“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
I’ve always loved this L.M. Montgomery quote from Anne of Green Gables, but I think it is particularly poignant at the start of each new year. Compound that this year with the start of a new decade and it is an empowering idea.
I am a huge believer in personal transformation and growth. I have not only reinvented myself in the past by changing my name, but we decided to upgrade Holistic Whole Health to Health Harmonized. Change, growth, transformation, learning, upgrading, and the like are all words that mean living to me. To be alive is to be constantly in motion, constantly growing and changing.
So, how do we honor our past while striving toward a brighter future? There are several ways to do this, I think. Gratitude practice has been life-changing for me. The act of making sure I fall asleep each night feeling immensely grateful for at least 5 things from that day or in my life in general has allowed me to work through and release some old traumas and truly appreciate my here and now.
Additionally, I have found it helpful for clients and myself to think often how you wouldn’t be the person you were today if not for your yesterdays. The idea of a butterfly fluttering its wings in Africa and causing a tornado in Kansas has merit not only in the interconnectedness of our physical world but also in our personal timelines. Have a terrible breakup with an ex that shattered you? Think about how you now would do things differently and how you respect yourself more than before. You may have achieved that growth without the breakup, but you may not have. Even something like procrastinating on finishing your business’s newsletter (case in point: me) and feeling frustrated you are hurrying to write something no one may even read changes who I am tomorrow and leads to transformations. Appreciate it all, even while you are mired in the muck of suffering through it. You are changing. Sometimes it is painful.
Ringing in the new you this new year
So let’s get to the crux of this post. It is the new year (and new decade!), and you are motivated for empowerment through metamorphosis. Me too!
Rather than the typical new year’s resolutions of losing weight, eating better, and exercising more, why not choose a different habit to incorporate that could change your life and the lives of others and lead you to making the choices leading to losing weight, eating better, and exercising more (and other typical resolution goals from a different path).
For example, what if you chose to do one selfless act of kindness each day? The ideas of how you could achieve this are endless, but one could be helping someone struggling to get into a store or corral their children. This could have you running over to help and moving some. Or perhaps your relatives with children need some time off without the kids. You could offer to take the kids to the park and help them run off some energy. Or maybe a neighbor lost a loved one recently. You could take the time to make them a few meals using recipes you’ve never tried that have healthy ingredients. This might even lead you to taking a cooking class on how to make fermented foods or more vegetable-forward dishes. I think you get the idea of what I am suggesting. By doing one selfless act of kindness daily, you would not only affect the lives of 365 people, but you will be discovering things you may not have known you could do or like.
Here are more resolution ideas:
- Practice gratitude every night
- Keep a journal or diary
- Volunteer at least monthly at a different charity
- Become a big brother or sister
- Volunteer to foster an animal or help at a rescue or shelter
- Do one act of selfless kindness daily (or weekly or monthly)
- Coach a sports team or play on a sports team and support the team off the field
- Talk to yourself with the love you’d show a wounded child at all times
- Actively change the station (or lift the needle for those who know records) when you get stuck in a groove of negativity
- Take time every month to forgive someone who wronged you
- Take time every month to apologize to someone you wronged
- De-clutter your home and consider having a Feng Shui consultation
- Help someone else de-clutter their home
- Support a worthy cause and get involved in your government to enact change
- Read one new book on a subject you don’t know anything about each month
These are just a few ideas. Get creative and find something that inspires you and go out and inspire others. You have the power to change yourself from moment to moment. You are not a fixed quantity that will always be the same unless you choose to be stagnant.
A final idea
Rather than making a resolution, perhaps consider conducting a year-end review. In this time, you look at really clarifying what your core values are and setting both long and short term goals for yourself. I also highly encourage you to create a personal mission statement that resonates with you and can be applied to all aspects of your life form work to interactions to leisure time. Let me share my Integrity Report from last year to give a real-world example.
My Integrity Report form 2018
Personal Mission Statement: I am joyfully committed to exploring the magical interconnectivity of life with humor, audacity, and beneficence for myself and others.
Section 1 – What are the core values that drive my life?
Servant Leadership (contribution, love, beneficence, knowledge, wisdom)
- Am I contributing to the world or just consuming it?
- Am I expressing unconditional love and beneficence for myself and others?
- Am I increasing my knowledge and wisdom?
Joy (humor, happiness, play)
- Am I able to see the humor in life?
- Am I giving myself permission to be happy with where I am right now?
- Am I taking time out to play?
Health (mindfulness, preparedness, strength)
- Am I practicing mindfulness and living in the moment?
- Am I prepared for unexpected challenges?
- Am I mentally and physically strong?
Audacity (authenticity, boldness, self-respect)
- Am I authentic with myself and others or am I pretending to be someone I am not?
- Am I boldly facing life and its challenges?
- Am I showing myself respect by honoring and walking in my light?
Beauty (creativity, poise, interconnectivity)
- Am I engaging in creative activities daily?
- Am I able to stay focused and poised even when things go wrong?
- Am I sharing my gifts?
Section 2 – How am I living with integrity now?
- I have almost finished with NITE and the first level of Polarity Therapy.
- I have also written articles monthly (often ahead of time) and have added the Natural Solutions for section.
- I have also maintained my newsletter schedule.
- During my health crisis, I have maintained a positive attitude and have been able to laugh at myself and my weaknesses.
- I was able to find the happiness in the little victories and improvements in my health.
- I had a good deal of playtime, especially when the pain was horrible.
- I learned about yoga nidra and also did more research on other mindfulness practices. Roy and I had a good few months working on manifesting.
- I have been stretching on average of 3-5 times a week. I am up and walking with the walker and have started small trips with walking on my own.
- We started working on our Family Emergency Manual.
- I lost about 30 pounds and have gotten better about fasting.
- I have started speaking my truth to others more often and not feeling shaky or ashamed or guilty—in fact, the response has been better than expected.
- I have practiced singing 2-4 times every week, on average.
- I have had practice sessions where I was able to allow things to be free and easy. I have had sessions where it sucked, but I kept at it.
- I have started singing in front of Roy again.
Section 3 – How can I set a higher standard in the future?
Question my limiting beliefs. If I want to build a successful business that reaches a lot of people, I need to get over myself, check my ego at the door and realize all of my excuses are just well-dressed lies. If I want to be a singer, I need to stop pretending I don’t know what I am doing, take responsibility for practicing daily, and get back out there as soon as I am able to. I also need to stop hiding my light or pretending it doesn’t burn brightly. I am amazing, talented, and brilliant and I do not have to apologize or feel guilty over being so. My light does not diminish anyone else’s, no matter what they may say.
Stop acting like a victim and get to where I want. I procrastinate. I am good about some things, but those things that might get me where I want to be (like singing, exercising, meditating, and studying daily) are often put off or seen as chores. I am in control of my life, and I need to act like it. I often act like I do not have time or energy, but those are excuses and I need to shine the light on them and dispel their darkness.
Finish, finish, finish. Often, I feel like I never finish anything. That is because I often don’t. Although things come easy, as I get older, I frequently stop anything that is difficult. I avoid and bury my head in the sand. No more. I want to finish things. School and polarity therapy are soon.
Build Holistic Whole Health. There are several ways I can reach a larger audience. Starting a YouTube channel would be helpful. Getting some speaking engagements is another important one. Meeting other local businesses would be good too. Publishing a book or two would also allow me to reach more people and have a higher credibility level.
Short-Term (this year)
- Sing daily
- Study 4 times a week
- German and Italian daily
- Swim 3 times a week
- Stretch daily
- Sun 3 times a week during the season
- Do a mindfulness practice 5 times a week
- Coach at least once a month
- Continue excelling with my newsletter and blog
Long-Term (this year and beyond)
- Apply to local musical groups
- Book 1 audition by the end of 2019
- Speak at 3 outside engagements
- Meet businesses in my complex and nearby
- Finish NITE
- Finish Polarity Therapy years
- Make 10 videos
- Write a health book
- Get opera meetup working
The Bottom Line
The purpose of this report is to hold myself accountable to those small errors, avoid the tiny lapses in judgment, and ask questions that will help me raise the bar. I still have a long way to go, but if I can maintain the things that are going well and commit to one or two areas of improvement, then I should be able to deliver an even better me with each day.
Working with an integrity report
I will create a new integrity report tweaking and considering how to keep improving myself each year.
For more details about how to create your own integrity report, these are two links I found helpful: