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Happy New Year!

I have always enjoyed the energy of the New Year. The collective feeling of a fresh start, the quietness that lingers as people recover from last week's festivities, not yet immersed in their typical daily routines but still enjoying their holiday break. But with the year's changing comes the infamous New Year's resolution. 

We all know the statistics that very few people keep their New Year's resolutions for long. So why do we insist on setting them year after year? On a surface level, the typical goals of getting in shape, eating better, or spending more time doing XYZ can sound reasonable, productive, or sensible. Who wouldn't want to fit the perfect mold? The idea of being better than your past self sounds good, right? But when you're making a resolution that isn't a genuine, aligned desire for yourself, or you're basing it on what you think you want because you see other people doing it that way, you're not likely to stick with it once the first wave of motivation sizzles out or when you're faced with your first roadblock or setback.

More often than not, these goals come from an external place of motivation, something we believe we "should do" or "have to do," not from something we truly "want to do" or "would love to do." 

But when we make goals or discover ideas or dreams that align with our true selves, it's usually much easier to keep that goal and take action steps towards it. That's because we have a source of internal motivation, a spark that comes from within, simultaneously pushing and leading us toward what we know is meant for us. This force encourages us to step into our most authentic expressions of ourselves. It's the tiny inking of hope, the gentle wave of excitement that comes when we dare to imagine our "little" or "silly" dreams. It can come from listening to another aligned person, who shares their energy in words, art, or action, and in turn reminds you of your own internal magic. These moments are glitters. The glitters are a reminder from your soul to dream, to step into your most whole and authentic expression of self. 

But we still need to keep our motivation and commitment; several things can keep us from reaching our goals, even our aligned ones. If you catch yourself saying, "Oh, I could never..." "That's crazy." "How could I even think I could do that, be that, or have that?" "What would people think of me if I became that person?" Or any thought that might feel like your dream is too out there, you may be tapping into something big. Your dreams and desires are within you for a reason. And deep down, you know you want it. You know you are meant to become it. You know that that life is meant for you. But when we tap into these big dreams, there will be equally big doubts that typically come in the form of limiting beliefs. These are untrue or unbalanced beliefs that our brains and egos created long ago and held tightly to for much of our lives to keep us in our comfort zones. That's because going out on a limb, risking it all, or putting ourselves in a vulnerable place where others might judge us doesn't feel good to our little egos. Our egos want to play life nice and safe, even if that means stifling our dreams. Our brain (often in the form of anxiety or depression or overthinking, or sometimes more subtly in our negative self-talk and mental chatter) will make us second guess ourselves or make us shrink and play small. "Who are we to have those big dreams and aspirations?" These limiting beliefs can get in the way of our actions if we don't work through them. But if it's our genuine desire to be, do, or accomplish that aligned goal, the desire will persist and continue to scratch at us. What is meant for us will find its way. If we do not rise to the challenge, face our limiting beliefs, and continue pursuing our heart's path, chaos will often follow us, begging for our attention and asking us to turn inwards. This chaos often manifests itself as feelings of edginess, irritation, uncertainty, anxiety, depression, sicknesses (common colds, flu, or even chronic illnesses), or sometimes crazy, drastic life events. These are all signs and reminders to get back on track and continue working towards your true desires and goals. You'll also continue to attract glitters, which will fan the flame within your heart, reminding you that all you need is already within you. 

So, if you're unsure of what you want from this new year, keep track of what truly sparks your passion. What makes you light up? What brings you joy and excitement? Get in touch with your heart's desires, and you can more easily create goals from an aligned center with more potential to come true. If you've already got a goal in mind, that's great! To find whether or not your goals are coming from a place of internal motivation or external pressures, ask yourself these questions: 

  1. Why is this goal important to me? What will working towards or achieving this goal mean to me?

  2. When was the first time I thought about achieving this goal? Have I tried to work towards it in the past? Was I successful? Why or why not? 

  3. Does it feel like this goal is something I truly want or something I think I should want? Is it something I think others want from me? 

  4. If it's something I believe I should do or have to do, whose voice or voices do I hear the belief coming from? Is it a parent, authority figure, peer, friend, social media, or societal influence? What are they saying? What have they made you believe about yourself or about the goal or action you are wanting to take?

  5. If I wanted to pursue something other than this goal, am I fearful of what others might think of me? What would it mean to let go of this goal? How would it change the way I feel about myself? Would it change my self-worth? Would it change my identity? What would it mean to be that type of person? Can I still give myself love and accept myself for exactly who I am, traits, habits, or lifestyle aside? 

  6. If your goals are something you want, try envisioning what it would look like to take action toward your goal. What steps would you take? What would it feel like? Close your eyes and lean into your body. Feel for where that person who is taking those actions already exists. Find where you're already doing some of those things. What does that feel like?

  7. If I gave up on this goal, would I be upset? 

  8. What commitments and sacrifices will I make to achieve this goal or this lifestyle? 

  9. What does your dream life look like? Write it out in detail, every fantasy. Allow yourself to dream and imagine. What comes up? 

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