We all hear the magazines talk about New Year, New You but what does that actually mean and can you reinvent yourself any time of year or does it just have to be once a year? Are they saying the old you wasn’t good enough or does it refer to the fact we pick up a lot of clutter over the year and we sometimes our brain needs a declutter?
Here are 5 of my top tips for detoxing your mind whatever the time of year – a psychological makeover for the year ahead so you can banish negative thoughts and start afresh anytime you want.
Rear View Mirror
If you are stuck living in the past and bring pain and regret into your present, you will find it extremely difficult to move forward and start anything new in the best possible way. Just as you would never consider driving a car by only looking in the rearview mirror you need to realise that only focusing on the past will severely challenge your journey towards a happier future. Avoid this by shifting your focus on to the things you have now that you’re grateful for and make plans for the future that inspire you to be the best version of yourself.
Let Go Of The Outcome
The disappointment caused by not quite reaching your goals can create a huge impact on your psychology and physiology resulting in mental and physical problems. If you concentrate all your energies on the outcome it not only stops you from enjoying the journey but also puts unnecessary pressure into the mix which can decrease performance and sabotage your hard work. Letting go of the outcome allows for the space you need to focus on the process, to be creative with problem-solving, to feel in control and to have the freedom to grow as an individual defined by your standards and not those dictated to you.
Lower Your Expectations
Before you go up in arms, this is not a recommendation to be a pushover or accept the unacceptable. If you feel frustrated all the time because your expectations are never satisfied in your work, your relationships or life in general it is time to examine your wants and needs and figure out if your approach to life is really going to work for you. Frustration is an alarm call telling you to change how you do things, be that changing your beliefs or changing your circumstances. A useful approach is to lower your expectations whilst raising your standards. This reduces the effect of outside influences but increases your self-worth and determination.
Pump Up Positivity
Ruminating on unhelpful thoughts and only seeing the negative has a detrimental effect on your emotional wellbeing and can even make you physically ill. Banish negative thinking by consciously pumping positive images and messages into your mind to flood the brain with helpful thoughts and force out unhelpful ways of being. You can do this by only using positive self-talk, avoiding negative stimuli, identifying warped views or distortions which you apply to your thinking and creating a vision board covered in inspirational images. If you start feeling negative, shift your focus by doing something extremely positive like sing your favourite happy song in your head or doing star jumps.
The Art of Reinvention
If you want to go into the New Year being the New You, first identify traits, behaviours, beliefs and habits that do not serve you well then make a powerful commitment to change them. First list ten traits, behaviours, beliefs or habits that have been holding you back which you commit to change or develop. Then next to each line write down the corresponding traits, behaviour, belief or habit that you would like to transform into which bring you closer to the extraordinary version of yourself. Visualising on a daily basis how the New You looks, sounds and behaves also helps move towards your reinvention.