Two Ways to Change Your Life in the New Year
As 2019 is approaching everyone and their dog are evaluating the year gone by and making plans for the new year. So what will really change your life?
While there are many things that will change your life (and I plan on writing about quite a few of them leading up to New Years), there are two that stand out to me and that my coach has pointed out to me I don’t know how many times. So let’s have a look at those two, just in case you want 2019 to be phenomenal that is. And you do, don’t you?
My friend, William Whitecloud, always says that focus creates reality. I thought that sounded pretty savvy, but I don’t think it was until this year that I truly understood how powerful it is. Possibly after the aforementioned coach banged it into my head with verbal hammer.
Have you ever seen that gorilla video? The one where people tell you to look for the ball, or count how many balls there are in the video? By the end of the video you have successfully traced the ball, but you missed that a gorilla popped up and jumped around. Like totally missed it.
I’ve seen this video shown for hundreds of people. No one saw the gorilla.
When you focus on how many bills you have to pay, you get tired, you don’t feel like working, you make less money, you end up with a lot of bills to pay. Chances are you’ll also miss that one opportunity to slash your bills in half, because you’re not looking for it. You’re looking for bills.
This is why the attitude of gratitude works — when people feel thankful and happy, they are energized and they create completely different results from a person who sits moaning all day long. not least because their happiness makes other people want to be around them.
Shifting your focus is about more than that. Thinking about what’s working in your life, what you’re thankful for and what is making you happy all help. However, we all have thinking patterns and unless you decide to take charge of your focus from morning till night, not that much will change.
Focus Is About Refocusing
An old coaching technique is called reframing. Basically, you look upon a situation from the angle that’s the most advantageous to how you’ll react. For example: “I lost my home, everything’s gone, I’ll never get my things back.” “I lost my home, I can start with a clean slate, I’ll now create what I always dreamed of creating.” One of these ways of seeing things will leave you feeling deflated, one will make you filled with energy and determination.
It’s similar to how you might view a karate game. “I lost, I must have awful technique, I’m never going to get better, I will have a terrible night now instead of celebrating like I wanted to.” Or: “I lost, I will think through every move I made to learn from my mistakes, I’ll now become even better than I was yesterday.”
You can’t ignore mistakes, thinking “it was meant to happen,” but you can learn from them. And often when something goes wrong, or we lose something, we find something much better.
If you make a conscious decision to catch yourself whenever you see things in a negative light, you’ll be surprised to find how often it happens. You’ll also be surprised to see how your mood changes when you decide to change your outlook. You’ll have to be determined to monitor your thoughts from morning till night, but it will lead to a whole other level of happiness. You’ll likely also be much more productive as you’ll find solutions rather than reveling in the problems.
Once you have your focus sorted, it’s time to take action. The reason you need to have your focus clear first is because you’ll create what your focus is on. Whatever you focus your camera on, that’s the image you’ll get. It’s like showing up at a job interview (because you took action) thinking about how bad you’ll do at the interview (so your brain is looking for a way to achieve it).
Your brain is constantly looking for solutions. It’s an amazing thing. That’s why, you need to consciously decide what it’s looking to create. If your attention is on your fear of failure, your brain is looking for ways to achieve it.
Don’t worry. We all have fears. We all have thought patterns that are anything but helpful. It doesn’t mean we’ll end up creating disasters, it just means that every time your brain goes there, you have to direct it somewhere else.
Found your focus? Take action. Without action, there will be no reaction. If you want to create something, you have to make it happen.
So set your goal, then take action. You don’t have to do something grand. Just put one foot in front of the next and before you know it, you’re up the mountain. Just take the next obvious step as it presents itself, over and over again. If nothing comes to you, wait. Refocus. Something will appear that’s obvious to do.
Focus and action can change your life. There are many layers to understanding focus and really taking charge of your own thought patterns, so as to create ones where you’re constantly seeing the opportunities and solutions. However, by simply shifting your thoughts to the positive and what’s possible over and over again, the actions you need to take to achieve what you want to achieve, will become obvious.
There you have it. Two ways to change your life in the new year!