Why I'm focusing on JOY in 2022
For those of you who don't know me, I'm a fully qualified, bonafide life coach and a reformed people-pleaser. What I mean by that is that I have changed for the better.
I am also a human being, having human experiences and still on the journey of becoming responsibly selfish myself - there is always another layer to uncover!
I'm not going to try and sell you a shiny life because I don't believe it exists! What I do believe is that by getting to know ourselves better, there are things we can do differently that makes life nicer and easier and can help us to navigate hard times more gracefully.
With that in mind, it might not surprise you to hear that I don't subscribe to this whole 'new year, new me' thing that tends to happen in January.
I've noticed that when everyone else is doing something, I often find myself wanting to do the opposite. My little rebellious heart likes to do things in its own time and in its own way! Anyone else?
I'm all for setting goals and moving forward and yet the general vibe I'm picking up from two years of pandemic living is one of uncertainty and exhaustion.
So the thought of starting 2022 beasting ourselves at the gym, full of restriction, expectation and lofty goals doesn't feel particularly kind or nourishing.
Don't get me wrong, I've eaten all the things over the Christmas period and my body is crying out for something not covered in chocolate or laced with alcohol too, but this year I've decided to do it differently.
This year my main focus is ease and joy and this is the lens I'm going to use to approach my personal and professional life (because contrary to popular belief, the same you shows up in both).
This doesn't mean I've not set myself any big goals this year, just that I've been very intentional about how I want to feel whilst working towards them.
The question I am regularly asking myself, particularly when faced with things that feel hard or drain the joy from my soul is, how can I make this easier and more joyful?
And you'd be surprised by how approaching things in this way can bring a whole new perspective...
Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.
- Henri Nouwen
What I've come to realise is that growth happens naturally whether we focus on it or not. Life is always throwing us curveballs that require us to expand and grow in some way or another (thanks universe).
What I want to talk about here though is the more intentional type of growth where we actively invest our time, energy and money into getting or becoming 'more'.
Be it the promotion, bigger pay packet, a larger house, new car, exotic holidays or flashy clothes and accessories, when I explore what's driving these desires with clients, it nearly always comes back to a belief that having these things will make them happy.
And I've got this t-shirt too (in a range of colours and sizes)! Once upon a time, I had the picture-perfect life - a lovely husband, beautiful house, great job, exotic holidays, the posh car, designer handbags etc. And yet I was stressed, depressed, disconnected and miserable!
So I know first hand that sometimes the things we think we want, aren't the things we need to be happy. And I've worked with enough successful people over the years to know that their shiny looking lives are often anything but shiny!
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with wanting more. However, when you start creating a vision for your life based on how you want to feel, it opens up so many more ways of achieving that vision.
In my experience happiness doesn't require all the bells and whistles. It's actually quite a simple creature and more often than not, it's created in the smallest of moments.
There is another way...
I'm not suggesting we throw the baby out with the bathwater and abandon all of our desires for success!
What I am advocating for is taking some time to get clear about what's driving your desires so that you don't put all your precious time and energy into creating something that leaves you wondering 'is this it?'
To do this we need to:
- quieten the noise from all the societal pressures that tell us life has to be a certain way
- switch off auto-pilot mode and go inwards
- get honest with ourselves
- get to know ourselves better
- figure out our why, not just the what and how.
Because joy and happiness come from inside us, not from 'all the things' in the outside world.
Micro-moments of joy
The last couple of years have felt heavy - like wading through treacle. There have been moments of joy but not enough and many of us limped into the festive season feeling a bit broken and full of uncertainty.
The antidote to this is to start noticing and seeking out micro-moments of joy. To take action to prioritise play, to give yourself permission to experiment, to connect with your inner child and explore what lights you up.
To get clear about what's really important to you and then reflect on where you are spending the majority of your time, money and attention?
If these things do not align and you are spending the lions share of your time doing things that aren't important to you or don't light you up, you'll probably feel some kind of inner conflict and unhappiness.
Those of us with some people-pleasing tendencies may also be so used to focusing on other peoples happiness that we don't even know what we want or need. I get it, I've been there too.
If this resonates with you and you'd love to do 2022 a bit differently, I'd love to gift you a complimentary 60 minutes coaching session so we can explore this together.
There will be zero obligation or pushy sales patter and if after the session you decide you would like to discuss working together we can book another call to discuss this.
Simply book a complimentary session or send me an email using the button below and let's chat - I respond to all of my emails personally.