When it comes to starting a new year, I’m not a big goal or New Year’s resolution setter. You won’t find me diving into this year with a “new plan” or a “fresh” start, but I have spent time reflecting on last year and on how I’d like to grow and what I’d like to work better in the days and weeks ahead. Like many of you, I’d like to have a life that includes less stress, more success, more happiness, and more ease.
With this in mind, I thought it might be interesting to share three things that I am planning to do differently in 2013.
1) I will focus less on what I want to do and focus more on how I want to feel. Just like I coach participants in my online emotional eating program – Your Missing Peace – to do, I am choosing target feelings—the emotions and feelings I want more of–and asking myself what actions will help me achieve them. This year I want to spend more hours of my life feeling purposeful instead of reactive and I definitely want to spend more time experiencing peacefulness. Aiming to spend more time feeling purposeful and peaceful has focused me on paying attention to which choices and activities are going to create more of these experiences for me. I’ve also targeted some things that tend to have the opposite effect. You aren’t going to find me diving into my email inbox first thing in the morning anymore (which can put me into big-time reactive mode). Instead, I’ve gone back to using that early morning energy for writing projects—something purposeful and creative that I enjoy and almost always find grounding.
2) Better lunch plans. This actually relates to focus number one. Too often, lunch kind of just “happens” for me. Mornings are busy and I have habitually forgotten about my lunch in the bustle of early morning life. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten lunches together for other family members and then realized at lunchtime there was nothing for me. It’s a little thing, but having to figure out my midday eating on the spot feels reactive, not purposeful and it’s definitely not peaceful. When I’m planful about lunch, I eat better, feel better, my energy flows better, and ultimately the rest of my day unfolds in a more powerful way. It’s a physical thing but it’s psychological too. I feel taken care of when I take the time to be proactive about my lunch menu and plans. Focusing on this one small point in my day feels reasonable and do-able and I’m excited about how this little change can create big positive ripples for me.
3) Creating more space in my life. I have a lot of energy and there are always a ton of things I want to do, people I want to spend time with, and missions that I am passionate about. That said, I know that being constantly in motion isn’t good for me or for what I have to give. Giving myself space allows me to identify my priorities, get focused, and make choices. Space gives me the ability to take a mental step back and look at the big picture. It’s the pause I need to plan how to be purposeful. Space leads to a sense of peace and allows me to maintain the balance between caring for myself and the rest of my world. This year I’m working at stopping more and taking more of the breaks, the deep breaths, and the rests that fuel and ignite me.
So this is my plan and I’m pleased with how it’s unfolding so far. I’m also very happy with how reasonable it feels and how just putting it together left me feeling more relaxed and happy. I’d love to hear what changes you are working on this year.