As the end of the year approaches, we tend to reminisce about the previous 12 months. Our minds seem to enjoy going over the past and identifying the most meaningful, significant and memorable moments. In doing so, we also realise if we were unable to fulfil any of the last New Year's resolutions.
The impetus of having a new 12-month period ahead makes us, somehow, want to try again. In my opinion, this is a good thing. Gathering the energy to create what we want to achieve is essential for our mental health, even if we get derailed and cannot accomplish everything we originally intended.
Imagining what we want to become, do, learn or have starts the process of change in our brains. It activates our frontal lobes, which we use to strategise how to reach our goals. This is a very exciting activity in itself, and it leads to feelings of hope, yearning and enthusiasm.
Even though planning is the first step in any endeavour, planning alone is not enough for 'change' to take place. It doesn't matter if you want to get fit to trek in Nepal, to lose weight or to stop complaining.
Most of us make new plans each year, but how many do we follow through?
Sticking to the change until it happens requires the help of our body and its feelings. We can use our brain to imagine anything we want, but transforming ourselves does not only depend on the thoughts we have but also on how much we are able to feel that the change is possible.
Instead of using this post to recount events that now belong in the past, I want to do something different this year and invite you to feel the passion of your dreams becoming a reality.
To be more effective in this process, it helps first to recognise any signs of stress and tension that can get in the way of you achieving your aspirations.
One way to do this is to visit nature and take some time out to write down all your fears and worries. Make a paper boat out of your page of concerns and let the boat float away, symbolically releasing all the feelings that could impede you from attaining what you want.
Then, with a clear mind, draw images of what you hope for and write down next to these pictures how you will feel when they become a reality.
If it is joy, jump up high with enthusiasm or dance around to embody the feeling. Do it as many times as you need until your body remembers the feeling of joy. You have the freedom to create any body movement you want for any of the feelings you have.
Over the next 12 months, as you focus on the actions that will take you to your desires, remember to move your body and generate the accompanying feeling. Brain, body and mind integrated function better than only thoughts.
I wonder what the world would be like if everyone, absolutely everyone, would spend their time creating whatever they dream of, rather than spending time being worried or scared about what they think they cannot do.