Now that the hustle and bustle of Christmas is over, I like to take stock of my year before heading into the new year to set my intentions or goals for the coming year. I do a quiet reflection and look at my growth, change, and accomplishment in particular. I want to start my new year strong and positive. Why would I want to focus on loss and negativity and things I did not accomplish when I can spend the exact same amount of energy on the good things this past year? I also have been doing some reading and some personal work on the universal law of attraction. That law states that where and what we focus on becomes our reality. We focus on the positive, we invite more of that in. The same goes for negativity. So why would anyone want to spend their precious time on the negative?
Some of the reason why our default setting to focus on the negative can be connected to our own families. We are influenced by our family of origin in many ways. The influence they have on our perspective or point of view can become background noise and taken for granted as “that’s just the way things are”. Then, unconsciously, we are naturally inclined to focus on the negative if the influence has been negative. That default setting can feel like we are cemented into that spot. I know, I’ve been re-writing my mental script for a long time. It is a mental script that gets stuck on auto-play. It’s intentional work to undo it. But, the more we focus on the negative, the more of that we become aware of. Loss moulds and shapes who you are, but it doesn’t have to limit you. Pain doesn’t have to weigh you down. You can CHOOSE to let that loss and pain be a gift. It’s hard in the newness of loss to choose gratitude, but in reflection of the greatest losses I have experienced, I can be grateful for how those experiences shaped my resilience, my compassion, and my patience. However, that does come after you have given yourself the space and grace to heal. All of those gifts have been incredibly important in my stepfamily evolution.
You can decide right now that 2019 is going to be magical, or potent, or ridiculously amazing, or successful. Choose one word or a two or three word phrase for yourself for the year ahead (or start with that word for January and as you grow, change and evolve pick another). You can also think about the word you want for your relationship with your spouse. Pick a word or phrase with your partner like fun, courageous, unity or strength. Or pick your focus phrase or words every month as you feel like you are accomplishing your desires and goals.
Think about what seeds you want to plant and the flowers or fruit you want to grow for 2019. That is your focus, that is your strength. I like to write down my focus phrases. It makes them more intentional. I like to use post it notes- they are simple and easy, and I post them on my bathroom mirror. You can post yours on the bathroom or other places too like the rear view mirror in your car, your computer screen, inside your brief case. Any place you will see it, and be reminded of it more than once during your day. Remember, you are rewriting old scripts you’ve told yourself 1000’s of times. It will take some practice to get yourself believing and internalizing it.
Another thing I like to do for setting goals is reading some books for my year ahead. I want to improve myself. If I improve myself, then the rest of my family benefits. It’s part of my self care. I like academic books and inspirational books. I am reading “The Four Agreements” By Don Miguel Ruiz. And I cannot believe how helpful it would be for stepfamily dynamics. I am also reading “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage” by Mark Gungor. (By the way, these are two books I highly recommend and I’m not even done reading them yet!) My hubby and I attended Mark’s weekend workshop of the same title and we LAUGHED and cried and grew. Best part of that? We grew together. As I type this I’ve decided to add to my 2 words I’ve chosen for 2019 and add GROWTH. I feel that coming for me, for my husband, my marriage and for my stepfamily.
Many blessings to you and your family for 2019!