As the door to 2018 swings shut, it’s time to consider how you’ll step into 2019. Will you jump, leap, or dance your way into the New Year? Or are you feeling a bit more fatigued, with heavy feet that may just stutter-step across the New Year threshold?
However you feel, wherever you stand, the New Year undoubtedly brings reflection and opportunity. One reflects on milestones, challenges, and life changes that occurred in the year past, while looking forward to what lies ahead in the New Year. Reflection conjures resolutions, as many vow to change—to do things differently, to meet certain goals, aspirations, and achievements in the New Year.
While resolutions can ground us, providing direction and stewardship, they can also weigh us down, if not made with the right mindset and energy. Change is not easy. Instead of focusing on what you must change, do better, or achieve more of, maybe it’s time to start the New Year differently.
In 2019, vow to focus on all that you are, all that you do and give, and dive deeper into understanding what truly makes you—you.
Living with a personal mantra provides a daily reminder of who you are and how you want to live each day. Mantra means “instrument of the mind.” It helps us to put words to our inner feelings, goals, and desires, and these words serve as a constant reminder that deepens our self-understanding while providing purposeful direction.
Truth is, when life gets busy, it’s easy to lose yourself, forget resolution promises, rationalize things away, find faults and solutions to just make it through the day. Yet, a mantra provides an unwavering starting point; a grounding force that doesn’t leave you in challenging moments. Quite oppositely it’s with you every moment of everyday, guiding you to live your true self more fully… if you allow it to.
You may be thinking, what’s my mantra? Feeling lost and unable to find the right words. That’s normal; be patient and stay the course. Finding a mantra isn’t easy but once found, it sticks with you.
Consider this. I was talking to a colleague the other day about New Year’s resolutions. We both shared quite long “to-do” lists covering things to change in the New Year. Things like daily gym visits, healthier meals, and less time at work. In my head, I kept thinking that my colleague was silly to focus on these things, she had more potential and bigger fish to fry than this! So often, we jump to fix things, thinking that if we just did this or that, we’d do and feel better. But what if no ‘fixing’ is actually required?
It was clear to me that my colleague had so much potential, so much promise for the New Year—a budding business, exciting, passionate work opportunities. Yet, her resolutions didn’t capture this. So, I spoke up and I told her that I thought she already had all the tools to make this year great. While surprised, she listened, and together we came up with a personal mantra for her: “Do bravely. Believe constantly. Commit fully.” We said goodbye to the typical, un-motivating resolutions, and instead vowed to focus on the potential within.
So, the underlining message is: reflect on what motivates you, inspires you, and excites you. What are your dreams; what impact do you want to have this year? Converse with friends who know you well, and let them help you find words that define a way of life for you this year. My conversation helped us both; I too vowed to live out my own mantra in 2019.
Instead of focusing on what needs fixing, focus instead on all that you are now, in this present moment. Focus on what you can do. Focus on what you want to do. Focus on how you can let your best self shine, and commit to sharing that light with others this bright New Year.