Wow, a new decade, how exciting! There aren’t too many opportunities in our life to start a new decade, the possibilities are endless! It is now that we can begin shaping these next ten years of our lives into whatever we want, steering it in the direction that deep down in our soul we want to go. No matter what has happened in the past, this is a blessing of a brand new beginning and, if you look at the next decade as a whole, you can really picture what you and your life might look like at the turn of the next decade if you begin to work on yourself right now! No transformation is impossible in that amount of time.
The key to taking advantage of this opportunity is the same as always though. Discipline. Will power. Awareness of ego. Intrinsic motivation. Consistency. There are so many tools to help you stay on your newly declared path to whatever it is you decide you want to accomplish with your life, but the one thing you can’t change is the driver of it all, which is you. It all comes down to you, regardless of the tools you use, regardless of the people you tell your ideas and goals to, the only one who will make it happen is you.
Because of this, the first step to any change and the pursuit of any dream has to be self-love and self-respect. Self-acceptance is good and necessary, but I also believe in a little self-tough love. If you don’t believe you deserve the life of your dreams you’re never going to get it. And positive self talk is important for this, but nothing is more effective than action. Action proves that you love yourself. Action helps rectify situations that are emotionally dragging you down and stifling your motivation and creativity. I’ve been there. You can talk to yourself all you want, but if you don’t back it up with action, it comes across as a little superficial.
What do I mean? Well first, if you love yourself you take care of yourself. If you value your body you do what’s good for it. This means eating your veggies, getting your protein, refueling with carbs, committing to a sleep routine, and everyone’s favorite- sweating! It might seem like the last thing you want to do in the moment, you might feel tired or unmotivated, but trust me- this is when you need it most!! Just getting your blood going, taking in and pumping oxygen to your cells, releasing feel-good hormones in your brain, feeling good about yourself for treating your body well, these will literally cause you to do a 180. Not much is more beneficial to the human body than moderate and consistent exercise.
If you rely on your mind (we all do), you take time to nurture it. Step away from the chaos and recenter. Say no to things that induce anxiety or create stress, even if others don’t understand, it will be worth it. Sit with your thoughts, to me this is one of the most undervalued practices. If you aren’t familiar with your thoughts, do you really even know yourself? Figure out what causes them and how they affect you, and how often they impede flow throughout your day. Otherwise you’re going to feel a little out of control and probably reliant on external distractions and relationships to provide you with a false sense of stability. I find it so empowering to explore my mind and work on anything creating entropy.
We can’t neglect our emotions either, they are the cause of so much. I often try to keep in mind the serenity prayer when it comes to dealing with hard situations, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to the know the difference.” If I can change something that is causing me to feel a negative emotion I have to face it no matter how difficult. I have learned that it is much more beneficial to muster the courage to say the hard things, put my trust in a friend, be the first to reach out, whatever it is. As awkward as it can be, confronting and showing up fully to emotional situations and dealing with them is by far the best thing we can do for ourselves and for others, it’s a double win. And if it’s something that can’t be changed, we do the work within- journaling, meditating, or reach out to professionals.
If we do these things for ourselves we essentially prove to our deepest self that we are loved, truly. It is so much more powerful than just telling ourselves we are loved. This has to be the precursor to following through with resolutions and reaching mini goals along the way to creating our ideal lives, because if we don’t trust or think ourselves worthy we won’t do all the other hard work required, much less be committed to it consistently. It’ll be a long road this next decade, there is plenty of time to create new habits and practices that will serve us and as a result allow us to fully go after our dreams, but it all starts with YOU.