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Wanting the best ever 2016?

Christmas day has come and gone, and our thoughts start shifting to New Year’s Eve. As the pace slows, many of us may find we’re craving physical and emotional renewal before the whole life circuit picks up pace again in early January.

A time of reflection, when we may ask ourself what our New Year resolution is going to be? New Year resolutions are a time old tradition where we make a promise to improve ourself somehow, or make a difference in some way to the lives of others.

A yearning for some aspects of our life to be different from what they currently are!

I know that I would really like to exercise more and start feeling the benefit of a healthier lifestyle in the New Year. I’d also like to build Mindful practice into my days. Just imagining myself a few kilos lighter, fitter, stronger and calmer makes me feel a kind of contentment!

I believe that we’re all searching for this contentment, a feeling in life where we’re at ease and satisfied with what we have and where we’re at with our choices. A kind of balanced feeling which brings with it a sense that different areas of our lives are being given the right amount of attention. Contentment and balance tend to go hand in hand because feeling balanced may help us to feel content.

People who live healthier and more balanced lifestyles tend to feel more of this contentment and their satisfaction with life improves over time – so it’s no wonder that we keep making promises to ourselves to change in some way, and start a New Year with some kick start goals to fill this ‘contentment gap’!

Setting goals and promises for ourselves is one thing, but actually following through and reaching them is another thing entirely! I recall one year signing up to the gym, and went only a handful of times the whole year!

So how can we live up to our promises in the New Year?

(1) A huge tip is to have the end in mind before you start!

In the words of Denis Waitley, ‘the reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as being believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them’.

(2) Remember to have a very clear image of what you’re wanting and be very specific in the words you use/write them down

Make sure the promises you make to yourself are realistic for you and decide how long you’re going to be working on them. Break them down into smaller bits, and focus on the detail. Very importantly, think about how you’re going to hold yourself accountable, whether you need someone to support you along the way and how you’re going to celebrate when you finally tick off that goal?

(3) Success in sticking to our promises is the sum of our small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out!
It comes down to building small habits that become routine in our day, and over time wired into our brains. From feeling grateful that we have the power to choose to make the effort.

In the next few days as the countdown to 2016 ticks along, I encourage you to start thinking about the promises you want to make to yourself, and to ponder these questions at the same time:-

• What things in your life are you grateful for?
• What are you most proud of in what you achieved in 2015?
• Imagine it’s December 2016, what 3 things do you want to be able to say to yourself about your year?
• In what life role would you like to see changes? Your family, friendships, health, self-care, finances, work or study?
• How can you shine up your goal? Give it a catchy name that you’ll remember – write it down and put it in a place where you see it every day!
• What five things can you do daily to help you build habits that support your goal?
• What difference would it make to you if you were able to find a sense of contentment and balance in how you choose to live your life?
• Who can you share your goal with? What ideas do you have to keep yourself on track?
• On a scale of 1 – 10, how committed are you to your promise this New Year?

I wish you every success and contentment along the way. May the New Year bring you everything you dream of and more!
Cheers Alison

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