As the sun rose on a brand new year, I am sure many of us felt renewed hope for the next 12 months, most especially after the experience of 2020.

There would have been a difference in the tone of the traditional New Year’s resolutions and goals. And possibly even more determination.

The truth is though that by March, most of us have returned to our usual habits. This means we end the year feeling disappointed or like we are just going through the motions and not getting anywhere.

But what makes the difference? Because, some of us remain committed and so celebrate our achievements at the end of the year.

Even though it plays an important role, mindset can sound like a cliché and tends to be overused. Action is of course essential, but I think the most powerful part of the formula is awareness.

When we have an understanding of why we get in our own way, it makes all the difference.

So it’s my intention and hope to help expand that awareness in this article today.

We all like to feel comfortable right?

But if we insist on always feeling that way with everything we do, then we find it difficult to change anything. And this is because if we continue to do what we’ve always done, we can only experience what we always have. The change we want always begins with us.

Last year there were massive changes for all of us and most we had no control over. Even so, there was the opportunity for growth there, if we had awareness and took the actions necessary. Many people experienced 2020 as their best year.

Human beings have such a profound need for certainty and there is no one exempt from this. Its part of our need for survival and even base jumpers need to know who packed their parachute. Last year this was very evident as we entered the supermarkets and saw empty shelves everywhere. We needed to be certain that we’d have enough toilet paper and pasta for some reason.

Certainty is a very useful need but can also get in the way

This is because it’s balancing the comfort of certainty with the challenge of uncertainty that brings growth. And uncertainty is embraced with the adventure of doing new things.

Last year was a big year of spiritual growth for me and this is because I decided to do a yoga teacher training. I was nervous, because previously I had only been practicing yoga a few times a week for 12 months. I didn’t feel I knew enough or was flexible enough. The thought of it felt uncomfortable, because I knew I would be challenged, but I did it anyway.

Spiritually I am now in a totally different place and feel good even blissful at times. And I know how to maintain it, but it didn’t come without challenge and tears.

Now I’m not suggesting you need to do a yoga teacher training, but I hope you are seeing that when whatever you attempt feels challenging you need to stay committed

So, here are my insights to help you experience this New Year as one of growth with tips on how to stay committed;

Do new things often this year

It’s unfamiliar actions that bring new growth, fresh ideas and different opportunities. And it’s those moments that we step out of our comfort zone that we challenge ourselves. Meaning we embrace that core need of uncertainty.

This doesn’t mean you have to study for a new degree, but it can be if you want it to be. It can be something as simple as taking a dance class, trying out a different gym, a painting course or a networking group. It also might mean reaching out and striking up conversation where you normally wouldn’t

Acknowledge that whatever new things you decide to do it brings changes you do want, by learning, building confidence and seeing the world from a different perspective. You will also meet a variety of new people and it’s important to seize fresh opportunities that arise from that.

Know the reason why you are challenging yourself

Our reason why is very important because it helps us stay committed those times we feel like giving up. And there really has to be a feeling associated with our reason, because that drives us.

For example; I am enrolled to do a new course in February. I only have a vague idea of what I will do with it, but I know why I’m doing it. The course is related to something I’ve been interested in since I was a child and never pursued. I always feel excited when I do anything associated with it. It’s fun for me and it makes me feel good about myself. I’ll tell you more about it when I’ve completed it, because it inspires me.

Get clear on why you want to do those new things this year. Maybe like me it feels like fun or it’s exciting. Maybe it’s to build your confidence and self esteem or possibly it’s to add value to your work. Decide what it is for you and make sure it has feeling.

Accept it may not feel good all the time

This is so important, because it’s easy at the beginning of the New Year and we’re all excited about what we could achieve. Especially with things like exercise and weight loss, I see many people give up quickly.

But it’s not always going to feel good and that’s because sustainable change brings challenge. And challenge can feel really uncomfortable at times, so it’s essential to accept this as part of the process. Think about how hard it must be for a seed to work it’s way through the earth to sprout that first shoot. Even when it feels the hardest, know that eventually it will start to feel easier and become more pleasurable.

Be prepared for the challenge; surrender into it, remind yourself why you are taking the steps and how good it will feel when you emerge from the other side.

Final insight for a New Year of growth

There is no denying that challenge is part of life, it’s not meant to be a breeze in the park even though we often wish it were. And that’s because we are meant to grow consistently until the day we decide to depart this world.

However, it’s how we handle those difficult times that’s important, so be determined to see it differently. Then take actions based on that new perception.

With the amount of unwanted challenge that happened last year for most of us, it’s time to welcome change that we do want. So decide to steer your own ship in this renewed year of hope. Make a choice in how you continue to live, learn, grow and thrive this year and beyond.

Working with a coach gives you the support to work on your own growth at a deeper and more sustainable level for your personal life, business or career. To have a chat with me about what you would like to change or achieve this year and hear about options available, you are welcome to Book Your Complimentary Clarity Call HERE.