On the fourth day into the month of January, “Happy New Year” is still being said with gusto and cheer. Friends wish each other well, as does a cashier and the gent being checked out. Curious about the elongated well-wishing and additional resolution-making associated with the New Year, I began to do some research starting with the month of January itself.
January is named for the Roman god, Janus, god of the doorway. Fitting then that January is associated with turning over a new leaf. Appropriately, the door represents a barrier, one that can be closed, locked, opened, or walked through, and these represent the various ways we can choose to handle what comes our way in a new year. You see the metaphor peppered throughout our vernacular; “Where one door closes, another will open” or as the comic Milton Berle once said, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”
January is like an annual bath of sorts; it is a pressure-washing of the mind and body, and a time for reflection. It is important to take some quiet time to analyze your life, your thoughts, and your actions, and compare them to your personal mission statement. Are you living a life that is in alignment with your values? Do you suffer from remorse, regret? Do you give yourself and your family time to relax, be together, nurture friendships, and be of service? What sort of character are you portraying, and is that character doing justice to your ideal?
Just take some quiet time to consider these queries and then put pen to paper, or if you prefer, move right to fingers to keyboard, and write your flow of consciousness. Soon you will be able to distill a strategy for balance that you have created for yourself, enabling you to live the life you feel and see in your mind.
According to the American Psychology Association, making, “…lasting lifestyle and behavior changes [doesn’t] happen overnight. Willpower is a learned skill, not an inherent trait. We all have the capacity to develop skills to make changes last,” said Katherine C. Nordal, PhD, executive director for professional practice at APA. She exclaims, “It is important to break down seemingly unattainable goals into manageable portions.”
Inviting a friend, a family member, a support group member, a spiritual leader, or a psychologist into the fold of your resolutions can assist your lifestyle changes immensely. Choose people you can count on to help you if you find yourself unable to balance. Let them listen. Just talking it out can help us out of a jam or help us gain a fresh perspective.
In addition to talking with people, focused introspection, meditation, or prayer has long been championed as an applicable exercise of the mind to secure balance. If you do not believe your thoughts can become reality, consistent practices in positive-thinking and affirmations are key to moving past that negative cycle of thinking. Positively Positive is a Facebook page and website that offers insightful and uplifting quotes throughout the day. The quotes are from a myriad of writers, authors, coaches, and every day people. Over one million people “like” this page, which says something about its content.
January is the door to a new year. A time to review your choices and evaluate how they measure up to the person you know you are. Open the door and allow yourself to walk through, entering a space that is often new and unfamiliar in a most invigorating way. Challenge yourself to make every effort to put an end to old habits from life outside the door. In this new landscape, positive choices bloom, seed, and bloom again, with a new cycle. Make 2012 and all the rest of your years healthier and happier, as well as more peaceful and relaxing!
Happy New Years!
Heidi Aspen Lauckhardt-Rhoades
Fitness Professional, ACE, AFFA, TRX, IndoBoard, PIA, GROOVE
Writer and Social Media Correspondent
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