Were the holidays not as cracked up as you’d have liked them to be? Did they leave you feeling stuck, depressed, and uninspired to make a fresh start with all the goals your heart would love to achieve in 2019?
I hear you.
I watched loved ones’ worlds shatter from losing their loved ones, both young and old, and I myself struggled with wanting a few of my loved ones to operate in a particular way, in order for me to feel good. I also had several clients experiencing an extra heavy heart over break-ups, or what felt like perpetual single-dom.
Even as a heartbreak coach, I notice how I’ll still automatically look for ways to cure my pain outside of myself, whether that’s wanting others to change, reaching for that extra glass of cab I don’t need, or buying myself another Anthropologie top I could use like a hole in my head, so that I can “feel better.”
But at the end of the day, those fun treats — though harmless, and yes, fun — are merely band-aids that provide a temporary fix to cover over what really needs to be dealt with, both consciously and directly! So, where do we go from here?
1. Allow the anger and sadness to move through you
This isn’t the fun part of processing circumstances out of our control, but leaning into the excruciating discomfort gives our bodies and hearts permission to consciously grieve, instead of suppressing undeniable emotions we inevitably experience as human beings. The more we resist the more things persist!
Whether you’re grieving the loss of a loved one or hurting over a broken relationship, cultivating self-compassion for whatever feelings come up instead of judging yourself for them is an invitation for a softening of the heart during a vulnerable time. A simple practice I offer my clients is to find stillness, place your hand on your heart and just breathe. Two of my favorite go-to mantras I’ll silently repeat are, “Claire, I love you. You’re doing great” or, “Just this” — the latter reminds me that all the mind drama isn’t real, sitting in present awareness is.
3. Talk to a professional
Of course having trusted sister-friends to lift us up is imperative, but making a commitment to working with a reputable life coach or therapist will not only help heal your past, but also will help you get clear on how you want to show up in your present and future. Having a safe and non-judgmental space to unload all that your heavy heart and mind are carrying will free you up for step four!
4. Pick ONE big resolution
I was just there last year — I wanted to meet The One, go on a big cleanse, build my coaching business, AND continue to pursue acting. The best advice I got from my life coach was to pick one goal. This isn’t because we’re not capable of managing multiple resolutions, but the likelihood is that we’ll have little movement in all areas because our energy and focus will be scattered.
Choosing multiple areas of growth sets you up for failure. Making it easy to stop working on your body when it feels “too hard” because you’re finding yourself stressed about work, so all you want to do is go back to said extra glass of cabernet to feel better will leave you wondering where your results are come June.
5. Make a Commitment
So, you’ve picked one goal — now what? Make a list of all the actionable steps you need to bring this New Year’s resolution into fruition! Notice the resistant thoughts like “What’s going to be different about this year if I couldn’t do it last year?”
Our thoughts create our reality. If you decide it’s too hard or you can’t, then you won’t! Our brains are actually more comfortable in the discomfort of struggling financially or being single. It’s what we know, so reaching for the snooze button instead of getting up to work out is much easier to keep repeating.
Re-training the brain to think differently, and therefore feel differently, and then behave differently is going to be a challenge. Remember your desired outcome. How committed are you to making it happen? Your commitment has to be as strong, if not stronger, than your desire! Here’s to making 2019 your best year YET.