For new subscribers and others who want to review my blogs: Go to www.ShelliChosak.com and click on Blog link—might give you some ideas for what is meaningful to you.
“I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance.” ―Pablo Casals
For most of us, if we consider making New Year’s Resolutions, it’s a to-do list, like losing weight, exercising more, being more productive, etc.
How about starting off the New Year with giving some thought to what is most meaningful to you in your life—what will truly give you lasting satisfaction, purpose, and a way to make your life more fulfilling? Here are some ideas on how to figure that out (check all that apply):
- How do you most enjoy your time:
- Being alone?
- Being with other people you enjoy?
- A combination of both along time and time with others?
- Spending time being creative: any activity that stimulates your imagination?
- Spending time being reflective: thinking about what is important to you, reading that helps you illuminate your thoughts?
- Spending time in physical activity that gives you energy and a sense of well-being?
- Spending time in activities that are stimulating and self-affirming (which ones)?
- Spending time in nature?
- Who do you most enjoy being with:
- Who appreciates you?
- Who is the most interesting?
- Who is the best listener?
- Who is the most thoughtful?
- Who stimulates your imagination/creativity?
- Who makes you laugh?
- Who is the most genuine and honest, always with kindness?
- Who do you trust the most?
- Who makes you feel better about yourself?
- Who are your role models?
- What are the qualities these people have that you admire?
- What do you imagine your life would be like if you were to be more like them?
- How likely is it that you could be more like them?
- How do you imagine your life would be different/better if you were like them?
- What might be any disadvantages to be like them?
- Which of the above would like to have more of in your life?
- How will you go about making that happen?
- What are the “shoulds” and/or “obligations” (self-talk) that keep you from making them reality?
- What do you honestly and genuinely believe you deserve?
- Is there anything you feel you don’t deserve? How might this stop you?
- What are the internal messages you’ve lived with that influence your choices—things like being productive, pleasing others, need to be perfect, or being critical of/judging your choices, based on those messages?
Sometimes there are relationships or situations that have significant meaning to you, but you don’t allow yourself to acknowledge their importance because you see them as impossible to improve or to ever become what you want them to be. Some examples of this include a relationship with a parent, sibling, mate, child, or friend. Or it might be an educational or career goal you believe you don’t have the ability or means to accomplish. It could also be a physical skill or activity that you dearly want but don’t think you could ever attain the proficiency it requires.
It takes courage to admit these are things you really want, so often excuses are made, or your wishes are rationalized away or simply denied. If you think this may be true for you, your challenge is to allow yourself to acknowledge your desires. One way to do this is to write down the following sentence to complete: “If I really felt strong, good enough about myself, my abilities and/or my resilience, (or something similar) I would….: Finish the sentence in as many different ways you can, including “I can’t make this happen because…” Then instruct your logical brain to identify the emotional reasoning and replace it with logic. You might write something like: “The reasons I give myself for not being able to accomplish my wish are actually my fears talking.” “I’m afraid if I do everything right, I still won’t be able to get what I want and/or need.”
Don’t try to analyze your reasons, just simply acknowledge they are barriers you’ve set up due to fear. Then write down all the possible outcomes that could occur, if your fear wasn’t dominating your internal dialogue. Next write down what if the outcome was what you feared—would you survive? What might you learn from the experience? Remember this quote: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
That’s a whole lot to think about! So start small—pick one item from the lists of suggestions. Write down your responses, leave it for a while, then go back and reflect on what you’ve written to see if you would keep those answers or choose others.
Pick one thing that you’d like to do to bring more meaning into your life, then do it and see what happens. If you do nothing, you are guaranteed to continue to miss out on more meaningful experiences. If you at least make the effort, you are telling yourself you are worth it!
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw
“Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.” – Theodore Roosevelt
I’d love to hear your comments or questions. You can reach me at: Shelli [at] ShelliChosak [dot] com
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