This year, my New Year’s Eve wasn’t spent in a fancy gown, drinking champagne, and watching fireworks. Instead, I was home in front of the fireplace, writing, reflecting, and planning. Oh. And there was a glass of wine, of course.
After midnight struck, I promptly curled up in bed at 12:03 feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and excited about the 2015 horizon.
One week later, all those kumbaya feelings were gone. There was a sad little cloud hanging over me with threats of a storm.
Overly positive Facebook posts from everyone saying that 2014 was their “best. year. ever!” felt like bruising hail hitting me, reminding me that my 2014 wasn’t. I didn’t achieve some of my goals. I had my heart broken. I missed out on some opportunities. And, overall, I know I could have done better.
Were there some amazing things in 2014? YES! Of course! I wrote new e-books, I had some amazing speeches, a launched 2 new programs I'm very proud of, and I lead a 3-day live streaming event that was better than I anticipated.
Buuuuuuuut......somehow those things weren't coming to mind. The cloud was all I could see.
And, shockingly, one week into this magical New Year, I hadn’t shed all of my old limiting thoughts and behaviors.
Wait! You mean that going from one calendar year to another on our man-created, arbitrary illusion of time measurement doesn’t change me as a person?! This is preposterous!
If you’re anything like me, then you might be experiencing some similar post-New Year’s blues.
It’s ok. You’re human. A little cloud over your head in this moment doesn’t mean that the storm will sweep you away. The beautiful thing is that today is a new day. This moment is a shiny new moment - full of choices and feelings that can send you in the right direction.
Right now, take in a healing breath and exhale knowing that you have control. Your perspective is your reality. Take that breath. Now, you can make this moment your bitch.
To help you put your post-New Year’s blues in the past, here are a few ways to perk up your perspective.
Belated New Year’s Eve Ceremony
Your New Year’s Eve might have been spent drinking, dancing, and making poor decisions about who you kissed at midnight. First of all, I congratulate you and am slightly jealous. While the wild fun left a mark on your liver, it probably didn’t give you the positive, goal-setting momentum you needed to kick things off.
On New Year’s Eve, I reached out to my soul-sister and intuitive life coach Sabrina Bolin and asked her if she had any cleansing rituals on how to start the New Year with power. She, of course, did. She outlined a solid ceremony on her blog here.
The basics are:
- meditate to open yourself to the experience with an open mind and kind heart
- journal your celebrations. Honor your clear successes as well as the lessons from unachieved goals
- have fun imagining your upcoming year. Anything is possible.
- reflect on any recurring themes from the previous year
- write out any regrets or negative thoughts on a piece of paper and burn them one by one
Personally, I’ve never done any kind of burning ceremony before, and I surprisingly found it quite healing. Watching a piece of paper transform in the fire reminded me of how easy transformation can be when the right energy is behind it.
It is easier for our brains to focus on the negative than it is the positive. From an evolutionary perspective, our negative point of view served us. Paying attention to current threats (Hey! Lion!), making a pattern of past dangers (I think those berries killed George), and avoiding future harmful situations (I know it’s a crazy idea, but next year, how about we migrate somewhere warm?) all kept us alive.
So, it makes some sense that if you look back on your year, that the negative things might come to mind more readily than the good. But, carrying that negative perspective into your current moment isn’t serving you. If you allow the negative filter to be your dominant filter, then it will darken your perspective on new opportunities, shade your communication with others, and cast a shadow over the amazing things that you do have.
Keeping a gratitude journal is by far one of the most effective and powerful exercises…ever! It’s simple. Every day (in the morning or at night) list 5 NEW things that you are grateful for. Avoid repeating items on your list. Listing the same 5 things over and over doesn’t broaden your positive perspective. You want to train your brain to see the good over the bad. Yes, you might be working against some evolutionary base code, but if we’ve miraculously been able to make it to the top of the food chain, I think there’s hope for happiness.
Plus, keeping your gratitude journal will be a wonderful record for next New Year’s Eve. You can squash some of the blues if you can flip through your own book of positivity from 2015.
Daily/Weekly/Monthly Intention Setting
I noticed that many people are posting their theme for 2015. I think that is wonderful. I, on the other hand, know that a year-long theme doesn’t work for me. I am more of a fan of daily, weekly, or monthly themes.
I have an accountability partner and every day we text each other our “needle mover” tasks and set the intention for the day. This can help you stay grounded and focused when overwhelming details seem to pile up.
We also email each other every Monday with our weekly goals (personal and business), our gratitude, and set the weekly intention.
In my office, I have large year long calendar on my wall. At the first of the month, I set my theme for that month. For example, my theme for January is “to be seen.” For me, this means stepping up my marketing, writing, and PR efforts. It also is designed to help me overcome my resistance of perfectionism. This month is all about if it’s good enough, get it out there!
Intentions and themes are like lighthouses. When you feel like you’re loosing your way, you can look up and see your guiding light for that day, week, or month. When I hold back on posting something on social media, I see my monthly theme of “to be seen” and then I post that puppy. These themes can be your filter for action and inaction. Should you do this or that? …Well, does it align with my theme? If yes, then do it. If not, pass.
Review (or Create) Victory File
If you don’t have one already, create your Victory File today.
A Victory File is where you keep artifacts from all of your accomplishments - big or small. In my Victory File, I have my certifications, testimonials, emails of appreciation from clients and readers, pictures from events, anything that marks good moments.
Your Victory File can be a hardcopy file in your desk, a file on your desktop, or (my personal choice) a notebook in your Evernote.
Your Victory file comes in handy for those moments when you’re feeling down on yourself. If you ever need a reminder of your awesomeness, your Victory File is there to save the day.
If you already have a Victory File and those New Year’s blues have got their grip on you, then open up the file and bask in the awesomeness that is you!
Dwelling on past mistakes, regrets, or failures doesn’t help you create the future that you desire. Every day is a new day. Seeing today with its possibilities without dragging in the baggage from yesterday can be harder than it should be. I find a motivating video or audio lesson paired with a cup of coffee help me get my head on straight.
Here are a few of my favorite YouTube motivational playlists (the titles are mine):
Most of us might hope that New Year’s Eve is the “reset” button on our lives. Myself included. But, we are smart enough to know that the path changing habits and creating our desired future is never ending. There is no start and stop. It is all on a continuous line. The New Year holiday is an illusion. It is a manufactured “new beginning.” You can manifest your new beginning right now. …. or now …..or now ….how about now…..now is good…..
If you found this blog helpful or inspiring, please share it. You never know who else might need to perk up from their Post-New Year's Blues.
What other things do you find help you start the New Year off in a positive way? Let me know in the comments below!