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  • Jenn Steliga

2021. New Year. New Start.

I love fresh starts. I am a big proponent of hitting the reset button whenever you need to, not just at the beginning of the year. But, whether you're a fan of new years resolutions or not, January happens to be a time when most people become aware of the needs and wants in their life that they want to do something about!

Here are a few resources and tips if you’re looking to make some positive changes in your life this year – financial or otherwise (but they always cross paths).

At the core of it all is to know why you do what you do. This speaks to finding meaning and purpose in your life. At work, home and anywhere else – purpose and meaning permeate all aspects of our life.

How do you gain more clarity around meaning and purpose?

A few ideas:

  • Read Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl

  • Read Start With Why by Simon Sinek

  • Read Dream Big by Bob Goff

  • Find your innate character strengths through the free VIA Institute’s Character Strengths assessment. Read up on your top 5 strengths and see how they can guide you in gaining clarity about how you want to show up in the world.

  • Let your choices be guided by your meaning and purpose. Ask yourself routinely – does this choice reflect what I value most in life or detract from it?

  • When you’re clearer on your meaning and purpose, write it down. Read it every morning. Review it. Reflect on it. Make changes. It’s a living breathing document. Don’t hide it in a drawer only to be dusted off next year. Make it a part of your daily to-dos to really sit with and reflect on the words you wrote. Don't be afraid to amend them as you choose!

  • Create a vision board. Use images to express your dreams, ambitions and goals in life. Images help bypass the thinking/judging portion of our brains that are excellent at telling us why we can’t do something or why we shouldn’t want something. So keep it simple – keep it visual. Post it where you can see it every day.

  • Learn to separate thoughts from feelings. Let the thoughts go. Let the feelings stay. The more willing you are to accept your feelings and get comfortable with uncomfortable ones, the better you will become at responding instead of reacting. Why does this matter?

  • Choosing a response means your values are more likely to be actively lived out.

  • Being subject to a reaction diminishes the chances you are living your life on purpose.

  • A meditation practice of even a few minutes a day can help build this muscle. While your coffee or tea is brewing in the morning, sit silently in an upright position on the floor or in a chair, close your eyes, and let your thoughts float away. Sit just with feelings. Or begin by just noticing sounds or physical sensations. Don’t attach judgments to what you notice, just notice.

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