The new year is a great time to step back, take stock and assess where you have been and where you are going. Most of us have one or several things that are still struggling with, want to change or improve in some way. Many of us resolve to make changes. We look forward to how these changes are going to improve our lives and bring us more of the things we want. Yet, often, after a few days or weeks or months, we lose steam. We slide back. We give up and leave our goals behind. So at a milestone in life, such as a new year or a birthday, we find ourselves deciding to try again. The question we ask ourselves is, “How do I get it right this time? How do I succeed when my track record has a “0” in the win column?” Sometimes, we just need a fresh start.
The idea of a fresh start is invigorating. Each new year, for example, is a fresh start and invites us to envision new goals or even “gonna get it done this time” goals. But the problem is the real work that needs to be done to achieve these goals. Starting over can feel daunting. We get motivated and excited by the thought of the outcome but then we have to accept that real change is work. The first thing we need to do is probably the last thing that we want to do, which is to look at what went wrong the first (or fifth) time. From an energy perspective, we want to change our thinking of our lack of success as a failure to the first (or fifth) attempt at getting something right. I know people (myself included) that had to quit smoking several times before they could make it stick. All of those attempts can be seen not as failure but as “practice” for taking on a new energy vibration.
Making changes is never as as simple as saying, “I used to do that, now I am going to do this instead.” If it were, we would have no need for the entire self-help section of the library, or therapists, psychologists, or group meetings such as AA and so on. Making changes requires overcoming habits and patterns of energy that are well established. Changing a pattern is not as simple as changing an action. There are four “spheres” of existence, all that come together to create our experience. These are the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual realms of life. Making any change will affect all four spheres of life, no matter how big or small the change may be. So, change is usually not as simple as altering a physical behavior; there are three other components that need to be considered as well. Often, the first time we attempt to change a behavior or start a new endeavor, we jump in and decide we will “start” doing something or “stop” doing something in our physical experience, but we have not considered the emotional, mental or spiritual impact. So, we find ourselves faltering. I suggest that before you start anything new, the best approach is to lay the groundwork by considering all four spheres of life and the ramifications that this change will cause.
As a Life Coach and an energy healer, much of my work includes helping people make positive changes in their lives. Most of the time, they come to me having tried to implement these changes several times before. The first thing that we do is explore what went wrong in the past. The most important question we explore is why to try again. Sometimes, I find that a person might want to make the change to appease another or because they feel they “should.” Unfortunately, these two reasons and those similar are never good enough to motivate for the long term. Change really needs to be self-directed and motivated if it is going to last. I suggest my clients do some writing to explore why trying again is important to them. If they can find an excellent reason why, then we move forward. If not, then I suggest we find another avenue to concentrate our efforts until they can find the inner, self-directed motivation.
The next thing that I suggest you explore when “trying again” is to see if what you are trying to create is out of alignment with your personal core-belief system. Our personal core-beliefs are those that might not necessarily be true in the world, but they are true for us. If we smoke, we might believe that smoking gives us the break that we need during the day. We might believe that smoking helps us relax and calms our nerves. We believe that without smoking life would feel anxious. If we are a woman in business we might feel that successful women are not likeable, or have to be “sharks” to get ahead. We feel we might not have what it takes or want what it takes to be a successful woman. I suggest my clients think about how what they are trying to create or change might be out of alignment with beliefs they hold about their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual selves. Often, these beliefs are not obvious on first glance so I might suggest a writing assignment or to have them meditate on this subject for a while. If we find the change we are trying to make is out of alignment with a core belief (or several) we have a few choices. We can alter the change we are trying to make to fit in with our core beliefs or we can work on altering our core-beliefs to align with the change. Both of these suggestions require work, but can be done. Much of my work as a life coach involves working on changing negative core beliefs that make our lives unmanageable and ineffective.
After coming up with a good reason for the change in the goal or the core belief and then making sure our energy body is in alignment with the new change, I suggest an action plan for making the change. This plan should include all four spheres of life. For example, if you are trying to quit smoking, a way to impact the spiritual realm of life would be to commit to a minute or two a day meditating and visualizing yourself as a non-smoker. You could work on the mental aspect of yourself by finding an affirmation about enjoying as you breathe in and exhale the clean air. To impact the physical realm you could commit to walking and breathing each day and you could work on the emotional self by noticing when you feel uncomfortable and journaling about your feeling. By focusing on all the aspects of the self, it is easier to remain focused and in alignment with your goal.
The final step before starting again is what I call “starting at the end.” Imagine that you achieved your goal or made your change. What would that look like and feel like? I suggest coming up with a picture of living your goal that feels wonderful when you imagine it. I suggest thinking about this picture several times a day. Along with this visualization, give yourself mini rewards in all four realms that are stops along the path to the outcome. For example, if you are trying to get more clients for your business, promise yourself a massage after the first new client. Establish milestones along the journey that you can use to celebrate your effort and achievement. Marking these small victories can also turn a large effort into smaller and more manageable pieces, helping you remain motivated along the way and finally achieving a goal that for some time may have seemed so elusive.
The HOW TO with Kim Mazzella is a weekly column featuring Kim's expert life coaching tips for the modern woman navigating entrepreneurship, motherhood, work-life balance, and more!
ABOUT KIM MAZZELLA:
Kim Mazzella, founder of the Life Guidance Center, is a Healer, Teacher, Spiritual Coach and Writer. Her work is based in the belief that our natural state is health and wholeness. Her job is to help those she works with remove the blocks that they have placed in the way of the free flow of energy and healing. She integrates the knowledge from her study of A Course in Miracles and universal laws with her study of massage and understanding of the body’s energy system to create a holistic approach to healing and change.