New Years Resolutions – Focus on the Positive

Compass showing direction of heart vs. head

Use your heart as a compass for true north

What’s Your New Year’s Resolution?

An old year ends, and a new one begins. For many people it seems the right time to review achievements, and make plans for the New Year. The one thing we ALL have in common is that we are getting older and more experienced, and you can use the past to help create a future that you desire.

Law of Attraction & Behavioral Psychology

In a year’s review, remember that focusing on what you didn’t do will invite more of the same into your life next year. If you don’t believe in the Law Of Attraction, actual psychological research shows that focusing on the positive increases more of that behavior in the future. Punishment doesn’t work, and in fact just reinforces the negative! So, in thinking back, find your accomplishments, the things you did for which you are happy, and proud. Make sure you write them down! In fact, you might even want to create a yearly journal that you do every late December – heck, why not do it every month, every week, every day?

Gratitude Journal

One of my accomplishments this year has been consistently completing my Gratitude eJournal. If you’re like me, and on your computer for hours a day, getting this daily reminder to focus on something for which I’m grateful twice a day is priceless. It stops me from working, and gets me to focus on what was good about this day. Honestly, on occasion, I really have to put some effort into coming up with a pertinent answer. And that’s ok as well. Because actually, you need some time when you are not happy, to realize when you ARE happy. Sort of like the question: Does a fish know it’s wet? Not until you pull it out of the water!

Gratitude is actually an anti-dote to stress

Think about it, if you are focused on gratitude, you can’t be experiencing stress at the same time. What gives you joy in your life? Just perusing your happy memories is a positive exercise. Work on developing “go to” memory that is reliable to calm you down. Make sure it’s a memory that doesn’t have any “baggage”. That means – a particular memory could have been good, but it ended with something that brings you down. That’s why memories in nature, or with pets (unconditional love) are the best. To really use gratitude as stress relief, you want to experience the emotion, not just “think” about it. Feel it in your heart! That’s how Heartmath works. The Emwave (biofeedback type of device) can actually show you the change in the way your heart is beating when you are experiencing gratitude. That change in heart-rate variability (it’s not about slowing down, but the beat to beat change) can even improve your health! 

The Best New Year’s Resolution

The overall best New Year’s resolution is to be kind to yourself. As you can see, criticism, negativity, shame, and anger directed at yourself only reinforces these feelings and makes them more frequent. It holds you back from achieving your goals because you are only seeing what you haven’t done. And this negative focus is stressful and can get you sick (and overweight). Resolve to be your own best friend. Nurture your friendship with yourself will keeping you healthy and happy. Get to know yourself better by giving yourself the time to understand your needs, to listen and follow your heart. Use your heart as a compass!  You can actually hear your heart’s message when you are in a place of calm and gratitude. That positive focus will help you to move towards your goal and your heart’s desire. You can do it!

Happy, Healthy New Year to You!