I'm feeling my usual gung-ho-ness about a brand new year, and already it feels like 2013 is off to a flying start! I'm feeling really happy, optimistic and taking time to celebrate achievements, big and small.
In a conversation with a good friend I was reminded how we rarely pauses to enjoy the now. I know I don't. I'm always looking ahead; to the next goal, to the next adventure, to the next journey, to the next whatever. I think to myself, "I want this, that and that to happen" and "In my ideal life this and that will happen, and I'll be doing this". I keep looking ahead, always with the future in mind, and it's just dawned on me that "this, that and that" have happened, they do happen and I'm looking ahead so much I don't actually realise what I want is happening at the time!
So, this year I am going to try and be more mindful; to enjoy the journey, not just the destination. Sometimes peeps say "Oh, you are so lucky!", but I disagree. I'm not lucky at all; I don't believe in luck. I work really hard for the successes I have. I strive for more. Of course I love doing what I do and I'm grateful I have the wherewithal to make plans, set things in motion and get to my goals. I've just realised I sound a bit serious, I'm not, I'm just grateful and very appreciative, and being mindful!
So, onto this brand new year!
What are you going to do to keep being happy? What are you going to change to be even happier?! If we are not happy with something it's down to us to change our situation, or adjust our outlook and perception.
About 15 years ago I read a book about the power of positive thinking. Unfortunately I can't remember the exact title or who it was by (it wasn't this popular book by Normal Vincent Peale though) but it had a huge effect on me and my attitude. Looking back I used to be fairly negative in my thinking; my glass was half empty. The biggest lesson I took from that book was that I could learn to be more positive. It was a very easy thing to do, much easier to do that I first anticipated; whenever a negative thought popped into my mind I would change it to a positive one, even if I didn't really believe it at the time.
Negative - Oh, I'm never going to be able to run a mile so what's the point in even trying.
Positive - I can't wait to be able to run a mile! It will take some time and effort and I'm going to feel great when I am able to do it!
Over a period of time I re-trained my brain by catching the negative self-talk as it happened and replacing it with something a lot more positive. And it worked! My outlook changed, I felt happier, I felt like I could do more and achieve more and my confidence grew. I went on to take a year long life coaching course and gained a qualification there, and also qualified as an NLP (neuro linguistic programming) practitioner. I never looked back. I got out of a job that I had done for far too long which was getting me down, went travelling around the USA, moved house and started the process of doing work that I love.
It's important to surround yourself with positive people too! The company you keep has a huge influence on you. Spend time with people who make you feel great. Connect with people you admire. A goal for 2012 was to bannish negative people from my life, and doing that has made such a wonderful difference! I highly recommend it.
This time last year I wanted to get my online profile in order, and I've done that. If you want to keep up to date with everything I am up to with work and play, then karenstrunks.com is the best place to be! It's my portfolio site and I update with all my blog posts from other areas.
I also wanted to be braver and bolder, and push myself out of my comfort zone. I think I've done that to some degree but it's a work in progress and something I'm going to continue to do; saying yes, and seeking out adventures along the way.
London! Having spent more time in the city last year I've got it in my sights and I'm very excited about new work opportunities in the Big Smoke!
Right! Time to get on and get going with 2013! :)
Whatever you do with the brand new year, have a blast! Make it your sparkliest yet!