On fresh starts… January 3, 2018 by Jamie WestermanNew year, new mindset, new opportunities, big dreams, fresh starts. There is something special about a brand-new year. To me it feels like beginning a new book, starting a new relationship, or traveling to someplace I have never been before. It’s a fresh start on an entire new chapter of life. I know, I know … we have had a lot of new years, this is just another, and there will be plenty more. But even if I make it to my 80th birthday, I am nearly through half of my new years. And unfortunately, we are not guaranteed January 1st in the future. Which means I better up my game. I don’t kick off January with a resolution like many others do. Trust me, I have before, and since I don’t like failing, I have decided this may not be the right approach for me (in the past making it to mid-January was a feat, ex. Whole 30 meal plan turned into a Whole 13 day plan in my world). Even the word “resolution” doesn’t fit right for me. The act of being resolute means standing firm in your purpose or making a solid decision or determination about something. That commitment alone gives me anxiety. I bend rules and resolutions sound an awful lot like rules to me. So, as in most things in life, I do the new year differently. I sit down excitedly before my self- proclaimed fresh start and make my own guide for the year, knowing I am not going to get it right every time, but also knowing I have something to fall back on when challenges are put before me. Also notice, I said excitedly, and I mean it. I love pulling out my calendar for the new year and looking at the blank pages, the space, the time, the hope for what another year of my life will bring. No one is looking at a resolution going, “I can’t wait to detox from sugar, set a strict budget, go to the gym at 5 am.” Instead, I write goals for the year, I set an intention for myself, and I choose a word that represents what I want to feel or how I want to think for the year. My goals start with one month, then three, then six, you get the rest. Setting monthly goals is part of my habit, but to look at the year in quarters helps me create a map for the year. I am flexible in the ways I reach the destinations, but that plan helps keep me on track when life tries to derail me temporarily. I also like to choose one great goal for the year. My actions throughout the year are driven by this greater goal. When I look at what intention I would like to focus on for the year I look back on my goals. Maybe my one great goal for the year is to pay off my student loan (it’s not, but maybe it should be?!). Take note … this goal is specific, measurable, achievable (ummmmm, if I give up Target yes), relevant, and time based (12/31/18). Your goals should always fit into EACH of these specific areas. Now maybe my intention for the year is “I will be open to receiving and maintain an abundant mindset.” So, when I have a pity party because a deer decided to take a stroll in front of my moving vehicle, I can go directly to that intention and remember to keep my thoughts in a positive and receptive place. Remember the law of attraction here. I choose a word based on this same principle. So, in this scenario I maybe choose “discipline” as my word for the year (now you KNOW this is completely fabricated, right?). Each seemingly small decision I make throughout the year, I can ask myself, does this fit my word, my intention, my goals? Maybe my word for the year is “joy.” When a situation comes up that I must say yes or no to, I can ask myself, “will this bring me joy this year?” Yes – do it, no – don’t. You will find it takes some practice to consider your intention and word for the year. Write these words everywhere and soon it will become easier to remember. Last year, my word was “gratitude.” By the end of the year, every time I was annoyed, sad, or negative I would speak that word to myself and do an about-face to acknowledge something I was grateful for. What a powerful tool. Take this new year, this fresh start, to try a different angle, unless of course that whole resolution thing is working out for you (a quick google search gives New Year’s resolutions an 80-92% failure rate, kudos if you are the minority!). And if you need some ideas to choose your one great goal/intention/word for the year, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to help get you started. Cheers to new beginnings!