30 Jan FOUR Aspects of LIVING a New Year
A calendar new year has just begun. We spend time and energy deciding how to celebrate and who to celebrate with and hopefully we have fun or find joy in whichever way we celebrate. As well we often set resolutions for the year with gusto but often we have not really taken the time to reflect on what would we really like do differently, and when does it make sense for us to make these changes. Every 12 months we go through the season changes, work reviews, budget planning, our children`s school year calendar or our own school year calendar, wedding anniversaries, moving anniversaries, possible passport renewals and we have birthdays. So where exactly does YOUR personal new year begin?
For me, I look at my year beginning on my birth date. For me this is quite easy as I was born in January. I extend my Christmas holiday season right up to my birthday. Between the calendar New Year and my birthday I spend the weeks cleaning up loose ends from the year before, perhaps even clean out a closet or two or my office to make way for the new energy of my next year of living. Yes that is LIVING not life. I choose to LIVE my years in awareness and joy.
I am not great at setting New Year`s resolutions but I am fond of reflecting on my past year of Life and looking forward to what new aspects of life I want to experience as my birthday comes around. I usually set some sort of objective for my physical well being, target a course or two for my professional & mental development, delve deeper into a form of daily or weekly spiritual practice to centre my mind so that I move more freely throughout the year, and finally I take stock of my emotional self.
Looking at these 4 Aspects of LIVING: Physical, Mental, Emotional and the Spiritual self, are key to LIVING life fully. As each year passes we cannot take back what transpired in the past, but we have the choice to do things differently in our year ahead. If looking at all four aspects seems like a lot of work, then choose one and give yourself plenty of time to make the shift you desire. Sometimes I have an idea of what I want to do differently but I am not exactly sure how to make it happen.
I let this notion sit at the back of my brain and I bring it forward to contemplate when I am out for a run. Thoughts come to me and plans can be made while I am out in nature, away from my office, desk and home. It might take several of these “away ventures” for the pieces to come together and my objective to take shape. It might be totally clear on my birthday, but it usually becomes more clear a few weeks later. When I let this process happen, I find my objectives are more clear and they are something that I truly desire. This allows me to set satisfying goals that are usually obtainable and rewarding to me.
Adding to your current routine or pool of life can be gradual. Sometimes major shifts are too daunting and thus we never get them started or the change is so drastic that we do not enjoy the process and are not successful in integrating the shift we desire. Thus the proverbial “baby steps” will lead you lasting successful shifts. I also like to review my intentions for the year every few months. This gives me the opportunity to be proactive with either changing my objective if it seems to be causing me great stress, or tweak my objective as perhaps the result I am looking for has now moved me into a new direction.
External factors come into play here as well. There are some things in life that are out of our control, and it is important to amend your objectives if there is an external factor that makes you original objective seem insignificant or truly unattainable. If this happens, I never throw my original objective out with the bath water. Instead I keep my objective but I scale it back. And if there is some unforeseeable event that happens, it usually means that I have to RE-BALANCE my objectives in my 4 aspects. Usually one of them has to be scaled back but then another needs to be scaled up in order for me to manage this unforeseeable event with a positive and open attitude.
Enjoy YOUR year, whenever that may begin and keep balance in your sight.
Balance on my Friends ….