner critic

3 Master the basics (i.e. If you are a beginner, don’t start at an intermediate or advanced level.)

4 Ground and center your energy (Allow yourself to be bored. Turn off your cell phone! Silence will help you with this one.)

5 Eat food that you lovingly prepare or arrange in your own kitchen (Avoid eating out, eating out of a box or eating energy bars/supplements for a week and reach for real food. If you are not a cook there is no shame in keeping it simple: eat apples and peanut butter, oatmeal with apples and butter, cottage cheese and tomatoes, or other whole foods that are simple to prepare.)

6 Take daily walks in nature (in your neighborhood, around the block, on your lunch break from work)

7 Breathe fresh air deeply into your lungs

8 Get a little sun as it makes itself visible in the sky

9 Make time for friends and family that have your best interest at heart

10 Do something you love doing every day (Feeling stuck? Look at your book shelf, record collection, old letters, old journals, ask your friends or family to tell you why they love you.)

What baby steps are you going to take in the coming months that will simply make you happier? Please share strategies in the comments section. We can help and learn from each other!

 

 

 

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Free Tarot Reading: Lessons from the Trammps and Robert Frost

A tarot reading for someone out there! Is it you?

The Tower     The Chariot     Queen of Swords

Burn it down to the ground, baby!

The 3 D’s: Desire, Determination, and Direction

Good fences make good neighbors

Let’s break it down, shall we? 

Oh boy! When I see the Tower in a reading I immediately think Anarchy! Or, I at least think of the song, Disco Inferno (listen to the Trammps version here). I know, little anarchists everywhere are bristling at the comparison between the status quo being burned to the ground and a disco reference, but I’m doing it!

When you are presented with the Tower you must: think on your feet, look for humor or deeper meaning where you can get, and rise above judgment by taking a risk to get things moving again.

The presence of the Tower implies something is coming your way that will shake things up and some type of change will make a lasting impression.  Are you moving? Did you lose your job? Did you get injured? Did someone close to you get hurt?  The good news is dramatic events can be very enlightening. Sometimes seemingly unfortunate events manage to steer you in the right direction, but with fresh insight and a new sense of freedom. When your house is on fire, sometimes the only thing you can do is watch it burn, but the one thing that is usually left is the foundation. You can use this foundation to build something new. How can you prepare yourself for the challenge of real change? How do you want your life to really look?

It is no surprise to see the Chariot in this reading as we are in full swing with the Year of the Horse. The Chariot card comes up for people all the freakin’ time. The lesson: You are in the driver’s seat now and you are being pushed to own your power. When obsolete structures are removed what do you see? Is the path clear? It will be necessary for you to react with some haste. Sometimes you just need to get out of your own way. The presence of the Chariot card implies that you are in control and have the ability to chart a course that has power and meaning. It’s time to set things in motion. The Tower experience might be the catalyst that you needed to move forward. The time to respond is now.

The presence of the Queen of Swords implies that you can look at your life events with honesty and humor. The Queen of Swords is a breath of fresh air because she doesn’t mince words, she calls it like she sees it and sometimes that is exactly what is needed. You can trust that she will handle any situation with integrity.

Some friendly advice: If you are presented with a situation in which you must communicate with someone who has different ideas or values than you, it’s going to be important for you to be clear, direct, and concentrate on the facts. You don’t have to lay all of your cards on the table; choose your words carefully and model appropriate behavior using key social skills. Think neutrality, listen respectfully and be courteous.

The expression, “good fences make good neighbors” comes to mind, as it is brought to life in Robert Frost’s poem, Mending Wall, in which two neighbors come together to repair a wall, but the implication is they come from different walks of life. In my mind, the wall is a great metaphor that reminds us to maintain healthy boundaries by meeting in a neutral location and upholding some social niceties. What would a good neighbor do? When you are put into a position to fix what is broken, do you take the bull by the horns and get the job done? Where are healthy boundaries necessary and important in your relationships?

Are you a good neighbor (friend, coworker, sister)? When a necessary structure in life is altered do you patch it up to look the same or do you create something entirely new? If you are building something with another person, do you respect their ideas and values? How do clear boundaries help you and when do they get in your way?