I think the “New Year, New You” is a bit ludicrous. It’s in the same category, as “I’ll start Monday.” But sometimes, you have to start somewhere. So why not start now? It just happens to be around the time of a new year. Every action starts with a thought – every accomplishment starts with a decision to take action. With that being said, what’s a different approach to successfully making the changes in your life you’ve always aspired to do? A tactic that works to avoid falling back into the same dreaded routine after a week or after the hype has worn off.
As the New Year beings, due to the massive influx of “resolutions” flooding social media and TV… really everything around us, my mind is naturally inundated with questions and deep thoughts. What would I like do, to accomplish? What particular areas of my life would I like to see grow? How can I attract positive and good into my life? How can I be a vessel of service for others? And of course, the nagging question above – if a hermit crab loses his shell, is the hermit crab considered naked or homeless? Most importantly, what are my aspirations and inspirations? Each New Year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be composed. We have the power to write that story by having a sound mind and a plan.
Aspiration is the hope of achieving something – it drives us in a certain direction. Inspiration stimulates us to feel or do something, to take action. They are different, but relate to each other. What we aspire to do stirs inspiration. Inspiration is the fuel for our aspirations. Aspirations are something we cultivate internally. Inspirations are an external stimulus. A disconnect occurs when these two stand alone – they lose their significance. So, let’s pair our aspirations and inspirations and let the magic happen.
Understandings of these two words are key for a successful New Year, for a thriving lifestyle. What do you aspire to do for this upcoming year – what are your goals? They can be short-term or long-term. Once you decide on your goals and aspirations, what inspires you to take the necessary steps to accomplish them?
Healthy living is a lifestyle change, not a diet. Let me reiterate – DIETS. DON’T WORK. Change only comes when your lifestyle matches your goals. It’s time to bust out the tools and build a bridge between your life and your goals.
Lifestyle-based changes involving exercise, nutrition, and overall wellness are possible. DECIDE to do it. Take ACTION!
- Define your goals (aspirations) and seek out what inspires you. Outline the “big picture” and break down into more specific goals. WRITE. THESE. DOWN. Solidify your goals by making each one a positive statement – as a way of affirming your commitment to reaching your ambitions. Prioritize and keep track of your progress. Define what inspires you. Know it, breathe it, live it.
- Create a plan of action that is geared toward the achievement of personal wellness. An action plan is compromised of tasks that help you overcome the challenges to be successful. Education is key – I can’t stress the importance of always learning. Learning is a prerequisite to growth and is important for us to make informed choices about our own lives. It Starts with Food is an excellent book that addresses the unhealthy relationships many of us have with food. It outlines a clear and balanced plan to change the way you eat – a transition into a healthy lifestyle, not a diet. Take time to prepare. For example, blocking off time to workout on your calendar or meal prepping for the upcoming week. Knowledge without application is pointless. You have heard this and know it, but hear it again. Get it? Knowledge without application is USELESS! Once knowledge is applied, it becomes wisdom.
- Have a support system. Life is beautiful, but it can also be crazy throwing many turns, twists, and experiences our way. It’s important for you to have a wolf pack that holds you accountable. Find people that have no other agenda than loving you. The Beatles nailed it when they said, “We get by with a little help from our friends.”
- Strive for progress, not perfection. You are flesh, you are going to slip and make decisions you aren’t proud of. NO REGRETS. Use everything as an opportunity to learn and grow. Forgiveness. Forgive yourself. The result is a greater level of happiness and health. There are always dips on the way up. Forward it forward. It doesn’t matter how you get there. JUST KEEP GOING FORWARD!
- A good time to laugh is any time you can. Laughter is a powerful remedy for stress, discomfort, and conflict. Smile, count your blessings, when you hear laughter, move towards it. Light attracts light. If you feel yourself derailing, remember that “smiling is a curve that sets everything straight.” — Phyllis Diller.
Aspirations and inspirations work really well together. They are the perfect marriage – better than any duo. The strength of one makes the other stronger. When one is frail, the other bonds us. When both are rock-solid, anything can be accomplished. You cannot have one without the other. FORGET LIMITATIONS.
Remember: success is a journey, not a destination.