10 Subtle Ways to Feel Different in 2018 and Keep the Momentum Going

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It's a new year. Doesn't that feel so good?

The beginning of a new year always seems to be full of so much hope and clarity. It's an opportunity to begin again. Start over. Do things differently. 

We charge into January with so much intention, so much motivation, so much gusto. 

We are moving and shakin' our bodies. We are eating clean and healthy. We are in a state of gratitude and practicing some big shifts. We are on a roll. We are abundant!

Then, slowly, it starts to taper off. We skip the workout class to meet friends for happy hour but on the drive there, promise ourselves that tomorrow we will move our person once again.

But we don't. 

We crave pizza and cocktails and tell ourselves that it is just this one time. Tomorrow we will eat well again. 

But again, we don't. All of those things we wanted for ourselves start to slowly slip away. 

We find old thoughts and behaviors creeping in slowly and before we know it, it's as if we are back in 2017 all over again. 

Nooooo!

Kidding. 2017 wasn't that bad. 

Again, I kid. 2017 can take a big old hike!

Okay, okay,  it wasn't that bad. I had some pretty incredible things happen in 2017 too. But I am rather happy to flip the calendar on that one. 

I know I'm not the only one who is happy to say goodbye to 2017. It seems a lot of us had a bit of a difficult year and were more than happy to say peace! See ya later! Sayonara! 

But you see, the thing is, I really don't ever want to wish a year away again. The years are moving faster and faster and well, we are only allotted so many of them and I hope to make them all count. 

Be it a "good" or "bad" year,  all of it has an offering for us. This is coming off a year that more times then I care to admit, had me wailing on the floor in the middle of my living room.

So much of it made no sense to me.

However, I am starting to see things a bit clearer and although I may never say that it all happened for a reason, I am starting to see more clarity in how I can take those crappy moments and turn them into something really meaningful. 

And damn it feels good to feel optimistic again. 

I have something pretty awesome and big things in the works. I'll be so excited to share it with you soon. 

Until then, I spent New Year's Eve in a deep reflection, thinking about the previous year and drawing my biggest learnings from all the events that happened and the conclusion that I came to was that 2017 was a catalyst for some pretty intense personal growth on all levels

Physically, emotional, mental. You name it and 2017 challenged it all. 

Parts of 2017 really did stink. However, even those hard events have created new ways of me wanting to be with myself and in the world. 

This year for New Year's Eve, I decided to forgo the usual get dressed up, find a party, drink too much and feel like utter and complete poop the next day for a quiet, reflective night at home by the fire.

I'm not going to lie, my FOMO definitely kicked in. (Mom, FOMO means, fear of missing out.)  But if I have taken anything away this year it's getting really honest with myself and asking what it is I truly need.

I needed to end 2017 in the most positive, intentional, loving way I know how. 

That involved getting quiet, playing my favorite tunes, making a fire, diffusing my favorite essential oils, and then answering some really honest questions I'd been avoiding for, well, ever. 

2017 may have had some doozy experiences but my ability to draw goodness from those happenings is what gives me confidence for 2018. 

And from the events of this past year, I realized that as much as this space is an outlet for me to share, process and heal, I want to get back to a place of offering you something more. 

So I took the last year and I came up with ten subtle ways to feel different in 2018. Use them, don't, use one or two, use none. 

Overall, I hope you too can look back at your 2017 with kindness and love and take exactly what you need to make this year the best.

10 subtle ways to feel different in 2018 -- and keep the momentum going.    

1. Take stock of what is and what isn't working in your life. 

If you've been reading this blog for awhile you know I am a big fan of having my "come to Jesus' moments. These are those sometimes painful, sometimes liberating moments when I stop hiding and get really honest with myself about the various areas of my life that aren't working. Or are working. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Those things that aren't working are merely catalysts to create change and go down a different path. A lot of the time you have to experience the pain to get on the right path. And those areas that are working -- well celebrate it! We all could probably use a little more celebrating in our lives. 

2. Go slow

I think one of the keys to creating lasting change in your life is going at it slow. This is speaking from years of experience. I'm what is called an Activator. I get an idea and wham! I want it all to fall into place right now and will do whatever is necessary to get there. Then I lose steam and move onto the next thing. I forget that sometimes, slow and steady wins the race. So my advice, and only because I've learned this the hard way, treat your idea, your dreams, your goals or whatever you call it, like a houseplant. Take all the precautions to allow it to grow big and strong. Good, organic soil, water, light, time to root down, and slowly but surely, it will in fact grow. 

3. Start small

You know that saying, Rome wasn't built in a day? Well, why the heck do we think we can take a lifelong habit and wish it away overnight? Patience is pretty important when it comes to making lasting change. And kindness. To yourself and others. Baby steps my dears. Just put one foot in front of the others and before you know it, you've walked a mile. 

5. Build self-trust

Every time we make a new goal or want to change a way we do something we have the opportunity to build self-trust. A healthy sense of trusting yourself is imperative to create habits that last. However, every time we don't follow through, we are breaking that trust with ourselves and others. We may be able to brush it off, but again, speaking from experiences, it starts to compile over time and feels like a big heavy weight on your shoulders. It doesn't feel good at all. So this is why going slow and starting small is really important. 

6. Live and breath your values

I remember one day I realized while talking with someone that I really didn't have a clear idea what my values were. That made me sad. Then I remember thinking if I don't know what I stand for, how am I ever going to get the things that I want? So I came up with a list of my top five personal values and I wrote them out and posted them on a board in my room. I base all my decisions, er, well, I try to base all my decisions off of whether or not they are aligned with those five values. I truly believe if you do this, you'll feel so much better about how you make decisions in your life. 

7. Say goodbye to those that aren't a fit anymore

You'd think this one was a no-brainer but it's amazing how many people we tend to keep in our lives without really taking a good long look as to why. I've had to silently say goodbye to a few friendships this year and mostly within the last few weeks. Not because I don't care about them deeply but because it wasn't healthy for me to keep them as am active person in mu life. It was what was best for me to propel forward on my path. I knew it in my gut. Holding on to them was like holding onto a giant weight. I felt like I couldn't get any forward momentum.

It's okay to say goodbye. It's hard. It's not always black and white but most of the time you know, deep down, that it's the right thing to do.  

8. Let go of expectations

Expectations are a huge killer of happiness and joy. When we expect a certain outcome, we limit ourselves from the possibility that life could offer us something so much better. When we have expectations, we are often met with great disappointment when life doesn't unfold how we think it should. Sometimes it can derail us. Often it will prevent us from moving forward with our goals, hopes and dreams. And thus, we get stuck. Really stuck. 

I know it may feel totally unrealistic to never have expectations but I think as we learn to adjust them we stay in the organic flow that is life and our let down isn't as extreme. We allow life to redirect us and from personal experiences, the redirection is usually better then anything I could have crafted had I forced my way into fruition. 

What's that saying? Oh yeah, let go, let God. 

9. Give up the ego labels

I learned this lesson big time this past year when I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that had no known origin. I found myself feeling really confused and lost, like I didn't belong. People would ask what kind of cancer I had and I'd just stare at them blankly. "Um, well, I was diagnosed with metastatic cancer of an unknown primary."

I'd be met with blank stares and looks of confusing and I'd want to reach out and say, "Yeah, I'm confused too."

Eventually I had to find a way to just stop caring so much about the label and focus on other things. This made me think about all the other areas of my life I am attached to certain labels. Labels help us compartmentalize ourselves into little boxes.  However, I think that sometimes what we identify ourselves with can cause overwhelm and internal chaos in our lives. I find myself feeling this way a lot. Especially being a 'jack-of-all' trades kind of gal. But when it comes down to it, I'm just me, Amanda, and feels so much better.

10. Get a Dog. Seriously. Or a cat. Or both

Okay, this really has nothing to do with feeling different in 2018 but Rocky kind of changed my life in 2017 and so if you are teetering on the line of deciding whether or not to get a pet, I say do it. 100%, get the dog or cat or pet. As long as you can responsibly take care of them, do it. 

 

Do You Affirm? The Power of Affirmations and How to Do Them

Affirmation

To be honest, the first time I really heard of affirmations or the power of the mind and law of attraction was when the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne came out in 2006. I think my dad bought the book for me and I half ass read it. Back then I didn't have the belief in myself that I could make the changes necessary to really put the words into action in my own life. In the years to come I heard of affirmations here and there but again, wasn't ready to really put forth the effort to use them properly or at all even. Then I read the book, You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. In her book Loise talks about how turning negative thoughts into positive ones can begin to heal your body and your life and attract the things that your heart desires. It's that simple.

Doing affirmations is a way of subtly shifting your thinking from one direction to the opposite, typically negative to positive. It's a powerful tool because most of the time we are unaware that our thoughts are affecting our life in such a significant way and this allows us to change ourselves and thus change our lives.

Affirmations define our focus. What we think is what we believe and what we believe is what we attract into our lives. Some say this is coincidence but I truly believe in the power of the mind and metaphysics. "I think therefore I am" is a well known quote with a very deep and transcendent meaning.

We do have the power to radically change our lives. There are countless stories out there of people going from the deep end to living a beautiful, happy and fulfilled life for of joy, love and total acceptance.

So why are affirmations so powerful?

Think about this; we have thousands of thoughts going through our mind every single day. They often come and go before we know it and most of the time they are so habitual we don't even realize what they are. Good or Bad.

So many of our beliefs about ourselves are buried deep in our subconscious mind from years and years of experiences that help shape how we view ourselves and the world. If you grew up in a lovely, positive home and have lovely positive experiences  you may be way ahead of the game here, believing deeply in yourself and your abilities. However, if the opposite is true then chances are you have limiting beliefs that have shaped your experience of the world and your belief in yourself.

An example of this is from my own personal experience.  I had two parents who loved me but often our home was volatile and had a vibrational energy that kept us all on edge. I love my dad very much and understand now that he did the best he could given his own experiences but he was unpredictable which left me lacking the ability to trust and feel safe. Because of this I developed very limiting beliefs in others and myself and always held people at arms length. Until recently, I realized I had a hard time developing deep and meaningful relationships because I couldn't trust and I was scared they would hurt me and I would remain very detached. This, however, no longer serves me. I want relationships that are free and deep and filled with love and joy and a connection that is powerful and real.

So, I've been working on affirming that I trust in all and am open to knowing them deeply.

I will admit, it's been 30+ years of me thinking a certain way and sometimes it's hard. Sometimes it's hard turning a negative thought into a positive one because I still, at times, find comfort in the old. However, I truly believe that it no longer serves who I really am and who I aspire to grow into and I persevere.

I've noticed my connection grow with those already in my life and those that are just entering it. I'm more open and vulnerable. It's subtle but profound in many ways. When I feel that familiar fear start to creep back in I simply say to myself: "I trust all and am open to knowing them deeply."

So how did I get to this point?

Have you ever tracked your thoughts?

This is a fascinating tool to begin seeing how you actually view yourself and the world. At some point in my life I started to see that I viewed the world and myself very negatively which I now know is because of my inability to trust and my unpredictable early years. However, I no longer want to be a victim of those circumstances and started to pay more attention to my thought process. What I saw made me sad because I knew at the core of my being that I wasn't those thoughts and eventually I just couldn't take it anymore. Something had to change and I knew it was me.

So, I began to turn my thoughts around. If I found myself saying to myself, 'why would they like me?' I'd turn it around and say 'they are a really interesting person and I want to dive deeper into getting to know who they are.' I make it exciting instead of scary.

How You Can Change Your Thought Patterns?

Start to pay attention to what you think. Begin bringing some awareness throughout the day as things happen and see what thought pops up. Try not to be judgmental or hard on yourself. Your thoughts are hardwired into your subconscious and it will take some time to rewire. I have to work on it every single day.

Begin to flip the thought on it's head. For example, if it's something like, "I have to lose 10 pounds," say "I love and accept myself the way I am." You may need to lose 10 pounds to be healthier but losing the weight isn't going to make you like yourself, those negative thoughts are still there until we begin to see more positively.

Another example is, "I am always broke and live paycheck to paycheck," which could become, "I have everything I need and am open to financial security."

Here are a few others that I love:

I am open and free and love all of life

I trust that I am exactly where I need to be

I am successful in whatever I do

I celebrate my individuality

I'm creative in my own unique way

Practice makes perfect. Doing this regularly will begin to reshape how you view yourself and others and will affect the things that come into your life.

Trust me, just try it and see.

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Okay, your turn! Do you affirm? Share one of your affirmations below in the comments for all to share and use!

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