2019: How will you enjoy the new year?

Credit to Author: Margaret Jetelina| Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2019 18:04:09 +0000

A new year. A new beginning. A new start. Words that resonate with immigration.

Often at the start of a new year, just like the beginning of a new life in Canada, we look back at the past and review the good, the bad and the ugly. It is also traditionally a time when we look forward and set some resolutions to do things differently, to achieve new challenges and create new experiences.

Set a positive intention

If setting New Year’s resolutions feels like a stressful or overwhelming way to start 2019, then an alternative option is to set a positive intention to honour this new beginning. Find a word, or short sentence, for the year that will help you enjoy more of what you want. What you want might exist already as something you have, something you do or is part of who you are, or it might be something new.

Let your intention come to you from within, rather than from an external source, so it feels authentic and true for you. Keep it simple. Let it guide and align you to what is most important. It will act as your internal search light to keep you on track to being the best version of yourself and highlight new opportunities ahead.

Create a visual reminder of your intention

You can create a visual around your intention for the year either on paper or online. Use your imagination to create or collect pictures of what this word or sentence means for you. If you have children, you could make it a fun craft activity and get them involved. You may find you want to write resolutions or set goals around this intention or simply let the word(s) be enough. There are no rules, other than to keep your intention somewhere you will see it daily.

Other New Year strategies

Other ways to start the new year are:

  • Write some sentences (affirmations) to create some new, positive thoughts and beliefs that will motivate you to do the work required to reap the rewards you want this year and keep you moving forward.
  • Use your imagination in a positive way, to open your mind to new possibilities ahead (rather than focus on the reasons why something won’t work, or can’t be done).
  • Identify who can support you (e.g., friends and family, neighbours, work colleagues, mentors).
  • List the skills and/or knowledge you want to acquire.
  • Make a plan, with dates, for the first few, simple, steps to getting things done.
  • Adopt a different perspective — ask yourself “what would I recommend to someone else?” and take your own advice.

In order to make room for the new intention, you may want to consider if there is anything you want to leave behind from 2018; something you feel you need to let go.

Know that when you positively and deliberately focus your mind in this intentional way, and release anything that doesn’t serve you well, your brain will release the neuro chemicals serotonin and dopamine, known as the “happy hormones.”

This natural, healthy “high” will motivate you to keep making progress. Your self-esteem and confidence will grow. You will feel a sense of gratitude and peace of mind, both of which have scientifically proven health benefits.

New beginnings can be difficult, especially when we are starting over in a new country. We may procrastinate because of fear, uncertainty, or some other uncomfortable emotion that we don’t want to experience. It may be helpful to remember that every day, every week and every month is an opportunity to begin again, to start fresh and release any negativity.

You have more than one opportunity to make 2019 work for you. Use them all.