You might need some time to think about it or maybe you already know what you would like to leave behind. Is it resentment towards some recent changes that occurred in your life? Is it anger that is easily triggered without any obvious reason? Or, would you like to have more meaningful connections, more confidence and more joy in your life? Read on for guidance on how you can structure your thought processes, and find a link to a powerful breathing exercise I’ve developed to support you in finding more clarity.
Let’s start with what you would like to have more of in your life. What is important to you at this stage? Is this in line with your core values? Try to think of the fundamentals you would like to have more of in your life, rather than the usual New Year’s resolutions like exercising more (27% of people), eating healthier (21%) and saving money (14%). Based on the recent survey by Valuegraphics, the thing people value the most across the world is family, followed by relationships, financial security and a sense of belonging.
What is important to you? What goals have you tried to achieve, but keep postponing? What are your needs now and in the foreseeable future? How could you improve your quality of life during your transition? And are things you lost or neglected over the years still relevant moving forward?
If you’re struggling to identify what matters most to you, have a think about the following questions and see if they give you further insights:
Let’s say you have only three more years to live, what would your priorities be?
If you strip everything away, such as your job, family and friends, possessions etc., what would you be left with? What is the essence of you and your needs?
One good way to get closer to having answers to these questions is to spend some time alone in nature, without any distractions. If you are time-poor and would like to excel in your progress, seek support and accelerate your transformation with a certified coach.
Maybe the new year is the right time to start?
For those of us who are still setting New Year’s resolutions, 71% of us are sticking to them. And while we all know that change can feel extremely uncomfortable due to the uncertainty surrounding it, it doesn’t mean we cannot achieve our dreams.
Once you are clear on what you want, set a realistic time frame for when you would like to achieve your goal(s). I know this sounds like really basic project management, but while we are brilliant at achieving goals at work, we are often scared to apply the same tools to our personal lives out of fear of the outcome (loss, failure, effort and uncertainty of success).
Now sit back and imagine what your new future will feel, look and sound like. Take your time. Are you getting excited? I am excited for you. If you have read this far, it means you’re ready to take the next step.
Brainstorm and create a list of the things that always seem to get in the way of you achieving your goals. How could you hold yourself more accountable? This is a big one. Things like: ‘it’s too cold/hot/windy/dark’; ‘I am too tired’; ‘I’ll think about this tomorrow instead’; ‘I feel uncomfortable disappointing X, Y’; and so on.
Maybe you aren’t ready yet. Can you instead change your mindset, and accept and relax into your reality? Enjoy life. A good life doesn’t mean happiness at all times.
However, if you want to make changes, start now. Limiting beliefs from your past shouldn’t be an excuse for not taking full responsibility for your future life*. If you would like to read more about what it takes to make successful changes and what stops us, read my article on transformational change. If you already know what your transition process will look like, surround yourself with people that love, support but also challenge you, and you will succeed.
And if you are already transitioning into your new future and are in the midst of finding your new identity, keep in mind this quote by Bruce Lee, ‘Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless – like water’.
I have produced a short video demonstrating a breathing exercise to support you in feeling more in control. It was inspired by Stig Severinsen, four-time world freediving champion with a degree in biology and a PhD in medicine. Severinsen believes that controlling our breathing can lead to better performance, healing and stress reduction.
What would you like to leave behind?
If you want to have less resentment, frustration, worry or fear in your life, please read my article on prioritising wellbeing over happiness.
Remember your energy flows where your focus goes. The more often you allow an emotion like anger to take hold, the easier it becomes to trigger. Think of it as exercising and building your anger muscle, giving it more strength. Having more awareness of how you react will enable you to slowly control your feelings and reactions.
Stressful events, such as changing jobs or living arrangements, or family or relationship problems, can trigger symptoms of anxiety. Trying to avoid these or hold on to resentment is not a healthy long-term solution. Instead, be mindful and make conscious choices about how you want to show up for yourself and others. Also think of ways to make changes that will avoid triggering situations in the first place. Serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance, or you make changes.
Please feel free to connect for further discussion on how I can support you in accelerating change in your life. As your coach, I will be just like your sports instructor in supporting you to gain clarity and structure and help you to achieve your goals.
If you like to download as PDF please click here.
Iris – Your Transformational Coach
*If you are struggling with addiction or other serious mental health challenges, I encourage you to look for suitable local support, sooner rather than later. Addiction starts and ends with pain and, often, major loss. There is no reason for you to suffer or be ashamed. You, like everyone else, can achieve a better life in the right supportive environment.