I’ve always been a thinker.
During the summer when I was a little girl, I’d leave my cabin and wouldn’t come back until I heard my mom call for lunch. While my brother was playing in the woods, I was sitting on my “Thinking Rock”. I’d spend hours with my journal and my thoughts, perched on my favorite rock.
But, as I grew up I quickly learned that our culture doesn’t value taking time and making space for reflection. We live in a “go go” world where our value is determined by what we “do”. So, rather than being a thinker, I became I doer.
Now that January’s here, there’s a buzz and energy in the air; an intoxicating lure to improve and set high goals for ourselves. Even with my introspective nature, the temptation is to look outside of myself for answers.
In the new year, many of us join weight loss challenges at the office. Some of us drink detox shakes to increase our energy. New books and programs are purchased to finally budget our finances or organize our homes.
I used to be drawn to the newest thing on the market, much like the masses. I hoped that “this was the missing piece”; that now would finally be the time that I’d be able to lose weight once and for all, and stick to my budget and improve personal relationships.
But it never was. Every year I’d be left feeling like a failure; like I wasn’t enough. It was only after I was diagnosed with having had a stroke and losing my 20 year marriage, that I realized that I had gotten caught up in a false narrative.
I believed that outside sources and experts had the answers to my life’s challenges. And I was killing myself just trying to meet their external expectations. It took two major blows in my life to realize that I didn’t need to learn more or strive harder.
What I needed was to get back to me. As a child I was naturally introspective and reflective. Now that I’m an adult, with “big girl problems”, I can still find the answers within me. And so can you.
All you need to do is build margins in your day for reflection.
So, this January, rather than setting lofty exciting goals, only to have our hopes dashed by mid February (like 92% of Americans) we can head to our virtual “Thinking Rocks” and find our answers within.
Here’s your invitation this new year:
Resist the lure of Resolutions
And Embrace Reflection
As I’m writing this, I can almost hear a collective cry from you.
“Lisa, that’s all well and good. Taking time to think about and reflect on what I need and how I can get it, sounds great.”
“But you don’t understand how busy my life is. We’ve got our two careers. The kids are involved in activities and events that I need to get them to. AND I’m involved in my community and church.”
“Taking time to stop and reflect is just not an option right now.”
“I get that it’s important, but I won’t be able to take time until _______ “. ( the kids are grown, I’m on vacation, I retire, you fill in the blanks.)
If any of that resonates with you, you’re not alone. And it’s not your fault. Because we’ve been raised in a culture that honors the state of doing more than being, initially it’s going to feel counter-intuitive. And yet, I encourage you to do it anyway.
Here are some are simple tools to embrace reflection and introspection:
● Build margins in your day by giving yourself an extra 15 minute buffer between scheduled events.
● Set your phone alarm to go off every two hours. When it goes off, that’s your signal to intentionally slow down your breath. In just 60 seconds you’ve got the ability to slow your heart rate, reduce stress and increase focus and energy.
● Practice the Daily Ritual and Daily Recap. Take 15 minutes before your day begins and before you go to sleep at night, to get in touch with your mind, your body and your spirit. (Click here to receive my eBook, 7 Days to Loving Your Life Again.)
When you get pulled back into going, doing and pushing (and you will) here’s the one question that will help you focus on what’s important. Ask yourself, “What do I need right now?”
And here’s the kicker that so many of us forget: Listen to your answer, and give it to yourself. You’ve got the power (and honestly, the responsibility) to create the year you want.
Doesn’t it feel better to know that all you need to do is go within?
Lisa Bobyak is founder of Living Fully Balanced, LLC, She’s dedicated to helping high achieving women find balance and create space for what matters most. Lisa has spent over 13 years changing women’s lives through her transformational presentations, programs and private coaching. She is also the author of 7 Days to Loving Your Life Again and radio host for Living Fully Balanced with Lisa. Lisa’s mission is to help women bounce back from setbacks, so their next chapter is balanced and even better than before.