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If you’re anything like me, historically, you’ve plunged yourself into the new year with high hopes and resolutions that would make Mary Poppins jealous.
By the end of the year, even if you have reached some of your goals, you’re left with a niggling, incomplete feeling. As another new year looms, another set of goals dance around your head with a hope that this year, maybe, just maybe, you’ll not only tick all of your boxes, you’ll feel fulfilled.
Well, I decided that 2021 would be different for me, and it was—so I know your 2022 can be different too.
My first step was realising that most of us aren’t chasing ticked boxes; we are chasing how they make us feel. With that in mind, I wrote down my goals, and beside them I wrote down how I thought I would feel after that box was ticked off. I found that this is the place where soul meets strategy.
Here are three alternative ways that we can also tick our boxes and go through the year feeling fulfilled, rejuvenated, inspired, and content:
According to my mental health first aid studies, rest and sleep have important restorative functions, which recharge our brains at the end of each day. Rest optimises our brain’s functioning, which in layman’s terms means that rest and sleep are the power banks for our mind, body, and soul!
Unfortunately, our society glorifies the “go, go, go” method of living—even though it has left 79 percent of the workforce in the United Kingdom experiencing burnout. If you lead the same lifestyle, maybe it’s time to change the narrative. Instead of starting the new year with a box ticking exercise, take time to recharge.
We operate best from a restful mind. For some, this may be booking a trip. For many others, this may be scheduling intentionally relaxing activities into our diary—exercise, journaling, or some quiet time. The key is to induce relaxation and then try to carry that feeling throughout the day as much as possible.
As mentioned above, sleep and rest improve our functioning. Another benefit is a boost of creativity. Have you ever wondered why the craziest ideas come to you in your sleep? Good rest paves the way for moments of inspiration. It’s no coincidence that our greatest ideas come to us when we are resting. Real joy and creativity come from this space of consciousness. Rest energises and allows us to make ideas that are tailor-fit to our souls, bringing fulfilment.
In 2021, rest was a requirement for my success. I needed that space to create goals that were central to my core identity. It started an internal dialogue that restored dead dreams and clarified others. It’s as if as I (not always physically) laid my head down, I really came alive. How’s that for an oxymoron?
My restful state of living and thinking triggered a reassessment. Suddenly, I was analysing my goals. My mind took me from ticking “Instagram-picture-worthy” boxes, to analysing my reason for each goal, and how I was going to get there.
For example: my sleep habits, nutrition, and exercise did not support my goals. I was neglecting the vehicle that is supposed to take me through life. I needed to make wellness a priority. I tried to do this by changing my daily habits and making small goals that would lead to my bigger wellness goals.
I also worked backwards. I wrote a letter to myself as if it were December 31, 2021, talking about all I had achieved and how I felt. This exercise helps to identify what we really feel about our goals. Once I had these, I changed some of my goals to match the exhilaration I felt when reading some of the things back. The stronger the feeling of “aliveness,” the more certain I was that this wasn’t just a good goal—but the right goal.
As the year progressed, I changed some goals. As we learn and grow, so do they—we can alter them.
Rest + Reassess = Recharge
A relaxed state coupled with a clear soulful re-assessment of our goals can only lead to one thing—a recharge! At this point, we might want to withdraw and conserve our energy. We have clarity, authenticity, and strategy—we don’t want anyone to interfere with this.
Our goals are harmoniously aligned with our core values and identity. We can now put our best foot forward and conquer our goals. We’re no longer ticking boxes; we’re manifesting from the deepest place within. We’re so supercharged that other goals we didn’t know we wanted gravitate toward us too. That’s superhero stuff right there!
(My definition of a superhero is a person who is courageous enough to live out the things that move their hearts and make their mark on the world.)
When I did this, I found a new depth to my life, and all my goals were shaped by my unique, inbuilt, superhero mission. Armed with a purposeful, soulful strategy for my year, I was energised in a way I hadn’t been before.
I believe this can be all of us—unique individuals with unique purposes who approach the new year with soulful strategies.
You can achieve this by resting and reassessing your way to a successful year. Allow that to recharge you and enjoy the process.
You’re a superhero about to launch your mission!