“Small subtle steps create big miraculous change over time,” Gabby Bernstein.
We are about a month in and I hope you are feeling all sorts of hope and excitement in the possibilities of the year ahead. I’m sure many of you have created your intentions and resolutions for the year. If you have not, today is a great day to start. Any of the 365, is a simply perfect day to start a new and commit to positive change.
I am going to guess that most of your resolutions fall into one of five areas: health, organization, relaxation, money/work and love/relationships. I’ve organized some of my best tips to help you clear space to create your best year yet!
Okay people, I know you want to loose 10 pounds and that may/may not be very necessary for you, but let’s refocus. The point of life is to be happy and feel good! Health = the comprehensive quality of your life. Your overall health effects your emotional stability, the condition of your skill, the quality of your sleep and yes, the appearance of your body. Here are a few things to keep in mind that will support and serve you while you increase your health this year:
- Drink water! This will improve organ, muscle, brain, and bowel function. It will also help you to feel full. My goal is 90 oz a day. :)
- Weight = nothing. Weight measures your relationship with gravity. That’s it. It does not give you an overall picture of muscle mass, body fat, inches lost, etc. It especially can not measure your worth, beauty or health. Keep in mind that weight is just a number.
- Why are you eating? When you find yourself walking to the kitchen or pulling up to the drive-thru ask yourself, “Am I actually hungry?” If you are not, consider why you are eating. Many times people eat for comfort or because they are bored or upset. Notice why you are turning to food. The simple acknowledgement is the first step to change.To read more about my journey with health, including how I lost 30 pounds click here:amandafrances.com/gethealthy
- Veggies baby! No one ever got fast from eating a piece of fruit or a vegetable. An easy way to improve your health and feel better is to replace processed junk with real whole foods. :)
De-cluttering and organizing may very well be on your resolution list this year. Stuff all around your home and office can definitely contribute to a lack of focus, anxiety, and general feeling of uneasiness.
- Do not keep anything that does not serve you that you do not love. If you effing love it and it has no useful purpose than that’s okay. If you don’t really love it but it has a necessary life-purpose, that’s okay too… if you do not love it and it is not adding to your life: donate or trash it. This applies to everything. Read more about my closet cleanup tips: amandafrances.com/winter2013
- Out with the old. Get in the habit of not buying anything new until the old is nearly gone. This applies to make-up, toiletries, cleaning products, etc. Finish the old, throw it away, and then use the new. Keeping one back up is one thing, but keeping all your 80% used mascaras is not serving you.
- Eliminate piles. In your life there may be a chair you throw clothes over and the side table that collects bills and work papers. Mess attracts mess. Once you clear it off, you’ll be less likely to build it up. Get in the habit of throwing away or putting away everything. Give all of your things a home. There will be room for all the stuff on your counters to go under your counters once you get rid of all the things that you do not use. As you get rid of things, feelings of not having enough may come up. Remind yourself that you are not your things and that your stuff is not your security. Remind yourself that there is enough to go around and that abundance is your birthright. I promise that when you have less, but can actually find and use all that you have, you will feel like you have much more. For an example of this, read about how I wore only 30 items of clothing for 30 days and felt like I had so much more here: amandafrances.com/30days
3. Relax, Create, and Be
Learning to be with yourself and be happy within yourself is a huge aspect of personal growth.
- Create a space for you. Create a meditation space, workout area, painting corner, or reading nook. Form an area that is all about you doing something for you. The energy of that space will reflect what you do there and help you to get into the zone of that thing when you go there.
- Make a resolution that is all about you. I’m sure you have resolutions that have to do with work, money and relationships… but what about you and your well-being? A daily meditation, a weekly yoga practice, or a painting class could help you to take time to be with yourself regularly. Making time for you will in turn benefit others. As you feel better, you have more to give. It is okay, Busy Mom, to takes tennis lessons twice a week. Do not feel guilty about it. It is okay, Devoted Wife, to have a girls’ night. You need one for your sanity. Your husband will survive. It is okay, Workaholic, to take a three day weekend. The company will not fall apart. Practice being kind to yourself. Practice spending time with yourself. Journal. Sit in silence. Read. Blog. Paint. Go to therapy. Do things for you. One of my resolutions last year was to create something every day. I remember on the very first day I decided to paint. This was hard for me because painting seemed to have no clear purpose and did not seem productive enough (something I struggle with). However, I was sitting around and could not seem to get motivated to work on my to-do list at that moment so I had nothing to lose. I took the advice of Gabby Bernstein who once tweeted: “Art doesn’t have to look good, it just has to feel good” and created any stoke of paint that felt good to me. As a therapist who sometimes uses art activities, I know that things such as painting clear your limbic system and help release built up emotions. After about thirty minutes of painting while intentionally letting go of any idea of what would look good, be impressive, be productive, or be worthy of a post on Instagram, I felt amazing. I felt myself caught up in the colors and strokes. When I finished, I felt clear headed and as though I was ready to get some work done. I was instantly able to begin to focus on my to-do list.
4. Work and Money
I am not a financial expert. My degrees are in mental health, but here are a few things that have helped me along the way:
- Know your worth and believe in your product/service. You will not do high-level quality work when you are frustrated about being under paid. Chances are, you can charge more/be paid more for what you do. Let that idea sink in (without thinking about the economy, your age, your experience or any of those ‘realities’ that block you from feeling like you can have what you want). You deserve to be compensated well. Believe it. Seek a job or future clients as though this is completely the case. Believe in what you do. Believe you deserve to be compensated well for it. That energy will come through with every business card you hand out, ad you post, flyer you hang, or inquiry you answer.
- Make spending simple. I love to shop, and I’m a genius at it, but no matter how great I am at finding amazing deal on beautiful clothing, spending money you should not spend on a great deal is a bad life plan. I learned this little savings method from a friend who manages to save enough money to travel most of the year. Her plan helped me to view spending and saving simply when I was first starting a business. Maybe it will resonate with you! I set up four bank accounts: long term savings, short term savings, bills checking, and spending checking. All money I made went into the bills account. Every bill is drafted out of that account. My designated weekly spending amount went into the other checking account – it was my spending account and I was only allowed to spend what was in there. Every thing else went into long term savings. Anything left over from the spending account goes into short term savings (ie my travel fund). This made it easy to see how much money I have at any given time and know what the money is for :)
- DO WHAT YOU LOVE! There is a reason that the things that light you up, light you up. Since every blog I write seems to include this topic, I will not go too deep, but I encourage you to incorporate more of what you love into your life. This can be as a hobby or even as a career. Not that you should necessarily quit your job tomorrow to travel the world, but if travel is what you love, you could consider saving money, freelancing for a travel magazine, and getting into the position where you can quit. :) Anything is possible.
5. Love and Relationships
Whether your intention is to find a man, strengthen a relationship, or grow your friendships, here a few things to keep in mind.
- You complete you.
Single girls: You are good enough on your own. You do not need a man. Desiring one is fine, but know the person you end up with will not fix you. He will not make your life magically better. A relationship can add fun, richness, happiness, and love to your life or it can drain the hell out of you and make you hate everything. It’s not that you must be perfect to enter a relationship, but you will be able to form a healthier relationship as a whole person who loves themselves fully. Your work is to clean up your side of the street, to become a whole, happy, high-functioning person. When two people are sucking the life out of one another to feel okay, the relationship is an awful, draining, ugly hot mess. Unfortunate things happen when you force something you are not ready for. Instead, decide what you want. Ask for it and believe you can have it. As you do this, you will be led to work through your own crap and work on the relationship you have with yourself. Read my blog about how I loved my single years here:amandafrances.com/youcompleteyou
- Those in a relationship: I believe to be happy you have to have a healthy amount of separateness and togetherness. You have to have things you each love to do without one another and things you love to do together. Your significant other’s choice to have a guy’s night, watch the game, or play video games has nothing to do with you. He is just doing something that he likes to do. And you can do the same. As I said above, take time be with yourself, your friends, in your job and in your life. Love yourself fully and as an extension of that love, you relationship will strengthen and become more relaxed, fun, and happy.
- Love the world. The world can be an ugly place and sad things happen all around us. The only way to transform the world is from within, meaning; it starts with each of us. One person has the ability to allow someone to be themselves and talk about what life is like for them, without fear of judgment or rejection. You can listen to those who talk to you. You can be present in chance encounters. You can choose to have positive perceptions of those you are tempted to judge. You can bring a glimmer of hope. You can show love. Read more about changing the world with unconditional understanding and acceptance here: amandafrances.com/theworldwelivein
- Love yourself. I can not stress this enough. You are awesome. You are a rock star. You are beautiful. You are perfect. You are worthy of all your desires. You are enough. You can create a life you love.
What are your resolutions/intentions for this year?
What kind of tips would you like to see to help you accomplish your goals and create your best year yet? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Amanda Frances McKinney is a life-coach, blogger, and psychotherapist. It is her passion to use her education, personal experience, and spiritual practices to contribute to the growth and happiness of others. Her blog, amandafrances.com, was created as a space where her passions of spirit, self-love and style are celebrated. Through her blog and her life-coaching practice, Amanda Frances International, she pursues these endeavors. Amanda has a Masters of Science in Counseling from Southern Methodist University and is currently in pursuit of a PhD. She has been featured twice in InStyle Magazine. She is a self proclaimed self-love junkie, yogi, fashionista and international traveler.