A new year provides the perfect time to manifest your goals
By Contributing Writer Caitlin Hall
With the New Year upon us, many of you are taking this time to manifest your goals and dreams for the coming decade. We are encouraged to begin setting plans into motion for a more improved us or releasing the toxic energies we tend to focus on, especially in our teaching profession. The energy of ending an old year and ushering in a new one can lead to powerful changes and create a spark for continued growth. It is a time of hope.
New Year’s resolutions fueled by the incredibly strong New Year energy is asking us to jumpstart our changes now. This aggressive energy and desire for change in winter can actually hurt our long-term goals if we do not pace ourselves and plan accordingly. Just as we teach our students how to create SMART goals to achieve their desired outcome, we must do the same for our own New Year growth goals.
Let’s take a look at a few reasons why our New Year resolutions lose steam so early and how we can put this winter season to good use to manifest your goals in 2020.
Winter vs. Willpower
Winter is the worst time to jumpstart big changes in your life. In the winter, our bodies are hibernating. We lack essential sunlight which provides Vitamin D, and it is really cold outside which tells our bodies we have to fight extra hard to stay warm in order to survive. Also, it is dark. So, unless you have already established a consistent habit of going to the gym, your willpower to continue in these conditions is biologically wired to fail. Our bodies want to rest during this season.
Traditional Chinese medicine suggests going to bed early and waking late during this season due to the exertion the weather has on our bodies. Doing normal routines can seem taxing as our bodies are essentially fighting to survive. This does not mean your goals need to be put on hold, however, it just means the more rigorous goals would be more productive in March when our bodies are waking up from their hibernation to embrace the warmer days.
Give yourself grace during this winter season. Use this time to manifest your goals, set realistic benchmarks, plan, and nurture your body so when the warmer weather returns you will be mentally and physically ready to conquer whatever goal you set for yourself.
Manifesting Your Goals
My favorite part of harnessing the New Year energy is sitting with a warm cup of herbal tea, snuggled up in my favorite comfy blanket and journal to reflect on the past year and dream of what I want the coming year to look like. As I sip my tea, I envision each month, playing out scenarios that feel right. Sort of like a vision board in your mind’s eye, envisioning your year can lead to unexpected moments of clarity about what is no longer serving you and needs to be released and what you would like to manifest.
After, I spend time “brain dumping” all the things I want to release and manifest in the new year. Usually, I web my thoughts together into one theme to focus on. This year I used, Susannah Conway’s Unravel Your Year 2020 workbook to help me release 2019 and welcome 2020 through reflection, dreaming and focus. You can use any tool for this season of manifesting, but the important part is to get those thoughts on paper, sit with them and pick out the words, goals and plans that feel best to move into 2020 with you.
Focusing on your true intention as to why you are setting the goals you choose will help keep you motivated to complete them. Setting arbitrary goals without intrinsic value to your soul will be harder to achieve.
Unrealistic Goal Setting
Many times the goals we set are completely out of our control. For example, someone might have the goal of losing 50 pounds before December 31st. That is a fabulous goal, but that person cannot possibly see what the future might hold that will impact their health or how their body chemistry will react with their efforts. For some, losing 50 pounds can happen in a matter of months. For others, the road is much harder despite their efforts.
When we set goals we have little control over, we set ourselves up for frustration and inevitably give up. Instead, set goals you know you can achieve such as eating healthier and being consistent with a workout regime. Start in the winter months by setting aside a certain amount of time each day to do a light workout at home and set small healthy habit goals such as drinking water each day. These small milemarkers in winter will help you be ready to hit the gym with full force come springtime.
Once you have goals in mind, the most important thing that needs to happen next is planning. As the adage goes, “a goal without a plan is just a wish.” Planning is the most essential part of meeting any New Year’s resolution. Just as we create lesson plans with benchmarks for our students to meet, we must also benchmark our goals out for successful completion.
Winter is a great time to look inward and get our planning on. Once you have really thought out your goals you can start gathering resources you need for the year. That might mean more strategizing on what you need to accomplish your goal or finding a local gym in your area. Maybe it’s creating a budget to save money for a class you want to take.
You have a whole year to make the changes you desire. It is better to use this hibernation time to plan, manifest your goals and gather the materials you need to be successful than play the hare and give up mid-January.
Nurture Your Goals and Yourself
Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Goals, plans and dreams can change rapidly. The goals you set into motion now, might not be the same goal you accomplish by the end of the year. Like the seasons change, so do we.
Remember to set aside time for reflection, relaxation and fun! Life is all about balance and being fluid with what happens next. A rigid mindset is the killer of motivation and a sabotager of growth.
If you have discovered you tend to not follow through with your New Year’s resolutions, give starting slow in winter a try!