I know that you must be feeling a little off right now as we are in that weird time between Christmas and New Year where it's all grey - you're thinking what day is it and who's working/what's open and maybe even nursing a food hangover. You can't believe the year is almost over yet you're ready to start fresh. But, no matter how hard you try, there’s likely a feeling of overwhelm, with some anxiety and exhaustion thrown in. Am I right?!

With that, I want to offer you a practice that’s been super helpful to me in the last few months, and I think is perfect for you to use when you need some grounding - and a reminder of what’s most important to you. Like, now! 

It's an amazing way to close out your year, noticing what feels challenging and how to shift it for 2018. 

It's a way to actually take your challenges and turn them into desires!

1- First, you'll need to schedule a date with yourself. This is non-negotiable and will be worth every second. So, instead of getting in another load of laundry, or watching another episode of The Crown on Netflix (my current obsession), give yourself some time to decompress with your thoughts and a journal. Pre-bedtime is perfect. If you’re off work an extra day this week, take it to a cafe or a park. The more quiet, the better.

Don't forget your journal and a good pen - this is a writing exercise! 

2 - Next, you’ll begin to brain dump all of your fears and anxieties and frustrations and challenges - of the moment, of the year, even of your existence! Get all of that out onto the pages of your journal. This sounds easy but it can be hard to face, so be aware and be honest about what has felt bad, or what fears you are currently facing. Take it as deep as you like, because you’ll find so much power there.

Here are some examples :

The catching up after the holidays is draining me

I don’t like feeling this way, I’m not rested enough 

My health has been holding me back from living the way I want these last months and I’m really feeling it now

I feel scattered in my work and home balance

I am not giving myself the me time I really need to feel well right now

Then, you can begin to interpret them in a way where you understand the emotion or desire underneath the challenge. See if you can dive deeper into each item and then ask how to make change with it. 

3 - Once you feel complete with the brain dumping, review what you wrote. Ask yourself why you feel this way. Really ask and really listen to the answer - even if you don't want to hear it. Once you understand why you feel challenged in this way, ask yourself how you might change it. 

Write it all out. If you feel stuck, just keep writing. Even, “I don’t know why I feel this way or what to do,” is totally acceptable - it will shift the energy of what you’re holding on to as you write. 

Continued examples :

The catching up after the holidays is draining me...

I don't know why I am feeling this way. Doesn't everyone?! Ohhhh, waittttt - This is coming from wanting to be in control - OK, then - where can I let go?

 

I don’t like feeling this way, I’m not rested enough... 

I’m tired. I’m just tired - how can I get more rest?

 

My health has been holding me back from living the way I want these last months and I’m really feeling it now...

This is frustrating, I don’t like it - what can I do to feel better?

 

I feel scattered in my work and home balance...

I don’t feel on top of things in either place - where can I prioritize?

 

I am not giving myself the me time I really need to feel well right now...

I don’t have the time with my full schedule. But, the truth is, I don't feel like I deserve it. I always feel that others need to come first - what can I do?

4 - Lastly, you take it one step further. Review your feelings and notice if you want to actually make a change. Notice where a deeper desire is begging to be fulfilled. Ask - Is this something I want to change? Is this something I am willing to change? I hope you say yes!

Then, write your commitment to yourself! Allow yourself to create a positive action and ultimately, an affirmation out of it. 

You flip the challenge into a positive - so you can effectively commit to its change. 

Continued examples :

The catching up after the holidays is draining me...
This is coming from wanting to be in control - where can I let go?

I let go of the need to control each small detail of the packing up the holiday decor. I trust that I can ask for help and I can trust others to help me.

I let go of the need to get back to every single email from last week. I trust that I can prioritize accordingly and get everything settled when I'm back to work next week.

 

I don’t like feeling this way, I’m not rested enough...
I’m tired. I’m just tired - how can I get more rest?

I commit to getting more rest this week, by going to bed by 10pm, no matter what.

 

My health has been holding me back from living the way I want these last months and I’m really feeling it now...
This is frustrating, I don’t like it - what can I do to feel better?

My health gets better and better as I rest more. I take good care of myself so my health never holds me back from living my life with ease.

 

I feel scattered in my work and home balance...
I don’t feel on top of things in either place - where can I prioritize?

I only do work things during work hours, and I list my top priorities for the next day before I close up

I put the health of my home and family as a priority each day and commit to a schedule of [whatever works for you].

 

I am not giving myself the me time I really need to feel well right now...
I don’t feel like I deserve it, others need to come first - what can I do?

I deserve to feel well, every day. As I feel well, I can take better care of others. I commit to prioritizing myself for at least thirty minutes every day with a walk or journal practice.

This creates a positive spin and an action-oriented statement for you to use.

This doesn’t have to take a long time, but it does take some commitment to being free of distractions and committing to telling yourself the truth. I'll say it again - this really can be the hardest part!

If you can take the top five to ten actions you want to focus on, and make yourself a list, it will be easier to stick to those. I learned a version of this exercise from a coach I worked with. She suggested visualizing these things each day, and while that isn’t part of my current practice, it’s a great suggestion. Visualize yourself with no email notifications, with all the decorations put away with ease. Visualize yourself in bed by ten and waking well rested. Visualize yourself on a solo walk or writing in your journal, on a regular day. Anything that you commit to can be seen in your mind's eye - that's visualization!

I have my list printed and hung on the wall next to my favorite chair and used as a bookmark in my journal. Each day, I take a walk then sit in my favorite chair. There, I say my affirmations aloud. I then write in my journal and see where I’m missing the mark, where I can do more that feels good and less that feels challenging. Over time, I’ve made small edits to my affirmations and updated them accordingly. Each time I read them, I feel really good about my priorities and the actions I’ll take to get there. 

More than anything, it helps hold me accountable to my own desires!

You can make your list just for the next week, for the next year or even some lifelong goals, wherever your intuition leads you! But, remember, you are always shifting and changing, so your desires and ways to accomplish them are too. Even though you do this now, be willing to edit these a little over time and reassess as they feel complete or no longer true for you.

While, right now, this may feel like another to-do, know that this is a form of self-care. It’s also a form of your year-in-review and commitment to the year ahead by tuning into - and listening to - your gut wisdom! 

You can use questions like these to get you started:

What is really challenging right now / what was really challenging this year?

What is causing me the most frustration and pain right now?

What is the one thing really keeping me up at night?

 

I’d love to hear the most powerful thing that arises for you in the process! 

Wishing you amazing clarity and capacity for committing to yourself,

Brandi

 

PS. I know this was a long post - because I offered a lot of examples for this practice. If you skipped the bulk, it will be really helpful to review in doing the exercise.

PPS. If this feels like too much to do on your own, I've got you covered! My new coaching package will be opening for enrollment in a few weeks and we can do this sort of work together!