Decembers bring snow, holiday parties, and gift-giving. They also usher in a kind of stress unique to the end of the year. We begin reflecting on all the goals we set for ourselves over twelve months and which have been achieved. Any time we focus attention, work and investment toward a goal that brings little return, stress levels, anger, and bitterness multiplies. We lose track of the fact that there’s only so much we can accomplish within each day and week. Sometimes life gets in the way—appointments, grocery shopping, family obligations. All of these can prolong a project from completion. When you add the busyness of the holiday season to this list of personal dissatisfaction, we can feel like trains running off the tracks complete with headaches, moodiness, and overall lack of self-care. Rather than focusing on unhappiness and what went awry, December is the perfect time to reflect on the passing year and focus on what’s coming. Before gearing up for holiday parties and resolutions, consider which accomplishments and positive moments make this year worth celebrating and what you’d like to increase in the coming year. To decide where you want to go next, it’s imperative to reflect on what brought you happiness. We all have different priorities in life: work, family, travel, etc, and in order to create more of your preferred reality, it’s important to “raise the vibration,” a term that signifies the energy manifestation of goals. But how exactly is this achieved?
Gather photographs of your “positives.” Many of us take photos each day. Go through your albums. Make a list of your favorite moments from the year so as to visually connect with the kinds of experiences you’d like to increase in frequency. Print a few photographs from when a positive memory was made or a goal accomplished. An emotional memory often creates a more tangible bridge to future goals and reminds us of what exactly we found positive or made us happy. When we can see it, we can remember the experience more vividly and choose something tangible to work on, whether it’s spending more time with a friend with a positive attitude, or the time we achieved professional recognition through stepping out of our comfort zone. Photographs help us understand that if we did it once, we can do so again.
Watch an empowering holiday movie. Films truly can aid in mood elevation and clarity of focus. If you find classics to be sappy, less traditional films can provide a positive vibe for goal manifestation. Believe it or not, I actually re-watch Die Hard every year on Christmas Eve. (I’m one of those people who fervidly consider this film to be a Christmas favorite.) The film’s events take place right before Christmas and reinforce themes of friendship, resourcefulness, family relationships, and self-confidence themes important to me throughout any given year. Go online and search for unconventional Christmas films. Even within a fictional story, themes may resonate and provide ideas for personal forward motion and advancement. Films also allow us to stop “doing” for two hours and simply take in and consider the story. When our brain is overworked we often don’t take in new information, even when we really should. A film forces you to relax and pause, allowing your perspective to be refreshed and enlarged.
Reach out. The best ideas often come from friends and loved ones. While we can sometimes feel uncomfortable discussing personal goals or desires with others, you would be amazed at how the universe often provides the very person to offer a fantastic suggestion or networking contact. Don’t be afraid to mention a future goal to a friend, neighbor, grocery store cashier, even a bank teller. You never know who may have a great piece of advice on traveling or can suggest the exact organizational book you need until you let people know what you’re looking for! I recently confided to a fellow shopper while in a quiet store some of the frustrations I’d been feeling with my slowly-building business. I was unsure of how to ask for a finder’s fee, how to monetize my skills. Within sixty seconds, this sympathetic fellow shopper offered three suggestions so excellent, they transformed my entire business approach and all it took was making basic conversation and a willingness to be vulnerable. We aren’t always happy. Sometimes we’re frustrated. It’s these more vulnerable moments that allow us to connect with others and to learn, not pretending we have it all together. The solid truth is that no one does every minute of every day.