As the page turns on 2013, and the world has not ended in a cataclysmic Hollywood-style disaster, it is time to set our gaze on the inevitability of next year.
Future-oriented thinking can take us out of the present moment. If you are someone who likes to plan and control the stream of your life, it requires patience and humility to drop down into the present moment. By doing so you will make peace with exactly where you are and find the freedom to move more powerfully forward.
The New Year is the perfect time to drop down into the present moment and face those things which you may have avoided throughout the last year.
Here are five tips to give you a great start to 2014:
1. Clean Out!
Start with your closet. By letting go of those old clothes, shoes, bags and other items cluttering up your closet space you will let go of the past. Holding on to things that are not of use in the present moment does you little good in the present moment. Sometimes it is hard to let go items because they represent a particular period in your life. I recommend that you keep one item from that period that essentializes the best memory you have. Let go of everything else.
I find it hard to immediately let go of things that I had a sentimental attachment to. In this case, you can create an intermediary step for letting go of those old clothes. Keep them in a suitcase or a box in the garage or spare closet. Check them again after six months and if you have not looked for any of the items or missed then, then give the whole box away.
Clean out your bathroom drawers. This is often more appropriate for women then men (at least that’s how it is in my home!) but it’s useful for everyone to check what is under the sink in the bathroom. Throw anything away that you don’t use regularly, is too old or don’t know how to use. The freedom that comes from literally getting rid of all that old, useless stuff cluttering up your home will be liberating.
Clean out your refrigerator and your pantry too. Get rid of those unhealthy snacks and unused food that is lingering. If you feel badly about throwing food out, sit at a pond and feed the ducks–they don’t mind if the bread or crackers are stale and it will provide a nice afternoon at the park.
You might even consider doing a juice fast or cleanse to start off the New Year with a healthy, clean body.
Move on to your computer and clean our your hard drive! Many people buy a new computer because their old one is running out of space or is too slow. Keeping things off your main computing device on an external hard drive will help you keep your electronics running at max capacity. If you’re not good with technology then hire someone who is– that’s a no brainer that everyone should do who uses a computer.
The other hard drive you need to clean out is the one running your life. What repetitive thoughts and programs are you running on your brain that need updating or replacing?
Use daily meditation and spiritual practice to identify your most destructive thought patterns. Sometimes looking at old photos from childhood, high school or college helps you see the patterns that are still at play. Clean out your thoughts and systematically get rid of all those unnecessary thoughts that weigh you down. Your system will run more smoothly, like your computer, once you get rid of all those heavy old programs.
2. Take Emotional Stock.
Write down the emotional journey of the year and be sure to include both the highs and the lows. If you naturally gravitate toward negativity, be sure to include the positive experiences where you did a good job. If you prefer to focus on the positive, be sure to include the moments where did not succeed. Reflect on the year and be honest with yourself. Positive thinking must take basis in the reality of the present moment.
By acknowledging where you are, you can then move more powerfully forward by integrating the lessons of the past. Do not harp on the past or belabor the point—see your mistakes and the role you played in them. Learn from them by seeing them honestly. Move on by forgiving yourself and integrating the lesson learned. Even though it might be painful at first to see where you’ve failed on the emotional scale, going through that will help you learn.
You will be stronger from the clear sight and you will learn how to never make the same mistake again. See if there is anyone you owe an apology, a thank you, a simple I love you and do it within the first month of the year.
3. Set Goals and Take Action.
Set five personal and five career goals to accomplish this year.
Write them down either on your computer or mobile device or on a clipboard at your desk. Check in on them once a month (perhaps on the new moon). See what’s not working that needs to change and what is working that can do better. What do you have left from 2013 to complete that can be cleared out to make room for the new?
In addition to the five personal and career goals, write clearly what you will do to accomplish these goals and what the universe will do for you to get these projects done. By surrendering some of the work to the power of the universe you acknowledge that you are not the sole doer. In this humility, you also realize that what you accomplish you also receive from the grace of the divine.
There is only so much that you can personally do so relax into the support of the universe that will meet you at least half way, or perhaps more!
4. Give thanks.
Gratitude is an important emotion to unlocking inner happiness. Practice being thankful for the blessings that you do have. Take nothing for granted. Thank the first breath of the new year. Be thankful for your health, for your family’s health, for the love that you have experienced. Be thankful for the abundance that you do have, for the energy flow that is present in your life.
By practicing being grateful for the small moments that are currently present in your life you will naturally build an attraction for more things to be grateful for. Focusing on gratitude should be a real emotion, not something imagined so pick something you are truly grateful for and start there. Even if it is the smallest thing in the world if you are truly grateful for it it is a blessing.
Focusing on gratitude will change the quality of your mental and emotional vibration and open your mind up to success and happiness in the new year.
5. Treat Yourself.
What’s the indulgence that you have wanted to make time for but haven’t gotten around to it? Do you want a massage, an acupuncture treatment, a session with a life coach, a mani/pedi or a trip to India? Check your budget and see what you can responsibly treat yourself to–then call and make the appointment.
If you’ve been missing your close friends, see if they’d like to join you on the adventure. If you’ve been craving personal time, go by yourself and re-charge. Taking care of yourself allows you to replenish you energy reserves and recharge your vital life essence.
Take the time for yourself.
~ Ed: Lacy Rae Ramunno/Bryonie W.
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