Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I have not really been in to New Year resolutions or setting myself unrealistic goals since, as a teenager I held a hope of getting into a pair of jeans two sizes below my real body size, waking up with curly blonde hair or not being as tall as I was when I went to bed on New Year’s Eve.
The disappointment would be too big to handle.
In recent year I have adopted the practice of intuitively choosing three words that guide my coming year and to create a reminder on my phone so that I start my day every day with these three words in my heart and head.
This year I have KINDNESS, CALM and FLOW
Flow was also one of my words last year and it felt right to keep it for 2021 as well.
FLOW and images of flowing, especially rivers, waterfalls, waves and water helped me get through the confusion and uncertainty and the grief; collective and personal of 2020.
I love this verse from The Prophet by Kahlil Gilbran
The River Cannot Go Back, by Kahlil Gibran
It is said that before entering the sea
a river trembles with fear.
She looks back at the path she has travelled,
from the peaks of the mountains,
the long winding road crossing forests and villages.
And in front of her,
she sees an ocean so vast,
that to enter
there seems nothing more than to disappear forever.
But there is no other way.
The river can not go back.
Nobody can go back.
To go back is impossible in existence.
The river needs to take the risk
of entering the ocean
because only then will fear disappear,
because that’s where the river will know
it’s not about disappearing into the ocean,
but of becoming the ocean.
Here are my tips for beginning a new year in a positive way that helps you throughout the year and won’t lead to abandoning your decisions or resolutions and consequently lead to disappointment.
Conducting a life audit can help you determine whether you’re in control of your life and whether your life is headed in the right direction.
AUDIT YOUR LIFE
Life Areas to Audit
There are many areas in which you can conduct a life audit. These include the following:
- Audit how you spend your time.
- Audit your productivity.
- Audit your effectiveness.
- Audit your skills.
- Audit your education.
- Audit your health.
- Audit your finances.
- Audit your fitness level.
- Audit your habits.
- Audit your character.
- Audit your relationships (with your family and friends).
- Audit your living conditions (how clean and organized your home is, and how comfortable you feel in your home).
- Audit your creativity.
- Audit how happy you are.
- Audit your energy level.
- Audit your career.
- Audit your spiritual life.
- Audit your leisure time.
- Audit how much fun you’re having.
Take each area, reflect honestly and and write down what comes up for you.
There will be areas you are happy with, areas that feel a bit meuhhhhhhh and areas that you know need some attention to improve so that your life feels more satisfying and in FLOW.
Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to work on many areas at the same time. Select the ONE that feels the most important to you and begin there. It is better to concentrate on the most important area to you at this moment in time to create satisfaction which will help you feel grateful and it will then be easier to work on other areas of your life audit.
Micro-Step Every Day to Create Habit
My guidance has always been that it takes somewhere between 30 days and 6 months to create a new habit. So if, having audited your life, you want to create a new positive habit, make it a daily action.
By doing it every day, it creates a foundational habit that will support your journey toward achieving any bigger things you want to work on. This is really important – because you have proven to yourself that you can actually make change!
Taking a small step toward that goal every day, and solidifying a good habit helps you feel pretty darn good about yourself and your ability to keep going.
“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.” ~ Old Chinese Proverb
Put yourself at the top of your “to do” list
Yep, my favourite advice.
We all have a “to do” list and some days, it can seem daunting as to how we will manage to achieve what we have set ourselves to do.
Put yourself at the top of the list by taking care of yourself. If you strive to reach your own desires, you will become a better partner, friend, child, and parent.
It took me years to realize the value of replenishing myself and putting myself at the top of my to do list, of taking care of myself so I can take care of others. And at some point I really got that the key to happiness is to go deep inside myself and realize that I AM ENOUGH.
Here are my ideas
1.Centre yourself before leaving home
Stretching, yoga, meditation, prayer all help centre us and ground us. How do you connect to yourself to bring yourself present? Find the way that does that for you and don’t leave home without doing it.
2. Be aware of your thoughts
Redirect them so you think more about the outcomes of what you want rather than imagining the worst. Stay connected to yourself throughout the day and watch your thoughts so they don’t undermine you. Avoid imagining a negative outcome.
3. Eat healthily
Keep healthy, nutritious foods in your home and carry them with you when going out. I always have a satsuma and some nuts on me and keep lots at home.
4. Schedule time for yourself and to do the things that enliven you.
What activities do you love doing? Have you scheduled in time to do them? or rather do they get pushed off when more responsibilities get in the way. Why do you do that? It’s time to reflect.
5. Ask for support from others and voice your truth without censoring.
When someone asks how you are, do not simply mouth the empty words that you are fine. Honour your truth and strive for emotional intelligence. By doing so you allow others to tell the truth and together you can support each other.
6. Take “should” and “have to” out of your vocabulary and replace it with “choose.”
I choose to be happy. I choose to unload the dishwasher. I choose to smile not shout at the kids. Know that you are in the driver’s seat and you always have a choice.
I hope these three key areas help you shine your new 2021 beginning and help guide you in the coming months. We can’t always see where we are going but we can have positive markers on the way to make it easier and simpler.
I hope this helps and if you need support in finding out more about who you are, want to join a fun mid life yoga class or teen class, want support and cheerleading for making your year a success or harmonising your mum-daughter relationship…just message me.
I am here at your side.
My name is Pearl Ntapane from South Africa. Niki thank you so much for your ideas. Its a pity I just came across them now (2022). I wish I had seen them way earlier but I guess the universe gives you what you need at the right time. I came across your ideas while searching for ideas for my own project. I want to start a mom and daughter relationship mending or building seminar session in South Africa, but I don’t know where to start. What I know is that something needs to be done especially in the black community. With that said thank you for your work. If there are pointers you can share with me please do so. I have a Social Science Honours Degree, I have people skills, I love solving problems, i love harmony, peace and love. I communicate well with people I have a vibrant personality. I just lack the experience I need for this goal I’ve set for myself. Which is to help build solid foundations (relationships) between parents and children so we can produce positive optimistic and loving generations. The aim is to break the negative attitudes and hate that seems to dominate in black society. If there’s any assistance you can offer me please do reach out. Thank you Niki.