A quick google search shows that you all have 8760 up your sleeve in 2018, and each of those hours offers you a unique opportunity to live your year in the best possible way.
Hopefully most of you will get your 8 hours sleep every night (2920 hours), which leaves you with a precious 5840 hours to craft a year filled with love, fun, adventure, work, family time, wonderful relationships, mastery of new skills, growing your savings and giving back to your communities in meaningful ways.
As 2017 starts to wind down, it’s time to reflect on the year that was and to celebrate achievements as well as those things that didn’t work out so well. An opportunity to renew ‘promises to yourself’ as well as to others, and to dig a little deeper in strengthening your Noble Goal, your ‘why’ and to come alive in ways that change the world around you for the better.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Today, as you think about the clock chiming midnight and welcoming in 2018, how are you going to be the change you wish to see in the world?
Here are my 4 core beliefs on where it may be helpful for you to start:
- Grow Your Resilience
The truth is that life can be tough, and what separates those who can keep going from those who give up is resilience – a life skill that you practice and learn. The word resilience comes from the Latin word resilire, which means to jump back. You can grow your resilience to ‘bounce or jump back’ by growing your Emotional Intelligence: understanding your emotions better and how to navigate them. Emotions are like balls in a swimming pool – the more you push them down, the higher they spring up when you let go. Being aware of what you’re feeling, and leaning in to the message the emotion is giving you helps give you more control of the situation.
Watch out for the negative voices in your head – discover what’s triggering them and then reframe them into a more positive intention. Your optimism will help you to stay open and more willing to look for alternative solutions in any situation. It’s also helpful to ‘let go’ and accept that there are things in life that we have no control over. We can only control ourselves.
- Think about Energy as a cycle of Giving and Receiving
According to Chiara Townley, ‘positive energy ignites every cell of our bodies giving us excitement and purpose. This energy is essential to survival – we can have food and shelter, but without passion and purpose, we become numb’. Passion and purpose comes to us through discovery (ie, travelling), creativity, movement and socializing.
Ignite your curiosity and senses through travelling and experiencing new sights, tastes and cultures – that perfect blend of adrenalin and oxytocin to fuel discovery and boost energy. Creatively express yourself through writing journals, diaries and writing blogs. Start moving more by embracing daily walking, a yoga routine. After exercising you’ll literally be able to feel the energy swirling throughout your body. Last but not least, make an effort to see your friends. Connect regularly and plan outings. Our brain feels social pain in the same networks as physical pain – we were designed to be social. Through giving of ourselves, we receive so much more.
- Have better conversations – listen differently
The challenge is on for you to sharpen your listening skills and make the person you’re speaking to feel like they’re the only person in the room, giving them all your focus and attention (avoiding the temptation to multitask ie. looking at your phone). Use words wisely – it takes only one word to threaten, break trust and damage the relationship thread. Ask way more questions (to which you genuinely don’t know the answer) and talk less. Bring curiosity to your conversations because it causes people’s brains to produce the connecting, bonding neurochemical, Oxytocin, when they feel they’re being listened to. The more Oxytocin you can release in your conversations in 2018, the better your relationships will be.
- Take care of yourself and set boundaries with technology
Supermodel Miranda Kerr has some excellent tips: ‘Just be kind to yourself, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Whether it’s exercise, reading a book, or 10 minutes of meditation, it’s important to look after yourself and have some ‘me-time’ to avoid burnout.’ The pace of life isn’t going to slow down in 2018; it’s up to us to cut through the noise, find time out in nature, live mindfully and build 5 minutes of total silence into your mornings. Your brain will thank you for it. Technology is extraordinary and opening up worlds of possibility, but also needs to be managed – have careful boundaries around what’s OK and not OK in how smart devices are used in your homes, socially and in your workplaces.
I see 2018 as a ‘coming of age’ year. When we turn 18, we become recognised legally and take on more societal responsibility. Well the planet as we know it is now turning 18 – what a great chance we all have to take more responsibility, to come alive and impact people around us more positively.
Happy New Year all. May you be the change you want to see in the world in 2018,