New Year, New You?

This seems to be the phrase going around at the moment and I’m not sure how I feel about it. There are so many things that it conjures up for me. The expectation that as it’s a new year everything that was bad about last year will have miraculously disappeared overnight. Or that the things I struggled to find the motivation to overcome last year I will suddenly be inspired to push through.

Of course it does happen, we may feel a renewed energy or determination to do something. We come up with new year resolutions and goals that give us the vision for a different, better year ahead. I’m all for goals – have always been but I am beginning to become more cynical about the fulfilment of those goals.

As a parent we are constantly challenged by the new battles ahead. Our children, or teenagers (as ours are now), certainly keep us on our toes. As much as I try and plan a course of action it’s invariably thwarted in some way.

I do know that having no goals doesn’t help either. Just drifting through each year expecting things to change without any intention. I prefer to have new year intentions than resolutions. For many years now I have done an exercise each year that helps me to focus that intention. If you’ve read my blogs for any length of time you’ll probably have already heard this – but I like to have a one-word goal for each year.

I find that the practice of deciding on that word, thinking through the connotations of that word and then seeing it unfold throughout the year keeps me on some track towards where I want to be.

Each year has been a different word and some years by the end I can see how it has changed me, other years I know I’ve not achieved what I wanted but either way I have grown. I’ve not become discouraged by a list of lose weight, get fit goals and resolutions that always make me feel guilty when I don’t achieve them.

Last year my word was Celebration. I felt that I wasn’t really appreciating my life as best as I could. Throughout the year this worked itself out in small steps, tiny acknowledgements of what I’m grateful for. There were no big parties or celebrations which is what I thought might happen, but a quiet appreciation of what is good in my life. It was a particularly difficult year in many ways, but I was still able to take those moments to live in the now and to be thankful for what I do have.

This coming year is a strange one for me. It feels like I’m at a bit of a crossroads and there are two words that keep coming up for me. They are Surrender or Fight. Both are important and I’m not choosing one over the other but I’m trusting that I will journey through these two conflicting ideas and there will be times when I need to surrender, other times when I need to fight and some times when I might do both.

So wherever you’re at right now, whether you want a new year, new you or not I would encourage you to set an intention, a word or phrase that will keep you on track to where you want to be at the end of this year. When it gets tough remember any tiny step forward is a step in the right direction.

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Nicola Marshall

With over 13 years working in personal development Nicola Marshall has attained numerous skills and a genuine care for others. She is a fully trained coach, adoptive parent as well as the founder of Brave Heart Education.
Nicola Marshall
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