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We're quickly approaching a new year and with that (for a lot of folks), comes resolutions.
People all over the world are making commitments to themselves, to either quit, start, or shift something in their lives.
And for most of these people, they're gonna come in hot, but fizzle out fast.
So, in today's post I want to give you a checklist to see if you're even READY for these changes, and share a few pointers for holding yourself to your commitments.
Welcome to the blog & podcast, Unlocking Wellness! I’m Crystal McLain, curator of Crystal McLain Creative, an online resource that supports folks who are ready to get creative with the care of their mind, body, and mother-lovin’ soul.
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Alright. Let's get to it.
So, I'll be honest, this is probably the first year in my life when I've actually made a resolution flavored commitment with myself.
*And I'll be sharing these personal commitments with the Dream Team over at Patreon.
But, yeah, it's the first time I've drank the New Year's Koolaid, and have gotten on board with this new-year-new-goals thing. And the reason WHY I'm hopping aboard is because it's the first time in my nearly 45 years of life, that I feel CONFIDENT in myself, in my power, and in my choices.
So, it's the first time I've actually felt ready.
But how do you know when you're ready?
Well, I think feeling ready is going to feel a little different for everyone, but these five cues are what tipped me off.
1. I found peace with myself as I am
In my previous life, the only reason to change something about myself, was based on the idea that there was something wrong with me, something that needed fixing.
But I've come to a place in my life, where I've truly accepted myself as I am, flaws and all. And not only do I accept myself, but I also like, and I love myself! So, these changes I'm going to make are based solely on the fact that I want to support the healthiest version myself, so I can live the best life possible.
2. I established healthy coping tools
I've been slowly replacing one unhealthy coping tool at a time, with something more soothing, empowering, or productive.
I'm at a place right now, where I feel confident enough to deal with life's challenges without causing more stress for myself. Because, honestly, that's what my old coping tools used to do.
They only gave me a temporary distraction from my problems, and left me feeling weak and ashamed. And that's a hard place to create positive change. I know there's a time and a pace for self soothing, self discipline, and everything in between. And I feel like I have access to all of them now.
3. I'm keenly aware of my needs and patterns
Being able to recognize my weak spots, and utilize my assets is like learning a MF magic trick!
I've accepted the fact that we all have deficits. I know what circumstances cause me to not be at my best, and that it's okay to not always be my best. But, on the other side of that coin are my strengths - and knowing how to apply them.
4. I've embraced challenge
No one said life was gonna be easy, so I'm not sure why I kept expecting it to be.
Life is a revolving door of mishaps and challenges, and it's up to me to figure out how to roll with them.
Is this stressful and exhausting? Yes.
Can I expect to face problems until the day I die? Most likely.
So, it's in my best interest to accept these facts, and be a clever monkey and learn how to adapt or deal with them.
5. I'm excited to get to work
Honestly, I just feel kinda done with some things in my life and I'm ready to let them go. The idea of embarking on a fresh transformation, feels exciting to me. I can't wait to see what hurdles I face, and how I problem solve around them. I can't wait to witness the process of reconstructing myself and my life.
It's so cool that we have that power! We have the power to make choices, and sometimes even the smallest choices can make a really big impact. It's fucking brilliant, and I'm totally on board.
So, those were the signs indicating that I'm ready for change. You might have different signals, or alternate versions of what I experienced. But the biggest advice I can give, is to tune into your mind, body and behaviors. Figure out what kind of mindset you're in. Figure out what you TRULY want in life, why you want it, and what it's going to to take to get it.
And if you're receiving a mind-body-soul YES, then it might be time to take action.
Great. So, how do you ensure that you stay the course and achieve your goals?
The first thing is knowing that the finish line is an illusion.
One of the classic coaching questions is, "how will you know when you've achieved your goals?"
Well, in my experience, when it comes to goals there isn't really a finish line, because you're going to have to maintain what you've just achieved. You're going to have to keep investing in this goal if you want to keep it. And life is going to keep throwing you new challenges that get in the way.
I'm not telling you this to discourage you. I promise.
I'm telling you because there's a lot of fanfare when you're getting close to your goals, and you start believing that you're almost done doing the work. But you're never done doing the work.
And that's not a bad thing.
Life is much more rich and fulfilling when we're working towards our goals, than when we're sitting idle and just wanting them.
So how will you know when you've achieved your goals? When you've accepted that there's always work to be done, but you're willing to do it.
The next step for maintaining your efforts is to develop sustainable routines.
When you're trying to create change, you have to think about how reaching your goals is going to impact your daily life. You have to be honest about what you're actually, literally, capable of achieving in a day. We only have so much time and energy, so the shifts you make in your life have to fit within the budget. Take inventory of your routines and how you spend your time. Focus on what feels supportive and sustainable. And gradually start aligning your actions so they point you in the direction you want to go.
The third step is to grieve your losses.
You can't keep living your life the way you are and expect to reach your goals. Change comes with sacrifice, and loss. And it sucks.
We feel safe and comfortable when things are familiar (even when those things aren't serving us well). And when we decide to let go of thoughts, behaviors, people, whatever, that creates a pretty big hole.
It's okay to feel sad or disappointed. It's natural.
And it's important that you take the time you need to grieve the things you've lost.
This will create the space and energy you need to start getting excited about what you'll gain.
The fourth step is trusting the process.
OMG, you see this everywhere, right? Trust the process.
Remember the illusion of the finish line? Well, this is kind of the same deal, and a really, REALLY important concept to remember. ...there will always be obstacles getting in your way.
It doesn't mean you're not deserving.
It doesn't mean you're incapable.
It doesn't mean the universe is out to get you.
It means you're a human living in a world where shit goes wrong sometimes.
And here's a bit of truth for you, with every plot twist life gives you, you get an opportunity to learn something about yourself. You get to pause, and reevaluate your situation. You get to make changes if you want to.
So yeah, trust the process. It's a long and complicated road, but one totally worth traveling.
And finally, get support.
I used to pride myself on being fiercely independent. And, I mean, I still am, but I've learned the value of having a trusted support system.
You can be a self-sufficient badass, and still ask for help.
The idea that you can rely solely on your own inspiration, motivation, and encouragement is ludicrous. I mean, every now and then you've gotta grab the jumper cables to start your car, know what I'm saying?
Anyway, this life stuff takes a lot of energy, and sometimes we just need a space we can go to where we can get reenergized about things. Also, our brains can get flooded with all sorts of thoughts and feelings that distract us from our goals. It's nice to have someone who can help straighten things out.
I hope you have such a person in your life.
But if you don't, that's what the Dream Team and I are doing for each other at Patreon. If you want to learn more about what we're doing for one another, as well as the global community, you can check out memberships at crystalmclaincreative.com.
Well, my friend, that's gonna do it for today.
Remember, it's important to love and embrace yourself AS YOU ARE.
Stay open to your possibilities, and aware of your truth. And trust that you're deserving and capable of achieving what your soul is asking for. It's going to come with a few bumps and bruises along the way, but it will be totally worth it.
I love you.
I appreciate you.
Thank you so much for being here.
I'll see you soon. Happy New Year.