Do you feel overwhelmed by January? If you feel like the pressure to get fit, detox or totally change your life is mounting up around you, stop, take a step back. There is a way to move forward without pressure, stress or overwhelm – and the best part is, you don’t even have to leave your house to start.
I’m not a big fan of New year resolutions and the extra pressure they bring in to our lives. However, without doubt, January does brings with it, a blast of energy and urge for renewal and ‘self improvement’. It’s this very energy that I believe can be harnessed to create big changes. Now that can be really powerful.
I’m all about taking the stress OUT of living, not adding to it.
My advice? If you are in a state of overwhelm with it all – go deeper first.
Try and follow this four step action plan that I believe anyone can do. It’s sort of a detox – but not as you know it. You don’t have to leave your house to start it (if you don’t want to that is). It’s just about putting your mindset in the right state first. Starting 2018 with a great mindset is one of the best things you can do – everything else will come from that – the new exercise routine, the weight loss and maybe even the new job!
1. Ditch the toxins – with breathing.
Breathe out all the toxins and negativity. Take a moment to sit calmly then try and visualise all the things you consider as toxins in your life – when you breath out release hold of them. Let them go and see how different you feel and how much stronger you feel. It’s a simple exercise but if you allow yourself to do this for just 5 minutes a day you are freeing your mind and opening it up to greater possibilities. Think of it as a mind de-cluttering exercise. I’d personally couple this with an actual declutter of the home – it’s a powerful duo.
2. Ditch the inner critic. Be kind – to yourself.
Talking to yourself in positive ways is something we don’t tend to do naturally. So try examining closely the way you think about yourself, do you have a “story” you tell yourself or unflattering vocabulary or phrases you use about yourself? I’m talking about that little nagging voice. Try changing the criticism to praise, imagine you are talking to your best friend and see how different that internal voice becomes. Kindness and compassion (for ourselves) are real life superpowers that we all have at our fingertips. Use them, say them out loud, they are there, they just need to be uncovered sometimes (step 1 and step 3 can help with this).
3. Ditch the past. Yes – it is time.
Now this is quite a biggy, I grant you. However, many of our problems and day to day worries are often based on the results of past experiences. Try laying those to rest and see how different you feel and how much lighter you can approach today and tomorrow and all the new experiences that 2018 has in store for you. Don’t fall in to the trap of thinking because things turned out one way last year, it means the same will happen again. It won’t, because you are the one in control. You have a choice.
4. Ditch living on auto-pilot.
Remember everything is connected! I’m referring here to the Mind, Body, Spirit axis. Your health can be improved in a multitude of ways, so if you didn’t manage to get out to do that 5K run today (and why would you – it’s freezing!) do something else that makes you feel good. It could be something really simple. Try mindfulness. This is such a simple technique that you can start to discover today. There is nothing hard or mysterious about it – it’s just you engaging with your surroundings, your body, your breath – in the moment. If you think about it, being on auto-pilot is a huge waste of our precious time on earth! Make your minutes, hours and days count and you can start that right now! Try looking up and noticing something new – be it a smell, a sound, a feeling on your skin or the way you are breathing or even sitting (are you actually comfortable with your neck at that angle?).
These 4 steps might seem challenging to some and simple to others. I encourage you to try each one, it is about going deep I know, but it’s a great place to start.
They are things that we can all do, they are things within our reach but most importantly, they have the power to make 2018 your best year yet.