With the new year upon us, it is a good time to take stock and look at how our lives are unfolding. Although I try to do this on a regular basis throughout the year, there is no better time, in my opinion, than New Year to sit back and reflect.
How was 2017 for you? Do you remember taking stock this time last year? What promises did you make to yourself? How far have you come along the road to achieving the successes you said you would?
Many people dislike New Years’ for range of reasons, but this opportunity to reflect, assess and plan is my favourite thing about heading into a new year. It is not a time to berate yourself for not achieving all you wanted to. Instead, try to enter into this reflection with a sense of self-care and appreciation for all that you have achieved, you will feel better and more motivated to set positive targets for the coming months.
Celebrate the Highlights
12 months can seem like a long time. Do you remember the days that you felt like you were on top of the world? Perhaps not. Much of the time we tend to focus on what went wrong instead of what went right. This is your chance to look back through your diary or calendar and identify your successes.
Remember, successes don’t have to be huge to be worthy of a celebration. Any move in the right direction will get you closer and closer to where you want to be over time. Don’t forget to look at all areas of your life too. Success is not just monetary, or career related. You could have successes that are easily overlooked in your relationships, your hobbies, your community, or your health & lifestyle. If you moved one step closer to a goal this year, then right that down as a success. If you didn’t make as much progress as you’d like, not to worry, there’s always time to do more this year.
Give Yourself a Pat on the Back
Even if 2017 has been the best year of your life so far, chances are it didn’t come without it’s fair share of trouble. 365 days are sure to carry along with them some days where you would have preferred to pull the duvet over your head and stay there.
Take some time to reflect on those hard times. Resist the urge to be drawn back into the drama that may have accompanied the tough days, just note them, admit that it was tough and then say to yourself, ‘well done, you made it through’. You’re still here, hanging in there and that deserves recognition. I’m sure it wasn’t easy, life often isn’t. But you’re strong, you have survived this, and the new year is an opportunity for you to move onto better and brighter days.
Decide What’s Next
Back to the title of this post – Dare to be Audacious in 2018. What does the word audacious mean to you? It encapsulates the idea of courage, creativity and liberation. Are they words that sum you up right now? Perhaps not. That’s ok, society urges us to play it safe, not to dare too big lest we fail.
However, you have just spent some time looking back on your achievements of the past year. Your highlights were achieved because you set your sights on a goal and then made it happen. You made it through what were at times choppy waters too. What is not to be courageous about? You now know that you can achieve goals that you have set your mind to. You have already done so.
We’re all creative in our own way. Again, sometimes as adults it’s easy to neglect our creative side. But you can be sure that it’s in there, no matter how deep, devising incredible plans for your future. Are you willing to tap into it?
When you team your creativity & courage with the freedom to act you are well on your way to daring to live audaciously. From whom do you seek permission to act on your dreams? No two people will answer this question the same way. Sometimes we are so scared of other people’s responses that we don’t even seek permission, rather we just assume that wouldn’t receive the support we hope for. This does both yourself and the other party a disservice. We surround ourselves with loved ones in our lives for a reason. No person is an island, we need support and encouragement to live our lives to the full. When you let someone else in on your big dreams you give them a chance to get behind you and lend you their full support. However, it is important that you do not rely entirely upon this support. It is nice when it comes, but if it doesn’t what then?
If your family and friends do not understand or support your dreams, what should you do? That is only for you to decide. Ask yourself how important this dream is to you and decide whether it is important enough to proceed with on your own. The truth is you don’t need permission. Unless your dream involves a significant upheaval that involves other people, you can proceed without asking anyone. If there are others who will be impacted then instead of simply giving up on your dream, sit down and explain to them just how much it means to you, and why. Those people who truly love you will be more likely to lend you their support when they understand your motivation.
Are you feeling audacious yet? I hope so! It is in daring to dream the big dreams and taking the brave steps to turn it into reality that your life can and will change for the better this year. Decide to be courageous, creative and free. Live life like the audacious, curious person you are – and wait to see what amazing developments occur over the next 12 months.
You can do this!