The New Year is here! It is a time to begin anew, to refresh, to reassess, and to make the differences that result in you having a more satisfying life in 2019. Whew! What a tremendous amount of pressure there is around that concept of beginning anew on the first day of the year! You can release the pressure, though, because you are free to begin anew every morning, every evening, and even in every moment. How does that work, you might ask? Here is how and here are the many benefits!
Notice When a “Start Over” Would Add Greater Peace. Hint: Anytime and Especially When Nothing Else is Working!
Whether it is with your spouse, your child, your own mom, or a co-worker, you know the moment when you’ve used all of your tools and skills and yet nothing seems to work. The conflict continues. You may feel frustrated or challenged. You may feel like giving up. You may feel angry or like striking out. You may notice a look on your child’s face that pulls at your heart. You may begin to recognize that your relationship with the other person is worth so much more than what is happening in that moment. This is the time to use a “start over”.
A “start over” can be helpful with any resolutions that you made for the New Year, too. If you missed a yoga class after resolving to attend daily, start fresh. Sit with how you are feeling to discover what got in the way of sticking with your plan. Decide what actions or thoughts will keep you on track. Then begin fresh. This puts your desire at the top of the list rather than spending energy beating yourself up and remaining off track.
Give Yourself Permission to Begin Again.
Starting over is not failure. It is actually continuing on your chosen path. Allow yourself the flexibility to begin again. Scientists don’t stop after an experiment yields unexpected results or the gizmo they are inventing doesn’t work. They begin again. Edison began anew hundreds of times in his quest to invent the light bulb. He learned from each step along the way.
Simply Ask and You Will Gain Agreement.
Ask the person you are engaged with if they would like to begin anew. Typically, the answer will be, “Yes!” If you are beating yourself up for a mistake, ask yourself the question. Then say, “Yes!” When my daughter was late for school in the morning or anytime we were engaged in a power struggle that was particularly tough, I would ask if she would like to start over. Her answer was always, “Yes.”
This is a terrific tool to teach siblings or classmates who get into conflicts. They always have the option of starting over. It is a wonderful tool in all adult relationships.
Make it a Conversation and Be Curious.
Starting fresh is a wonderful time for a conversation. The key is getting curious. You can discuss how you would like to do things differently, what got in the way, and how you want things to be. You can review the benefits of your resolution – i.e., all that you will gain from practicing yoga each day.
When my daughter was young and we “started over” after a rough beginning to the morning, we would talk about what got in the way of her being on time for school, the results of being late including feeling un-centered and anxious, the benefits of being punctual including feeling balanced and present, and how we would like our mornings to be. The best thing is that she would let me know the way she preferred that I talk with her so that she would feel focused rather than pressured and stressed.
Have Faith in the Cumulative Impact of Your Actions
Starting again is a great place to remind yourself of the cumulative impact of many small actions. Over time, each small continued effort will yield great results. Use that understanding as inspiration to continue! You can begin again multiple times and achieve great success.
Happy New Year!