Welcome to 2018! I love fresh starts and find myself naturally settling into the rhythms of new weeks, months and years.
Last year I was in my second year of therapy and one thing we worked on was connecting to my values in order to move forward with changes I was trying to make in my life (health, job, etc). I realised over time that the key ingredient was integrity and that I (surprisingly) lacked this trait.
It can be confronting to realise what is standing in your way, but I choose to see things for how they really are and could not deny that I lacked follow through on things that I know I wanted or needed, but that were scary or uncomfortable.
I am using Brene Brown’s definition of integrity from her book Rising Strong: “integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast or easy; choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.”
When I was focusing on reconnecting to my values at the end of 2017 I was able to re-commit to exercise for the first time in ages (most weeks I stuck to the 3 classes I wanted to attend) and improved my eating. Losing the first 10 pounds finally after “wanting to lose the weight I had gained in 2016-2017” was the encouragement I needed to really start pushing through that discomfort that comes up when routines are new, skills are weak, and stakes feel high.
So here I am in January after a year mostly spent on laying foundations and getting strong in myself. I am ready to get clear on what I want and need and then follow through.
I have a list of goals / plans in various areas of life (health, creative, business, personal…) whereas I usually have more general aims and then make it up as I go along through the year.
While it can seem like “too much” I feel comfortable making these plans because I have run them through the filter of my values and what I TRULY want to do. Some of the goals have been hanging over my head for ages (hello Photoshop and InDesign – I AM going to learn how to use you!) and others are about using what I have (reading books I already own rather than accumulating more) or regaining lost ground (getting back to being able to run 10km and fit into my smaller clothes instead of continuing to buy “just a few” bigger items).
I have spent a lot of time figuring this out and my support words are:
curiosity – focus on progress and process rather than product; play and experiment; beginner’s mind. The point is to take all the pressure off and just dive in with things that have intimidated me in the past.
resilience – fail forward (don’t see failure as an end result, but rather a step in the journey) and have compassion for myself, celebrate steps forward no matter how small
courage – push through discomfort; don’t abandon plans or make excuse on the hard days
I will share more in my next post about the things I have created to keep my word close to me and help me along including a mandala, a new vision canvas and a special book inspired by a film I saw.
Have you chosen a word for 2018?
Love and light,
*This post contains an affiliate link to Book Depository. I only ever recommend / link to books that I have bought myself and want to share.