Friday, December 30, 2011

Start over in 3...2...1

It's that time of year again. A chance to pledge to the world all the things in your life you want to change, do, or overcome. Some see it as any other day, other's welcome it for a chance to forget the past and start over. I see it as a day of reflection. How was I changed in 2011? Do I have any regrets? Was I happy? What was my favorite moment and why? Who did I meet and what did I learn from them? I put all my discoveries, my tools, my learning experiences in my pocket for safe keeping and walk into 2012, prepared and ready to keep climbing in my own personal voyage of life.
I make resolutions every year. Sometimes I follow through, and other times I just get too busy and forget my focus. In the last two years, I have accomplished three out of the five resolutions that I made each year. This year I climbed a lot stairs instead of taking the elevator, which I might add, is not that easy. I got lost in a lot of buildings! Why do they make stairwells so dark, boring and way out of the way? I ended up exiting into a lot of back (and not so inviting) alleys. Anyway, continuing on. I read a book in Spanish from beginning to end, though I used the dictionary every three seconds and had read the English version. I also paid it forward as much as I possibly could. YEAH ME! This year, however, my resolutions are going to be a bit more personal. Instead of exercising more and quitting bad habits, I'm going to work from the inside out.  I'm going to explore fear, happiness, love and health.

Resolution #1: "Anything that's really worth doing in life makes you want to throw up before doing it." Amy Spencer wrote this about nervous energy in one of my favorite books called Meeting your Half Orange. The same kind of energy that I used to get five seconds before I walked out onto the gymnasium floor before a drill team performance. All that scary nervous energy and fear went away the moment the music started and all I can remember is how much fun I had. My resolution is to take more risks, even when I feel like I am going to throw up. I don't want fear to steer my path, but instead I want to take the risk and see where my path takes me. How will I do this? I'll have more faith in myself. If she can do it, why can't I? I'll say yes more often to things that sound interesting. What do I have to lose? I'll take baby steps, and focus one day at a time. If anything, I'll end up discovering new areas in life, new joys, new chances that I wouldn't ever have known if I hadn't tried. 

Resolution #2: "Happiness is love and love is happiness". Robert Holden wrote this in Be Happy, a book I'm reading discussing happiness. Did you know that Harvard University has a class just about "Happiness"!? And that there is an entire Happiness Institute that teaches seminars and hold events? This got me thinking... why have I never talked about the subject of Happiness with my friends or family? I have three books currently exploring this topic, and within the first three chapters of Be Happy I was unlearning a lot of garbage up in my head. My resolution is to live a year discovering and discussing happiness, in hopes, that I learn something new (or unlearn something old).

Resolution #3:  Robert Holden says "When you wish for happiness you really are wishing to be the most loving person you can be." In order to be a loving person, to love others, I must love myself first. I do love myself, but it's like a love you have for a sibling, you get mad at him/her all the time or they drive you nuts.  Some days I just beat myself up. I need to let myself off the hook. Amy Annis wrote in the Athleta Chi on loving ourselves, "Only after we find peace with things we cannot change , can we focus on the ones we have the power to change".  My resolutions is to love ME, to accept all my imperfections, and to love the unchangeable. Loving myself will make a happier Nicholle, and a happier Nicholle will be able to love other's back.  Amy Spencer wrote "You attract what you think about and feel." If am thinking about happiness and feeling love and acceptance within myself, then I am going to start accepting more challenges, people etc. and attracting some sweet happiness and love in my life. 

Resolution #4: Health is the groundwork to happiness. When I am living a healthy life, exercising, getting light, eating wholefoods, etc., I feel like I'm on top of the world. I stopped doing all six steps of the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) program (aka: healthy life steps) in Steve Llard's book The Depression Cure. I started out doing all six and felt the best I have felt in years! Within two months, six steps turned into only one step, and I felt a definite decline in my mood and well being. My resolution is to follow the TLC program religiously.  It is, after all, a lifestyle change.

Amy Annis, in her resolutions blog, changed the word resolutions to possibilities. I like that word, possibilities, because if they don't get done, that's okay. I'd like to make fitness fun again, learn to cook different dishes, wear lipstick more (Yes! LIPSTICK is making a huge comeback), study Spanish everyday, etc etc.  But my main focus will be on happiness and health, taking risks, and love.  If I follow through with my resolutions, I feel everything else will just happily fall into the right place. 

Happy New Year!