The New Year is an obvious time to reflect on the year that has passed, but it is also an opportunity to plan for the year ahead. Living with Parkinson’s means that I live in a constant state of self-evaluation and self-improvement; I regularly have to evaluate what is and isn’t contributing to my health and well-being, but I feel that this should be something that we could all benefit from doing regularly, not just once a year. The New Year is a time of optimism and hope; it is a time to look at the areas of our lives that aren’t working and then to make the necessary changes, it is a time to sync with our souls and do more of what makes us happy.
Think back to the year that has gone. What would your life look like today if you had kept last year’s resolutions? Are you a better version of yourself now than you were at the start of the year? What did you hope to achieve this time last year? Did you do it? Have your dreams gone unrealised? Many of you will be answering ‘no’ and feel that this represents failure, but if your resolutions were not kept, then perhaps they never happened for a good reason; life is unpredictable and can derail us, maybe they were shallow goals that didn’t show an understanding of what really mattered, or you may be standing still as that is easier than making changes to your life, there may be a fear of failure and of not being good enough, or perhaps you are just drifting through life whilst waiting for the arrival of death?
Many of us will have been through some tough times last year, it may not have been an easy year and in no way do I want to dismiss anyone’s pain; but I would imagine that you are a lot stronger and abler to handle whatever else is thrown at you, and you will have certainly learned some valuable lessons along the way. Every setback gives us an opportunity to grow and develop.
If you are discontented with your life, then that is a sign that something needs to change. The New Year is a time to explore what needs to stay and what needs to go. There are things that can’t be changed, but there are many parts of your life where you have choices and options. Change causes us fear, but does that mean that we should stay in a situation that is soul-destroying? Are you still going to be held hostage this time next year? Perhaps it’s time to reflect on what’s important to you and build a life around that?
One way that I start the New Year is by doing a vision board; this is a visible reminder of my goals for the year ahead, it can be done on a cork board, a page, or on your phone, the options are endless. The important thing about creating a vision board, is that it should be somewhere where you can check in with it regularly to assess your progress; most resolutions are broken by the end of January, but a vision board is a good way to keep up the momentum and prevent us being stagnant. List all of the things that you want in your life and the things that make you truly happy, use positive words or images from magazines, have an optimistic mindset, feel the emotion of achieving those targets and plan a life that you today would be jealous of. If fear didn’t exist, then what would you do? Vision boards are positive and less about ‘giving up’ things and more about welcoming in what you desire. Think of your vision board as a prescription for happiness and a visible reminder of your goals.
Don’t forget to follow creating a vision board with action though! Why not give it a go? It has worked for me. Plant that seed of hope and possibility today, then buckle up; by this time next year you might be amazed at what has happened …
Happy New Year!