Are you Starting with a Clean Slate?Written by Cynthia Chirinda Hakutangwi
The start of a new year always feels like a chance to try new things and maybe even “start over” in every area of life. This is the perfect opportunity to reflect on what is and what isn’t working within your life, family, career and business. Taking the time to identify these things and then brainstorming ideas on how to keep the good going and reconfigure the bad will help make your life run smoother and will help you to be more effective in your pursuits. The best way to start the New Year is to begin with a clean slate. This doesn’t mean you have to take drastic measures, instead, you can take some simple steps to ensure that you are ready to start the New Year on a solid footing.
Resolutions and Left Overs
I recently came across a thought from Deepak Chopra this week that read "My tormentor is myself left over from yesterday." It got me thinking about what leftovers I am carrying around and if I am willing to stop tormenting myself with trying to make something that no longer serves me feel relevant and significant. Every year at this time, it has become traditional for people to make New Year’s Resolutions. Unfortunately, most people don’t keep them. Even worse, people are frustrated and disappointed in themselves for breaking them. Truth be told, our resolutions are usually “too lofty” and too hard to maintain – since they often involve breaking lifelong bad habits or resolving issues that have perplexed us for ages. I’d like to suggest another way to approach this annual "new beginning – to treat it as exactly that, a new beginning. Instead of setting up resolutions to be met, why not look at the New Year as a chance to wipe your slate clean and get a new, fresh clean slate upon which to write your hopes and desires for coming year. So why not take this opportunity at each New Year, to wipe away everything on our slates from last year? That includes all the unresolved arguments, the slings and the arrows that have come our way, and all the hurt and resentment. Remember, the same fence that shuts others out, shuts you in.
What has been weighing you down?
Carrying around negative emotions not only weighs us down, it also causes us to miss out on the joyous moments of life. Don’t let negativity steal your life’s gifts of joy. Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. However, forgiveness can give you back the laughter and the lightness in your life.
A lot of people have a difficult time with the idea of forgiving others. They feel its equivalent to letting the person off the hook or admitting they were wrong. Maybe you felt you deserved an apology - maybe you did deserve it. But now, holding onto that, is allowing that other person to control how you live your life. This “cleansing” is for your benefit alone.
Could you be sabotaging your happiness?
So how do we begin to exercise this kind of control over our happiness? Many people are unaware of the emotions that hold them prisoner. In your quiet moments, examine your thoughts. We have over 50,000 thoughts per day and if we’re thinking mostly negative thoughts as we move through life, it is only natural that it will affect how we experience life. We can start by identifying which of our expectations are realistic and unrealistic…do our thoughts tend to be positive or negative? Do we give enough importance to that which we have in our lives to feel a sense of gratitude? All too often, we sabotage our happiness by concentrating on whatever is missing or flawed with our lives. Thoughts are extremely powerful. They say all of your behavior results from the thoughts that precede the action. By changing your thoughts and nourishing yourself with positive messages, you can change your mood and your behaviour.
New Year, New Vision
Many use New Year’s as the only time to address or even begin to accomplish personal feats, challenging new tasks, or correction of flaws. It’s often the only time people think about how move on to overcome obstacles, develop healthy habits, shed clutter, start new traditions, work on ourselves, and more. When resolutions have come and gone, what is it that you still want to change in your life? The main difference between what is a dreamed goal and a new vision becoming reality is as simple as whether we feel ourselves in this new role or whether we only say and want the goal. Another significant difference between dreaming and doing is what we clean off, what we stop doing, what we let go of in order to achieve the new vision.
What must we change?
First, what must we change? What must we let go of, stop doing, and stop talking about in order to free our mind and our energy to re-create the structure for a life that supports our new vision? Whilst goals are great, it is change, vision, and visualization that make the difference between a dream and reality.
Here are some quick tips to jumpstart change your life:
• Feed your mind and exercise positive focus each morning
• Begin each day with a protein rich breakfast
• Eat “lean, clean & green”
• Drink water in abundance daily
• Get some good, restful sleep each night where possible
• Say “no” in order to create space for you
• Keep a food, mood and energy journal
• Move your body
• Get out of your normal spaces
• Express gratitude daily
These actions will set the stage for you. Your mind and your body will be refreshed and cleared for the self-work and the visioning that will bring you to the life you desire. Vision and goals first require a “clearing of the slate” and a change in mindset. Then confidence, diligence, and self-esteem are required to stay on the path to creating new life and living ferociously again.
A fresh start is possible
You can begin with a fresh start and a clear outlook on your priorities. John Wayne once said, “Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. It comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.” Here’s to learning from last year, and letting go and starting with a fresh clean slate. Wishing you health, happiness, wholeness and hope in the New Year! They are all yours for the taking. You just have to decide you want them. Clean up what’s on your plate, so that you can start your year with a clean slate.
Cynthia Chirinda Hakutangwi is an Organisational and Personal Development Consultant, a Life Coach, Author, and Strategist. Her latest book, “The Connection Factor: Unlocking your Individual potential through your Connections,” provides some relational nuggets to individuals who seek to establish meaningful, relevant and fulfilling relationships that can unlock their potential. Looking at improving your career, personal effectiveness, communication skills, relationships, focus, faith and happiness? Wholeness Incorporated Coaching offers you strategies you can implement today to achieve your goals. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. LinkedIn: Cynthia Chirinda Hakutangwi. Mobile: 263 717 013 206
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