Intentional Habits to Glide Into the New Year With Ease
Happy New Year! The promise of new beginnings is just beyond alluring, is it not? Whether you are rocking it or are struggling, a new ride is just fun! We’ve had a heck of a 2020, and though there is light at the end of the tunnel, 2021 is off to a slow start. I say we go with the flow, with tenderness and compassion. I say we glide into the new year with ease.
Tenderness, compassion, and ease does not mean taking it easy, being lazy, or dragging butt! It just means doing it right and with finesse.
Last month we covered a whole process to help you wrap up the year and get set up to start the new one right. We:
- Created space for the new by decluttering to lay the groundwork.
- Paved the way for the new by getting into the right frame of mind.
- Designed the strategy for the new by creating a vision and establishing goals.
Now we get ready to ride the new ride well. We make sure we are resourced to do what it takes, to stay the course, and to enjoy the way.
Now is the time to embrace a joy, connection, and abundance mindset. To shift our focus from doing to being. You can wrestle the thing to the ground and still make nothing happen, or not get the ultimate results you are looking for, if you approach it solely by doing. The key is to infuse it with your being.
When you integrate doing and being in your life is when the magic happens. So, this is the focus of today’s message: how to live your life integrating doing and being to create a beautiful symphony.
The way I like to approach this is to first create the container for the experience, the music hall for the orchestra. Every instrument has its place and time to make its appearance in the masterpiece being played, and so does everything in your life.
This is why I often write about designing our ideal day, the music hall, and about embracing an enrichment lifestyle, the orchestra, and tending to it with intentional habits, the instruments, so we can easily and masterfully create our best life, the transcendental music.
Using habits to manage our doing and being is a brilliant way of staying focused on the right ladder against the right wall in all areas of our life while infusing it with our presence. This is the easiest way to get all the right instruments in the right places so they can create their music.
Let’s say that you are focusing on up-leveling your wellness (joy), connection (love), and success/creation/impact (abundance), as these are typically the areas people focus on improving. And, that you have goals for these for the year. And, that you are scratching your head as to how to achieve the goals. You might know what you need to do, but are worried that you won’t stick with it to get the results desired.
This is where the habits come in. They keep you focused and going without white-knuckling or depending solely on limited willpower. They help you effortlessly imbue your day with what is important to you, stay focused, and stay the course.
Therefore, adding wellness, connection, and success habits to your intentional ideal day that includes being mindful and present is the simplest and surest way to create magic.
This includes all kinds of tactics for increasing wellbeing, health, vitality, and longevity. This area is where I usually house the self-care practice, which I strongly encourage include a mindfulness practice.
I place a strong emphasis on this area because it is extremely difficult to be able to connect with others and be successful if we are not connected to ourselves and functioning optimally first.
Having a rich self-care practice and practicing loving ourselves not only keeps us healthy and energetic, but it helps us with self-regulation and resilience. This is a huge aspect of personal development and evolution.
When we don’t abandon ourselves, we don’t worry about others not being there for us. And, we bring cleaner energy and resourcefulness to our interactions. This is what helps us show up well for our loved ones, and enables us to create our meaningful and impactful life.
So, when you say you don’t have time for self-care, I say you don’t have time to not have time for self-care!
Some suggestions for your wellness habits:
- Early rising.
- Meditation, prayer, affirmations, visualization, silence.
- Journaling, morning pages, inspirational reading or listening.
- Setting an intention for the day.
- Skin brushing, face rolling, body rolling, massage, infrared light, cold showers, silk or satin sheets, eye-drops.
- Juicing, smoothies, warm lemon water (with turmeric, ginger, and cayenne pepper), green teas, structured water.
- Exercise routine (weight training, HIIT, stretching), jaw exerciser, good posture.
- Supplements, probiotics, lectin shield, colon cleanse.
- Plant-based gluten and lectin-free nutrition.
- Reduce carbs, caffeine, and alcohol.
- Intermittent fasting, early dinners, sleep healthy brain aid (2 tbl MCT Oil and 2 tbl of collagen powder two hours before bedtime), daily floss and mouth wash, brain exercises.
- Screenless time, social media detox, reducing blue light.
- Early to bed.
- Gratitude list, gratitude journal.
[Related: Spring Cleaning: Letting Go With Gratitude]
This is about connecting with our higher power, with our self, with our loved ones, with our community, and with the world at large. The relationships we create are the strongest indicators of resilience, vitality, and longevity. Our connection to other people and our relationships are what give our life meaning.
Connection gives us safety, security, and belonging, which are primal drivers in our human experience. Connection is what makes relationships special, what gives us joy, what makes our heart sing. In connection, we know we exist. In connection, we know we are having a human experience.
When partners complain about feeling disconnected from their partner, they are not just whining, they are sharing they are in pain. They are in existential pain. Especially as they are also disconnected from themselves - which we know they are because they feel disconnected from their partner.
You see, when we complain we are feeling disconnected from our partner, we are actually complaining we are disconnected from ourselves. We can’t fully connect with our partner if we are disconnected from ourselves.
So, for those of us who are super achievers in an effort to be known and to meet the need of knowing we exist, we are shooting ourselves on the foot with all the doing. All the doing is holding ourselves back from being in relationship with ourselves and others. All the doing is holding ourselves back from being ourselves.
This is why a self-care practice is paramount in personal development and relationship enrichment work. This allows us to be, to be with ourselves, and to know we exist. Then we can have a relationship with our partner and enhance the level of intimacy in our relationship.
When people set goals for the year, they usually neglect setting goals for their relationship. When people design their best life, they usually don’t flesh out how they want to be in their relationship. When people think about their lifestyle, they don’t necessarily think of a creating a relationship enrichment lifestyle.
A relationship enrichment lifestyle means we keep our connection forefront in our mind. The easiest way to do that without being consumed with our relationship at the expense of what we are trying to live is to create connection habits.
Some suggestions for your connection habits:
- Morning coffee.
- Midday check-in.
- Midday connection outreaches.
- Random check-ins.
- Late afternoon sync.
- Anytime connection outreaches.
- Evening reentry ritual.
- Weekly special dinner.
- Friday friends night.
- Volunteer/impact projects time.
Success is whatever makes us feel we achieved what we are meant to achieve, what we desire, what our purpose is, what we want our human experience to be. Success is not about having a gazillion dollars. Though being wealthy and financial freedom can very well be part of our definition, in and of itself it is empty and not rewarding.
Financial success is more meaningful and rewarding when achieved through providing value.
Success as it is usually measured - at the expense of health and relationships - is not success in my book. The degrees, awards, companies, assets, material things, and the like don’t necessarily make for a richer human experience. They might, depending on how they are achieved and utilized.
Pursuing this success for its own sake defeats the purpose of life. So, when you are told you have to sacrifice, that something needs to give to be successful, I say be weary. Don’t let that limiting mindset pollute your mind and hold you back from your fullest potential.
Being intentional about your life allows you to create your best life!
The key here is to go big on the experience you want to have. To identify and own your Personal Prime Directive (PPD), to own your brilliance, to own all of you, and to put it to work as wisely as possible. It’s not about doing more, it’s about doing it better.
Doing it better means we use our PPD as a filter for commitments, projects, activities, tasks, and all the rest of it. It means we are selective and focused on the target of our attention. And, it means we are resolute in our approach.
Some suggestions for your success habits:
- Embrace graceful time mapping.
- Plan your week flow on Sunday.
- Share any important scheduling with your partner on Sunday.
- Join the 5:00 AM club (this means you go to sleep earlier also!).
- Have an empowering morning routine.
- Review your goals.
- Use the first hour on Monday to plan out your work for the week.
- Schedule your work into your time map (batch work, chunk work).
- Build in margin and transition times into your routine.
- Build in bio and recharge breaks into your routine.
- Protect your focus work time from distractions.
- Assign time to read email and return calls.
- Assign minimal time to check the news and social media.
- Attend one to three networking events per week.
- Have two coffees or networking conversations per week.
- Connect with three center of influence contacts per day, nurture your connections.
- Use templates, checklists, and/or automate repeatable tasks.
- Subscribe to smart delegation.
- Delegate or outsource items outside your brilliance.
- Have outstanding follow-through, keep your word.
- Wrap up the workday and the week, do daily and weekly reviews.
- Use a MasterMind, a coach, and other support.
- Always be learning and growing.
- Learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, develop courage.
Now the three habits list can be a bit overwhelming at first glance if you are new to building habits and taking charge of your life. Don’t worry: Rome wasn’t built in a day.
You don’t have to do all of them or too many to start getting results in your life, and certainly you don’t have to start too many at once. The key is to start somewhere and keep going. You’ll be making incredible leaps in up-leveling your life in no time!
Assignment: Select one tactic from each list to add to your repertoire.
- With each tactic, create a corresponding wellness, connection, and success habit. Each habit is to be a concrete quantifiable repeatable behavior at the frequency of your choice that gets plopped into your daily routine.
- Calendar your habits – build them into your schedule. Adjust your schedule as necessary.
- For each habit, make sure you prep before you are to start them - have all the information, instructions, supplies, gadgetry, tools, resources, etc. to make sure the behavior can be carried out at its allotted time.
Getting good at creating habits makes a world of difference when it comes to up-leveling your life. This ensures you implement and carry out consistently and effortlessly anything your heart desires. Before you know it, you are living your best life!
Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT is the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC, a private practice that specializes in working with couples. She is the creator of the MetroRelationship philosophy and the Successful Couple Strategy that help couples succeed at their relationship and their life. To stay connected with Emma and receive weekly connection notes in your inbox with personal development and relationship enrichment insights and strategies, visit: www.metrorelationship.com.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
Founder, Clinical Director & Supervisor
Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC
I've been in the mental health field in varying capacities for the past 20+ years. I'm the Founder and Director of MetroRelationship.com a psychotherapy and coaching practice specializing in working with busy professional and entrepreneurial couples who are struggling getting on the same page and feeling connected. Our Team at MetroRelationship.com helps couples create a radiant and authentic relationship and meaningful life by becoming a strong partnership and increasing their connection, intimacy, and fun. I... Continue Reading
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