With the new year well underway, you may find yourself struggling with those resolutions you created with such excitement at the beginning of the month. Or maybe, you haven’t gotten around to it yet because you don’t know what to focus on. Regardless, now is the time to recommit, focus, and break through those barriers holding you back.
I spoke with Barbara Kenyon, coach and author of Fire Up Your Life Now!: 25 Secrets for Creating the Life You Really Want, about her book and how you can supercharge your motivation for an impactful 2023. Here are the “secrets” she shared that stood out to me.
The Law of Attraction
According to the book “The Secret”, what you focus on becomes your reality. You attract to your life what you focus on whether that is positive or negative. Knowing this, it is important to focus on the events, people, and ideas that promote positivity and growth. Focusing on the negative is easy and keeps you in negativity. Cultivating a positive mindset takes work, but inspired action will take you far.
Fear is not to be feared
At the end of the day, fear is an emotion. It is a powerful one, but underneath it, all F.E.A.R. is False Evidence Appearing Real. Often, the fear you feel is scarier than the thing you are afraid of. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do the thing you fear the most and the death of fear is certain”. By pushing through the fear, you let it go and can move forward with bravery.
Ignite your sense of humor
“Seven days without laughter makes one weak,” says Mort Walker. And he’s right! Laughter is the best medicine. It eliminates stress and helps you cope with every curveball life throws your way. One way to encourage more humor in your life is to try laughter yoga. By combining traditional yoga breathing techniques with laughter, you are encouraging your body to release tension and increase relaxation. Ralph Waldo Emerson speculates, “For every 60 seconds of anger, you lose one minute of happiness”. Instead of using your time on this Earth to feel negative emotions, connect with your laughter and feel positive ones instead.
Appreciation makes the difference
Humanity is an incredibly diverse tapestry of experiences. Oftentimes, those differences can lead to fear as you don’t understand the things that set people apart. When you notice yourself starting to criticize, instead try to appreciate those differences. By creating a mindset of appreciation, you open your life to a whole new world of possibilities. “Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, ’please help me feel important’”, said Mary Kay Ash. She understood that everyone around you is hurting in some way and by creating a rampage of appreciation, you lift others up and by extension lift yourself up as well.
The power of slowing down
Everything seems to be “go, go, go”! There is always something to do, something to see, or something to buy. Instead of letting that rush continually overpower you, recognize the strength in stepping back, saying no, and crossing things off the to-do list that don’t serve you. Take a slow walk around your neighborhood and appreciate the sights and sounds of nature. Rest, wander, stroll, and don’t speed through your day. “Slow down,” said John DePaola, “And everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.” There is enough time for everything.
The magic of letting go
When we resist negative feelings, we reinforce what we don’t want. Instead of focusing on the negative feelings and letting them continue to bounce around in your brain, you must acknowledge and let them go. Fear, doubt, stress, frustration, and sadness will always be around as they are a facet of the human condition, but you don’t have to let those feelings control you. As John Campbell notes, “We must be willing to let go, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.” By continuing to let the negative emotions run the show, you are denying yourself the beautiful life you deserve.
Your attitude is everything
Winston Churchill once said, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”. When you cultivate an “attitude of gratitude”, you are training your brain to recognize all the little things that go right every day which adds up to a lot! Changing how you think about something changes the thing you are thinking about. Jump on the attitude change bandwagon to head toward a brighter future and the good life you deserve.
I asked Barbara if she had any additional advice to “fire up” your life and the new year. She recommends, “be gentle with yourself and lighten up. Focus on self-care. The best response is to say ‘no’ to something you are not interested in. Just say: ‘I’m sorry, that won’t work for me’ and don’t say anymore”. You have the power to transform your life. It’s time to get fired up!