Oh how I love January. It truly is one of my most favorite months of the year because it holds so much promise and the hope of new beginnings. Though I do not partake in the annual setting of New Year’s resolutions (instead, I do a much more intentional and effective, self-audit process every year in July–you can read all about it here); I do always try to approach a new year with a set of guiding principles and practices that help to lay a firm foundation for the coming twelve months. After many years of defining and refining, these are the practices that I have found to be the most valuable…
Nine Powerful Practices that will Guarantee a More FabYOUlous 2018
- Ground Yourself in Gratitude. If you’ve followed FabYOUlous Life for any length of time, you know that we take gratitude very seriously. In fact, it above nearly all other practices, is what will elevate your life to the next level of FabYOUlousness. I truly believe that we attract to us, that which we already are; so…if you want more things to be grateful for, you need to start being grateful now for what you already have. As we express gratitude for our current blessings, the Universe (God, Spirit…whatever name you use) will reward us with even more blessings for which to be grateful. It really does work this way–I promise. If you don’t believe me, try it. Fortunately, establishing a gratitude practice doesn’t have to be complicated; in fact, I believe that the most effective gratitude practices are those that are simple and spontaneous. Simply taking a second to to send up a silent “thank you” when you hit all green lights or when you make it home safely after a long trip can be enough to elevate your mood and ground you in gratitude. If however, you would like to add a little more intentionality to your gratitude practice, keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to do so. Personally, I love the I Choose Joy gratitude journal because of its daily combination of gratitude with goal setting; however a simple blank notebook makes a wonderful gratitude journal as well–simply jot down five things that you are grateful for every night before you go to sleep.
- Be Awake and Aware. I am amazed at how many people seem to stumble their way through life as if they are sleep walking even though they are (by all appearances) awake. Obviously, when I say “be awake and aware”, I’m not just talking about being physically awake (as in, not sleeping), I mean be spiritually awake and mindfully aware. When we endeavor to live our lives with more awareness, we are able to more consciously control our thoughts and emotions. By being aware of situations without the filter of judgement, we are able to experience the truth of the present moment and therefore respond to the moment in a more mindful manner. This ability to see what really is and respond in an intentional way, is a skill that (when cultivated) will greatly enhance the quality of your life.
- Bend. Don’t Break. Who among us hasn’t had a curve ball thrown our way on occasion? No one. That’s who. As much as we may want to control and manipulate every scenario that comes our way, it simply isn’t possible to do so. Life is unpredictable and full of change. Learning to be both, flexible and resilient is a huge difference maker when it comes to our quality of life. How well we cope with change, and how willing we are to accept the things that can’t be changed will have a huge impact upon the level of FabYOUlousness that we experience. Resisting change just leads to needless suffering, while embracing, accepting and adapting to change will allow us to move through life with more peace an fulfillment. For a greater understanding on how to move through change without losing your peace, click here.
- Be Intentional. I already mentioned that I do not set resolutions at the beginning of the year, I do however set my intentions for the year. To me, resolutions have too many negative connotations, in that you are resolving to fix something that needs fixing. Instead, I choose to set positive intentions for my year in high-priority areas of my life. For example; instead of resolving to cut out soda, I intend to better honor my body and to make positive choices regarding my physical health. This practice of being intentional helps to align my thoughts and actions with my deepest-held values, thus packing more emotional punch. For more suggestions on living with more intention in 2018, click here.
- Learn to Trust Your Intuition. As you begin to live your life more intentionally and with greater levels of awareness, you will naturally begin to connect more deeply with your intuition. This “inner-knowing” is something that we all possess, but are often too scared to trust. By taking time every day to get quiet and centered, we can learn to more easily tap into our inner wisdom and trust what it is telling us. This inner guidance always knows what is right for each area of our life. We just need to become trained enough to follow its leading.
- Hold Yourself Accountable. You know those high achieving superstars that we all admire so much (Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, Tony Robbins, Tom Brady)? Well guess what…they all have exactly 1,440 minutes in their days just like we do. What sets them apart from the crowd is how they use those minutes. Tom Brady wasn’t born knowing how to throw a football. Oh sure, he may have been born with some natural athletic ability, but still, he had to hone his skill over years of dedicated practice. While we might not all be gifted in football throwing, we do all possess a unique mix of talents and gifts and it is our responsibility to make the most of them. This is where personal accountability comes in. We absolutely must come to terms with the fact that we are fully responsible for creating the life that we want. When we blame others for our circumstances, we forfeit our personal power and remain in victim mode. This might be more comfortable in the short term but living life as a victim is a tragic waste of potential. Instead, it is time that we learn to be accountable for our thoughts, words and actions because what we think, say and do today is laying the foundation for our tomorrow. One of my favorite tools for building personal accountability is this FabYOUlous Habit Tracker. Use it to help you keep yourself accountable as you work to reach your goals.
- Forgive Yourself and Others. In order to truly be accountable for our own lives (see previous entry), it is imperative that we learn to forgive those who have wronged us and move forward with life. This is especially true if the one we need to forgive is ourself. Not only does forgiveness allow us to reclaim our power and take responsibility for the direction of our life, it also allows us to release old, painful energy that keeps us tied to the past, and create space for fresh new energy that we can take into the future. Through forgiveness, our feelings, actions and thoughts are no longer tied to a place of hurt, guilt, pain or insecurity–instead, we are released to move forward with joy, hope and peace.
- Let it Go. So often, we become so entrenched in our long-held patterns of thought, that we are blind to the ways in which these thoughts hold us back from experiencing true FabYOUlousness. When we take the time to look at our thoughts, behaviors and beliefs with the intention of learning from them, we can unmask those that are subtly working against us. By letting go of habits, actions and thoughts that no longer serve us, we become open to new, more empowering ways of being.
- Make things Happen. To truly live within the fullest expression of FabYOUlousness, it is crucial that we learn to live our lives with the proper balance of being and doing. Yes–we must dream, visualize and believe; however, there also comes a time when we must ACT. When we visualize the life that we want to live and then follow that visualization up with aligned action, we become virtually unstoppable. If you find it hard to follow through on your goals or struggle when it comes to knowing what actions to take, check out this post for a bit of clarity and inspiration.
Incorporating these nine powerful practices into your life might sound like a tall order, but in truth, these are all things that, with a little intentionality, can become a routine way of being. Give yourself some grace as you work to add these elements to your life, and then prepare yourself for a truly FabYOUlous 2018.
For more FabYOUlous wisdom to light up your year, check out “Finding FabYOUlous: A ‘Self-Help with Sass’ Guide to Finding, Celebrating and Capitalizing On the FabYOUlousness that Makes You, YOU”. Available on Amazon.com