Hey loves. Happy New Year. It's New Years Day as I write this. I have just come home from a few hours at the beach, walking, swimming, releasing, setting intentions. I stayed home last night. Dropped my 16 year old at his friends for a party (a 'gatho' in teenage…
New Year Love Note #3: Commitment
Welcome to New Year Love Note #3. Hopefully you have checked out #1 on Surrender and #2 on Declare. This week I want to share some thoughts on Commitment. But not commitment to anyone else. Only to yourself.
We can surrender and declare all we want, but if we don’t look after ourselves, and I mean really look after ourselves (not just pretend to), then it’s all for nothing. And as someone who has experienced the worst kind of burn out, you can trust me when I say that it’s a road you don’t ever want to walk down.
So, in 2017, I want you to really commit to the practices that will nurture, restore and nourish your body, mind and soul. It’s sounds so cliched I know. But once you start with these practices consistently you will get why people talk and talk and talk about them.
Here are ten practices that I encourage you to try out for yourself. There may be others that light you up and keep you calm, and if so, that’s great. If not, give these a whirl. But don’t dabble. Really give yourself the chance to test them out and see if they work for you. Adjust them, play with them, maybe pick three and really commit to them for a month and see what impact they have on you. And then keep adding to your kitbag once you have turned a new habit into a ritual.
Ten Commitments I Love (and you might too)
1. Practice 5 minutes of meditation twice a day. Sit in a cross legged position on the floor, or in a chair if you are more comfortable (you can even do this sitting at your desk). Set a timer for 5 minutes. Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Breathe in and out through your nose. When your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breath. That’s it. Your mind will wander. The practice is bringing your attention back to your breath. I recommend 5 minutes to my clients and those I speak to at events, as it’s busy proof. Yes you have 5 minutes. Everyone does. I now like to sit for ten minutes in the morning as I get to go deeper and get more still with myself. But you can start with 5 minutes. Sit and breath.That simple. And that difficult. Do it. It will change your life.
2. Take a yoga class once a week. I can hear you groaning from here. Meditation AND yoga? Seriously? Yep. When I was teaching yoga, I used to have conversations with guys all the time who said they couldn’t do yoga ‘cos they couldn’t touch their toes. I told them to bend their knees and they’d touch them just fine. Everyone can do yoga. Either find a class in your local studio that resonates, or get online and take a class in your home from places such as YogaGlo or Gaia. This practice will fill you up in ways you can’t even imagine. Oh, and if you’re an A type over achiever (like me: reformed: daily) who likes to sweat and go really hard, challenge yourself to a Yin yoga class – it will slow you down and restore you in all the ways you need it to.
3. Practice daily gratitude. It’s so easy to go through our days in a blur of ‘what’s next’ and ‘what do I need’. It’s also easy to think constantly about all the things we aren’t and all the things we haven’t gotten yet (house, promotion, pay rise, not to mention those shoes). When we make a consistent practice of gratitude, we bring ourselves into this moment, what we have right now, and the big and small things that make our world what it is. Try a practice of writing down three good things before you go to bed each night. You can keep a little journal for this practice. Get specific. The chocolate sprinkle love heart on your coffee foam this morning from that cute barrister. The sparkle on the ocean during your morning swim. The nice comment from your boss after your presentation. Small things. Be grateful. For all of them.
4. Green smoothie or juice daily. One of the greatest things I have every done for my health is to drink green stuff. I can juice it or blend it, but drinking something green every day is one of the best ways to fill yourself up with healthy micro nutrients that get your cells vibrating with happiness. You think I’m kidding. I’m not. Before Xmas I did a 60 day juice/vegan/plant based food cleanse. Every second day was litres of green juice. I felt amazing. Energised. Clear. Radiant. And yes, people still keep telling me I’m glowing. Start making this a daily habit and notice the difference. Buy it if you need to, grab a good juicer or blender if you’d prefer. Then get your kale on.
5. Get creative. So let’s get this over with quickly. You are creative. Yes you. Don’t look around, I’m talking to you my love. It is inherent in you and when you don’t exercise your creative juices they start to dry up and go all crackly, like unused dried up paint. We don’t want you to be dried up crackly paint! So get creative. It can be anything. I’m currently more than a little obsessed with watercolour painting and photography (check out my Insta stories, so much fun). Of course I write almost daily and couldn’t breath without it. I am doing my new vision boards at the moment. I read about writing and creativity. It’s kind of everywhere. But it wasn’t always like this when I was in my corporate roles. I had to make a conscious choice and commitment to bring creativity back into my life and keep it there. I had to commit. It’s just good for your soul. Think about where you can bring some creative juice into your life. Then go make your art.
6. One cleanse day a week. I’m a huge fan of cleansing. It gives your body a chance to heal and repair, as your digestive system isn’t working so hard to process food and can work on other things. Our bodies just weren’t meant to eat and digest the type or volume of foods we currently ingest. One day a week, try a juice or smoothie cleanse, a fast, or a very light food day. There are all types of books and websites around that will guide you. My friend Lee Holmes has a new book coming out on fasting so check that out. You can keep it simple. Just go light, go green, go plant based. One day per week. Notice how you feel once you start doing this consistently.
7. Little luxuries and treats. How often do you treat yourself? Not with chocolate cake, but with things that fill you up, nourish and restore you and make you really happy? What would you consider to be a little luxury? It could be a facial once every few months, a massage once a week, a bubble bath every night, taking that yin yoga class twice per week, buying the organic fruit and vege, an hour for painting each weekend, time for reading before bed, that special herbal tea you love, using essential oils as your perfume, fresh sheets on your bed, using your good things instead of leaving them in the cupboard…….the list is endless. Think about what little luxuries and treats you can bring in to your life on a daily basis. It’s the little things that can make us the happiest. Little things every day.
8. Commit to sleep. If you’ve been around here for a while you will know that sleep is big deal for me. It’s a non-negotiable in my life and in the lives of my clients (even if they groan, they thank me eventually). We are a culture obsessed with thinking that busy is a badge of honour and one of the first things to go is the 8 hours sleep we know we need to really thrive. You hear people walking around bragging about how they only got 4 hours last night, or that they pulled an all nighter. It’s so eighties! Next time you hear someone say it, tell them to get over themselves. You need to sleep. The science is irrefutable. Commit that you will have a bed time cut off (mine is 11pm book closed lights out, but I prefer 10.30pm). Set a wake up time (my ideal is 7am). Then stick to it. Create routines and rituals that support you. And don’t negotiate with yourself about it. Your energy, mood, health and even your life, will change. You can thank me later.
9. Book in mini breaks and holidays. If you’re like me, you love the holidays, but going back to work can be a hard transition. Even if you love what you do, like I do, that sense of losing your freedom and endless days with no plans or responsibilities can be hard to handle. One way to lessen the blow is to book your next break as quickly as possible. It might a long weekend. It could be a four day mini break. Perhaps it’s a week long escape or even a month long adventure. I have a client who books her next trip to France the second she is back from her current one. I just got back from Byron, and have my next three trips blocked in my calendar. Spend some time this week to book out whatever breaks you can make happen this year. Make it a priority. And commit to making it happen.
10. Fun fun fun. You may have seen in last week’s post that FUN is one of my top three declarations for this year. Fun at work. Fun at home. Fun socially. Just fun, people! Where is the fun in your life? Where do you play, and frolic and goof off and just be childlike? Where is the joy in your social engagements? Where is the fun in your work? Sure, it is unlikely that it’s all fun, but you can certainly inject a great big healthy dose of it if you make that a priority. Write a fun list, perhaps 25 fun things you want to experience this year. What a great commitment to make. I’d love to know what’s on your list!
So there you have it. Love Note #3 – Commit. I hope this serves you and gives you some ideas for how you can truly support yourself this year. Let me know how you go x
Come and spend the day with me!!
One place left! There is still time to join my intimate See What’s Possible full day retreat in Sydney on January 21st. You will also receive the first two modules from my signature program The Career Toolkit, on life vision and purpose, which are invaluable for ensuring you are creating the life you really want to live this year. Speaking of fun, this is one of those ‘Hell Yeah’ events. I’d love for you to join me.