How to Make Your New Year Happier
This morning as I was waiting for a fresh wind to set my sails and send me on my way, I started to read my email. The first email was a lovely note from a dear friend who was looking forward to the Universe bringing a better year of good changes, more positivity and less fear. The second email contained a simple reframe that, for me, was a direct response to the hopes my friend had shared. Suddenly, the wind filled my sails and an fresh way of thinking about the new year came to mind.
Could a simple shift in perspective really have the power to inspire a radical and life affirming change in the way we greet the new year? In his blog today, Michael Neill, best selling author and coach, told the story of how his friend, happiness expert Robert Holden, asked him the following questions:
Imagine it’s one year from today and you’ve had your most enjoyable year yet… What’s happened? What have you done? What’s different in your life now?
I know I’m not the only one who is averse to the concept of making resolutions, and here we are at that time of year when everyone talks about them. Goals, resolutions, intentions… regardless of what you call them, they’re all meant to point us in a direction of a desired outcome. But here’s my “aha” moment after reading those two emails: In the past, when the new year was looming, I tried to set my resolutions based on how I imagined I'd feel once I accomplished what I set out to do. But I had spent far too little time paying attention to how I felt along the way. Actually, I had spent plenty of time noticing how much stress I felt but I assumed that was the cost I had to pay.
Truth be told, none of us can predict how we will feel in the future, when we get what we say we what. There are plenty of “successful” people who, once they climbed the ladder to the top of their career, or started a business, or made a certain amount of money, were disillusioned.
What if we were to consider enjoyment as our primary compass for navigating towards everything we want? That includes our careers, our relationships, our health, and all the other ways we spend our time. After reading Michael’s blog, I realized that despite the fact I now focus on finding delight and joy in most of the projects I take on, I hadn’t yet applied that same metric to my overall vision for the new year.
We all know what it’s like to have a good feeling and ride it into what’s called the zone or the flow. It’s a magical experience. We lose our insecurities and the perfect next steps just appear to us. We find ourselves automatically knowing what needs to be done and what’s not worth doing. I know for a fact that when I let myself value the quality of my feelings in the moment and let them direct my actions, the quantity of results takes care of itself. And nine times out of ten, those results exceed my expectations.
This is how I’m going to look at the new year. Will you join me?
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