One of my favorite quotes by Maya Angelou gives us a timely reminder that our mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive. Yet even with the best of intentions, we can find ourselves stagnant, catering to the demands of our daily grind — unconsciously going through the motions of our routines and giving little attention to the things we say we desire the most.
The way I see it, thriving is an empowered way of living — one that cultivates awareness, builds confidence, and embraces personal growth. It’s about transformation instead of resolution. With a proactive spirit and the willingness to look within, YOU have everything it takes to refresh your intentions for 2018 and actively create the life you truly desire.
Here are a few strategies to help get you started:
Recapping the highlights for 2017 isn’t just reserved for the sports networks and Hollywood stars. As hard as it might be to toot your own horn, this is your time to celebrate and shine. Acknowledging your personal progress and achievements, no matter how big or small they may seem, will help spark an attitude of gratitude and stir up some positive motivation to propel you forward. So, be proud of yourself and start adding up your wins! Get clear about how you made success happen in the past and how you can build on these victories as you move into the new year.
When looking back to reflect on this past year, not all the pieces may look pretty. There are real-life situations that conjure up feelings of failure, heartache, disappointment, and regret. Who really wants to sit around and think about that? But the truth is that ALL experiences in your life are valuable to your personal growth, if you choose to see them that way. I always tell my clients, “There’s no such thing as failure, only feedback.” Examining what didn’t go so well, and why, can help you know what to do (or not do) next. So before you discard the old and move on to the new, make sure to explore the valuable lessons that lie within.
As you step into a fresh season of renewed intention, it’s important that you renew your mindset as well. If we want to be successful in any area of life, we must be careful not to perpetuate negative patterns of thinking.
Your thoughts are extremely powerful. They quickly fuel doubt, shame, and offense. Your mindset has the ability to move you ahead or cause you to play small. What you think drives how you feel, and how you feel drives what you do, which ultimately determines the outcomes you get in life (both good and bad).
So, be on the lookout for any stinkin’ thinkin’ — yours or someone else’s — so you can make the very next thought something positive and true about the best you.
Resolve to rise above petty issues and see the joys that surround you. When focused on toxic people or the petty stuff, we are robbed of valuable energy and time that could be better spent on our goals and the things that really matter most.
Reclaim your energy and time by refusing to tolerate things that do not contribute positively to your life. I know this sounds easier said than done, but it’s so important to release hard feelings so they don’t weigh you down.
As we get older, we get a better idea of who we are, who we want to be, and who we need in our lives to be happy. The same applies to not only people but also the things we do. Whatever doesn’t make you happy needs to go. No more mediocre in 2018!
As we grow, often our goals, dreams, and aspirations grow, too. Now might be the perfect time to upgrade your vision. Take a moment to examine your heart — what do you want to be, do, or have in your life? Once you have clarity about the outcomes you desire, dig further to flush out WHY you want them — it’s critical to know your motivation.
Don’t just think about what you want from the new year, but write it down on paper. Then turn each aspiration into tiny bite-size goals (doable steps of action) that focus on HOW to get there. Now if you really want to supercharge your intentions and maintain focus on your dreams, I encourage you to make a vision board — a board that visually displays of images that represent your goals and desires — they’re powerful and fun.
Remember the new year is not only the perfect opportunity to take stock of your wardrobe, but also the perfect time to turn your reflections inward to take a real hard look at your life. It’s up to each of us, no matter what age or stage, to keep our spirits open to learning and decide how we will live.
If you want to be happy, you have to choose to be happy on purpose. The choice is yours. In 2018, will you survive — drift through your days and let life happen to you — or thrive by creating a life filled with passion and purpose? Let’s thrive together!
Nicole Pillow welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.