Five things to start doing this January

  • Say goodbye to 2013 properly. At this time of year, we spend a lot of time looking forward, and planning what next. This is great, but we miss the opportunity to reflect and learn about the last twelve months. Write down on a piece of paper (yes, the old way is best here) a list of successes and breakthroughs, and failures and disappointments of 2013. This process will allow you to honour your life in the last year, and to celebrate the successes and failures. Many individuals are surprised at just how much they have achieved and how much success there was in the year gone past.
  • Start a gratitude jar. January blues and winter weather can be a real downer at this time of year. The field of positive psychology shows us there is a lot we can do in our own lives to view it through a positive lens. One of the actions we can take is to be more aware of the things that we are grateful for – and it’s the small things like the smile on our partner’s face over morning coffee or a beautiful sunset. Each day, write down something for which you are grateful, pop it in a jar, and at the end of the month, read what was in the jar.
  • Choose your news. Hard-hitting news gets people’s attention and is at the heart of the economic model of journalism. But we get to choose to the news we consume. The impact of the continual barrage of negative news is insidious. I’d even suggest that fashion and gossip magazines have a way of eroding our self-confidence. Try going cold turkey and not reading/listening to the news for month. Or choose positive news websites like Daily Good , Gimundo or Huffington Post’s section on Good news. I guarantee it will be easier for you to choose the optimist perspective and that your self image will benefit.
  • Set intentions each day. A challenge for many of us is to not sleep walk through our own lives and being clear on our daily intentions is a way to stop this. As you wake up each morning, check in with yourself and ask what it is you need today that will serve you. Is it compassion, ease, fun, nurturing… let the words run through your mind until one jumps out at you. Grab that word. Let that word be your guiding GPS for the day. Let the intention support you in making decisions at every point of the day.
  • Swing out big. January seems to be a time of year where we want to go to bed early, get up late and generally play small. Resist that urge. Choose to swing out big. There is research to show that the positions/stances we take (check out great talk in TEDx by Amy Cuddy on body language) in our body dictate how we show up in life. So choose to stand tall, speak up and own your space, and you will be surprised and amazed at how easily it becomes a reality. 

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