And here we are. New year, new calendar, fresh start.
I’m always fascinated by this belief that once we change the date, - bang! - a new fresh cycle begins. It’s like we have been given a second chance. So we do it all again, we reflect on the things we really want to change, in the ones we want to accomplish and we taste this potential of who we may become...
‘Potential’ and ‘change’ are two of my favourite topics, so as a start of the year exercise, I felt like sharing with you some of the things that I’m currently playing with or learning from to create deep, lasting, established change. Both within me and my business.
So here it goes, my top 7 tools to start a fresh new 2019...
1. Focused Goal Setting
Naming what I want, and being very specific about how it looks like is something that I’m practicing more.
Both behavioural psychology and quantum physics show us that what you focus on tends to expand. Not just because of the magic involved in just attracting what we feel like, but also because goal-oriented people simply put more focused effort into achieving what they want.
Translation: focused action gives you a better chance of getting what you want! Duh! Well we know that Cris, you might say.
But do you though? because structured, scheduled, strategic action is something that I’m finding incredibly profound and also very rare to find.
You say you want to run 10 workshops next year. Where’s the action?.
Start now! Pick up the phone, book the venues, run the numbers, begin now...
Dreaming without commitment was my habit for years. Dreaming without sitting down and actually figuring out the steps to get there. So along with the participants of my upcoming workshops Goal | Plan | Get it done, I’m sitting down and putting a name, a date and a commitment to what I want 2019 to look like.
2. Understanding Self-sabotage
I don’t have to tell you that exercise or meditation would be incredibly powerful for you, we all know that. What I’m fascinated by is the question of WHY. WHY on earth, we don’t stay committed to what we know, when it could really transform our lives.
For years I thought willpower was the reason why.
After becoming a certified Neuro-Linguistic Practitioner, I now know that our mind and whole physique is really smart, and there are multiple layers at play when we decide that getting up at 5 am is just too hard.
Self Sabotage is the concept of doing things, consciously or subconsciously, that stop us from achieving our goals. When there is change, there is loss.
Becoming fit, wealthy, healthy all imply that you have to give the opposite up, and with that, grief comes.
I could talk about this for hours, but for now, I’ll tell you that my favourite tools to dive deep into why me and my clients don’t follow through are: Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), hypnosis, working with a kinesiologist, and a very dedicated meditation practice.
3. The Holy Hour
I love the concept of investing one whole hour every morning to set the vibe for the day.
I aim at a 5:30 am wake which sometimes happens, sometimes doesn't.
After that, I follow with a few Ayurvedic rituals such as tongue scraping, oil pulling, some warm ginger water and ghee, a short walk AND meditation (my favourite practice of all).
When I’m lucky, I squeeze in a bit of ayurvedic self-massage which really nourishes my nervous system before everyone else is up.
From a business perspective, this ‘Holy Hour’ practice has been gold.
I simply have more to give when I do all this. My mind is steadier, my heart warmer and I feel content with then giving to others for the rest of the day.
So maybe start with 15 Holy minutes or so and then increase as it establishes. And yes - I have a 3-year-old, and sometimes meditate with him sticking bits of Lego to my face, but my commitment to this time is solid and profound, I work hard to make it happen!
4. The Four Tendencies
A while back I discovered Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Four Tendencies.
After years of research, she discovered 4 personality profiles when it comes to creating and keeping positive habits.
This was SUCH a revelation to me. I started seeing my clients in a different light too!
We have been applying habit formation to everyone in the same exact way without realizing that we all have different drivers and motivators for creating change. Some are motivated from within, others need the external coach to make it all happen, and some are somewhere in between.
I had always wondered about this. In my Mastermind, some ladies went from low motion to incredible traction in just a few weeks, and I wondered why. External accountability was one of their key change drivers.
So I highly recommend this one, She has a free quiz online to start getting you clear about the most ‘natural’ way for you and your personality to create change!
I’ve been a meditator, on and off, for years now.
Last September I made a commitment to one of my mentors, to meditate for a whole year, every-single-day.
Geeez. What if I get sick, What if I’m travelling, What if… Doesn’t matter, the commitment was, every-single-day.
I use Insight timer, a wonderful meditation app that tracks consecutive days, and that of my friends has been the biggest motivator. As I write this I have 83 consecutive days. If I don’t ‘feel like it’ tomorrow, that number will go back to zero… and the avoidance of zero has worked a treat.
My sweet number is 20 minutes of meditation, but many days I only get to 11 minutes. Many other days, only to 5, and that is OK.
Now so far we’ve spoken about how I keep myself meditating. But let me tell you the why and how it’s connected to habit formation.
Apart from the wonderful current of peace that I experience just by sitting down, the biggest gift meditation has given me is in realising that I am not the voices in my head.
So a dedicated practice allows me to just see the nagging voice, the one that wants to sabotage and go back to bed, in a much clearer way. I get very familiar with my internal fears, my childhood patterns, the stories I run within.
And then I get up, live life and see how much all of those play in my every day.
Meditation has given me more conscious choice to decide who from within, runs the show and you get the gist, this gives me a better chance of picking which habits I engage with.
6. Essential Oils
I’ve been using oils for more than 20 years now, and they have always worked a treat.
The ones I use to keep me going are:
Peppermint: before running a workshop or a strategy session, when I feel sluggish, when I don’t feel like it, it just gives me an energy hit. (think of coffee for a non-coffee drinker like me)
Rosemary: This one is great for having good quality focused time. For example, if I have a project I’ve always wanted to work on, or a pile of invoices or research work, this one just steadies my mind in the most wonderful way. It helps me commit to the work I say I want to do.
Grapefruit and Bergamot: If you search for the meaning of both oils, you’ll find they have wonderful emotional properties like allowing us to care for our bodies in a much deeper way.
For me, they are a gateway to accessing fun, creative joy!
When I wake up uninspired and meh. When I feel a bit unmotivated and sad. When I’m on the spot to creating something new for Wallnut and feel a bit stuck, I bring in these oils, a few drops on my palm, rub and smell a few times, it’s such a treat.
Vetiver and Cedarwood: These are just fantastic for grounding. When I’m feeling all over the place and make, not-such-great decisions for myself (like inflaming food, or not meditating) I know it’s time for one of these. They just calm and slow me down from within.
7. Rehearsing the change as often as possible
If you are my client, you know I speak A LOT about this.
Inspired by many, but especially Joe Dispenza - I am big into the concept of rehearsing what our accomplished dream would feel like, as often as possible.
Feeling - every feeling - creates a complex chemical cocktail in our body.
So being someone that meditates every day, or eats well or has strong boundaries, that has a feeling. If you close your eyes and imagine any of these, they come with a feeling. That feeling then creates an internal chemical experience in your physiology.
So I get my clients to expose their bodies to that flush of yummy internal chemical cocktail of their achieved dreams as often as possible. How does it FEEL like to have a fully booked consulting practice. How does it FEEL to finally launch your book.
And in case you didn’t know, the body can’t tell the difference between it actually happening or just seeing it in your mind’s eye. The chemical response is the same (which is why worrying still is so detrimental for our body even if nothing has yet happened).
So this is it, my 7 top tools to starting 2019 with a fresh start!
I hope they inspire you or even inch you closer to where you want to be!
I would love to know if they work for you or if you have already tried them…
But for now, Happy 2019 and may your visions and goals come true!