Friday, January 8, 2016

Stretch Upon A Star

Starfish are stoically hanging from our small, multi-lighted tree as I sit overlooking the ocean on this foggy day before New Years.    These are not an artist’s rendering in delicate glass or playful plastic.  These are the dried bodies of the once real things, preserved, frozen in time.   I wonder what their journey was to arrive in this immutable state?  It reminds me that closing an old year is a perfect time to get out of a passive state and decide on one thing to wish for in the coming year.  One small change can breathe new life into your outlook, which may have grown a bit brittle after the past year.

Do you wish to be healthier, happier, more popular or more prosperous?   A new year is the time to set one, small, serious goal.  Not too many.  The first step is imagining what you aspire to or hope to gain within 3 to 6 months.  Setting a time limit strengthens the success of your goal.  Forming a new habit takes about 66 days.  Keep your goal simple.  Create a mantra for your goal and write it down.   You are beginning to coach yourself!

Pick one goal that might work for you, e.g., “jog for 30 minutes 5 days a week.  Now what?  Use post-it notes for your mantra, (i.e., “5-alive” on the post-its).  Use a calendar to check off each successful day, or a draw a star!   Small symbols that serve as reminders could work for you.  Like a starfish – don’t get stuck in one position like our passive friend.  Another goal idea might be to “drink 8 glasses of water a day until and beyond April Fool’s.”  A mantra for this might be “8-H20.”  Find fun ways to measure yourself and acknowledge your success.  Stick a chart on your fridge to track your progress, or schedule a massage April 1st on your calendar to celebrate your achievement.  No pressure.  No pronouncements.  Imagine your success.  Be agile.  Be alive.  Be a star by stretching, breaking out of your shell and being mobile this year.

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