Happy New Year everyone!
When a new year begins, it is a good time to stop and reflect on the year which has just past and what we would like to change. What would we like to change about ourselves, about our jobs, about our home, our family, our environment?
We usually find that exterior changes are easier to make than internal ones. We sometimes make New Year’s Resolutions and don’t always follow through on them. They are resolutions made without much resolve.
I found a system which seems to work to help me to achieve my goals, because it gets the universe helping me. It is a bit more complicated than making a new year’s resolution, but I think it’s worth it.
There are two aspects you need to consider whenever you are planning for the future:
- Your values
- Your goals
Most people focus on number 2, but forget about number 1. Your values will always get in the way, however, if you don’t take them into consideration. I will give you a couple of examples.
Say that your goal is to make a real lot of money. You take a really high paying job, but you find that it makes you work 60 hours per week. If you value helping your children with their homework, this job is likely to interfere with that. You are likely to become irritable or depressed. It is possible that your children will react to your negative energy with bad behaviour, which may lead to you being grateful for the extended time away from them, but if your values haven’t changed, there will continue to be a build up of stress in your body. This stress is likely to either be stored in your body or released as rage or tears.
If, say, your goal is to give up smoking, but you value the feeling of peace which you think it gives you, you are unlikely to succeed at this resolution.
It is always best to identify your values, first, in relation to each area of your life, for example: family, love life, friends, work, spirituality, body, leisure activities, the world at large.
In relation to your family, for instance, what do you value about your role in the family, and what do you value about each other person’s role in the family?
In relation to your love life, similarly what do you value about yourself in your current or future relationship, and what do you, or would you value about the other person in the relationship?
What do you value about yourself and the friendships which you currently have, or would like to have?
In relation, to work, what do you value in a work environment, in an employer, in yourself as an employee?
In relation to your spirituality, what is important to you?
In relation to your body, what do you value about your body now, and what would you value in your ideal body?
What is important to you in your leisure activities?
What is important to you in the world at large, your environment, your community? What sort of person do you want to be in relation to those?
Getting back to our first example above, you may value yourself as a person who works hard, so you may think that the hardworking job is just what you want, but you need to take into account your values in all areas of your life, including family, not just those in relation to the area you are considering. Instead of this job, is there another job which allows you to fulfil your value as a hard worker, whilst also fulfilling your value of helping the children?
If you value the peace which a cigarette seems to give you, can you identify another way to find this peace, like meditation, for instance? That way you can achieve your goal and still maintain your values. If you value a healthy body and you believe that smoking is detracting from that, your continuing smoking will continue to cause you stress, regardless of the peace you may think it is giving you.
After you have identified your values, the next step is to make a list of all of your goals. What would you like to achieve: in the next 7 minutes, 7 hours, 7 weeks,, 7 months, 7 years, 70 years?
Don’t worry if you think it isn’t achievable, include it anyway. When I did this exercise many years ago, I put the 70 year goal as world peace. I had no idea, until I wrote it, that this was a goal of mine, and when I wrote it, I never thought it was achievable. Having realised that this was my long term goal, however, I now consider this in all that I do. I am much more positive about that outcome now, too.
Knowing my 70 year goal (which I am hoping will be achieved earlier, really), I might need to change the way I achieve my 7 month goal, which I might not have realised, had I only been thinking till the end of the current year.
Having written down your goals, you have confirmed them in your mind, and you have let the universe know. You are now more likely to have help from the universe in achieving them. You will have your goals in your thoughts more, and you are more likely to attract the fulfilment of those goals.
So when you plan your new year resolution, or plan what you will do this year and in years to come, bear in mind your values and your longer term goals. It is much easier to make decisions, when you know exactly what you want to achieve in the future, and the values you want to maintain along the journey.
I wish you fulfilment of all your goals, as and when you desire them, and may 2015 be your best year yet.
(Some of the ideas about identifying your values came from a book by Dr Russ Harris called The Happiness Trap. http://www.thehappinesstrap.com/ )
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net