We should constantly be redefining ourselves, continuing to move towards the aspirations and dreams we have. We shouldn't limit ourselves to waiting for a new year, new month or new week to make the changes that we long to see. Start your journey now and continue to seek greatness. Understand that you're the one that will shape your future.
I spent the last days of 2014 by the ocean, a place where I'm most at peace. Instead of making resolutions for the year to come, I spent sacred time reflecting on the past months to see what patterns had emerged, how I felt about them and how I can use those reflections to continue working towards living a balanced life that I love. Here are some lessons I've learned from the past year and aspirations I hope to continue to work towards in 2015. Hopefully they're just as applicable to your life and the things you long for in order to be the best version of yourself.
After reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (100% recommended), it really changed the way that thought about how we operate in life and why it's sometimes so difficult to escape routines that we've been trying to stop forever. Instead of making goals or resolutions, try focusing on creating habits. It can be overwhelming to stick to 5 new goals and to attempt to tackle them all at once. Instead intensely focus on one new habit (or on changing one old habit) until it becomes automatic, then try another. It will be simpler than you think.
Find Time To Ditch Technology
Of course, we're almost always connected to some form of technology... our cell phones, laptops, iPads, the list goes on. One of the downsides of always being connected is that it takes away the joy of being completely present where you are. It detracts from the importance of human connection, the feeling of actually embracing and appreciating the person in front of you.
Leaving technology behind can be hard, so start with small steps. Leave your phone at home if you're only going somewhere 5 minutes away. Put it out of sight and on silent while you're sitting down for lunch with someone. Delete some of the apps that you know are just distractions — trust me, whoever commented on your Facebook post can wait until you get to a computer. Start small and soon you'll feel a certain lightness in not always feeling obligated to be connected to the web.
Surround Yourself With People That Inspire You
We all know the saying, "You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with," but sometimes it's easy to forget how much truth it holds. It's easy to get caught up in feeling obliged to spend time with people who you might not really want to spend time with. I encourage you to break that habit. Spend time with those that inspire you, who encourage you to be your authentic self, those who urge you to live the life you actually want to be living. Surround yourself with individuals that are filled with love and who want to help you grow.
So many of us have endless projects, ideas, articles, art that we've begun (or even completed) but have yet to share with the world. It's so common to keep personal works to ourselves because we're afraid, because we feel like "it's not ready yet," because we're hesitant to see whether it will be accepted or not. Don't let that overwhelming feeling hinder you or your creativity. Whether you feel like your work is perfect or not, it's so important to share. Share your process. Post the things you feel passionate about. Allow others to see your work and allow yourself to be receptive to feedback. It will only lead to growth.
Be Open To Love
In this day and age, sadly enough, love can seem like such a stigma. We're all hesitant to say what we feel, to be open to love. We're afraid of being vulnerable, we're hyperconscious of what others might think. More than anything, let's break this tradition of thinking that love is dead. If anything, now, we need love more than ever. So, I encourage you to openly love. To redefine what love means to you. To take time and space to love yourself, your friends, your partner, a stranger. Let love manifest in all the ways that it can and it will make a difference in your life and in the lives of others.
What are some things that you're working towards in the near future?
"For what it's worth... it's never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best of the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it.
I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you've never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of, and if you're not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald