As we approach another new year, resolutions are floating all around. Some people want to exercise more, others want to start their own business, and still others want to make changes to their relationships. All of these things are great personal goals, but what about the internal changes that we could make as a new year approaches?
Resolutions tend to focus on the external aspects of our lives, all of those pieces of ourselves and our lives that are visible. While we work on those changes, let’s not forget the importance of doing an internal self-inventory, a form of assessment with how we are doing mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Assess your current thought life. Do you tend to focus on the negative in your life experiences and this contributes to negative thinking patterns?
Assess your emotional stability? Are you in control of your emotions, or are they overpowering you, leaving your drained and unmotivated?
Are you connected to your spirituality? Do you have a higher power and regularly tap into this reserve?
So, along with your external resolutions, consider applying some internal changes as well. These will be things that may not be as public or visible to others, but you will feel improvement if you set these goals and stick to them. And the internal is directly tied to the external, so you very well may experience some changes there too!
- Commit to a positive outlook, regardless of the circumstances. This is a foundational change that will affect everything else in your life. If you commit to changing the way you think about your life and experiences, you will have much more peace in your everyday life and stamina to tackle the challenges. It starts with identifying your current pattern of thinking, then admitting to ways that you can improve, and finally committing to being more aware of negative thoughts to stop them before they spiral out of control. Click here for more information on identifying and changing negative thinking.
- Take control of your emotions. We may not always be in control of how we feel, as feelings can be very random and spontaneous. But our feelings are different from our emotions. Unlike feelings, our emotions can be tamed and controlled through the direct connection to our thoughts. Our emotions are driven by our present circumstances along with the mental connections we make with our life experiences and thoughts. When a negative feeling is present, we entertain it by spiraling around with negative thoughts, resulting in unhealthy and uncontrollable emotions. Make a resolution to eliminate the power that negative emotions have over your life. You DO NOT have to allow your feelings or emotions to dominate your happiness or peace. Click here to learn ways to shut down negative emotions.
- Connect to your spirituality. Regardless of your religion, belief, or current spiritual practices, its time to tap into a higher power above our own efforts and behavior. We have to shift away from the mindset that we are the most powerful beings in existence, because this places too much pressure on us to get everything right ALL the time. Get connected to your belief system, begin reading more and talking to like-minded people, create quiet time and space for your spirituality to flow, and be mindful in establishing a consistent schedule to maintain your spiritual health. We have to nurture the spiritual aspects of our soul, along with the physical, mental, and emotional. They all work together for our overall health.
Making internal changes can shift the way we experience our daily lives. Of course, happiness is not always constant, and we will endure seasons of challenges, but it is in our perspective where we can find the endurance we need to make it through.
We will face disappointments in our lifetime, those that result from our own choices, and many completely outside of our reach. There is no way to avoid the trials of life. This is why learning to think as positively as possible regarding our lives and experiences is critical to living a balanced life. If we mislead ourselves into believing that our circumstances must be perfect in order to feel good about ourselves and our life, we will be live very defeating lives.
Take some time as the New Year approaches to evaluate your internal needs. Assess your current mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual states. Even beyond a one-time resolution, be determined to make this a goal that you revisit many times throughout the year, including making necessary adjustments along the way.
You see, internal work can only be performed by you. There are many ways to get help to begin the process, but you have to be the sole motivating force behind your internal assessment and changes. If you are unwilling to tap into your internal reserve to identify your strengths and weaknesses, going to the gym 7 days a week will not help you. Beginning the next best diet will not sustain you. Although you may look great externally, you will remain internally wounded with very little hope and positive wellness. And nobody wants to feel like this everyday.
Remember, your internal self is just as important as the external version.