Happy New Year! If you are thinking about creating a better life in 2020, it's likely you have already made or are in the process of making goals, intentions, resolutions or at least some new decisions to guide the months ahead. It is so important that we continually expand, creating and achieving new goals, evolving into the "next level" version of who we are. Learning to uplift ourselves, we enable new energy, which is the first necessary step in allowing us to uplift others. So before you create another giant to-do list or start putting on the big pressure of monumental changes, keep in mind that most of those big goals may fall by the wayside before the month is even over. So how do we deal with this? How do we create positive, lasting change and keep that excitement and momentum going so we can actualize our goals and dreams? The answer is baby steps.
Why are baby steps so powerful? For one, they are quite accessible, and two, they are a lot easier to duplicate and automate than bigger steps. It's just plain easier to "hit the target" of a simple baby step than an elaborate leap. Another reason is that when we successfully take small positive steps, each one brings a little "uplift" in our energy so we can create and experience many little successes in our days. Because they are small, baby steps also give us a chance to be more playful and curious, helping us avoid getting too intense or overwhelmed. They are easier to fit into our busy schedules too, slipping into small moments that open up throughout the day. Collectively, baby steps can calm you, uplift and center you while emptying out negative thinking, as they bring your awareness into real time. In a car, you can take a few nice full rounds of breath at every stoplight, or listen to and feel your breathing as you drive or walk. We can fit those little darlings into the most ordinary moments that come and go, turning them into extraordinary moments. Little but profound. After a day or a week of small, uplifting moments, we experience how they tangibly contribute to the feelings of positivity, peace and energy.
Baby steps act a bit like the tortoise in the children's fable, The Tortoise and the Hare. What we experience with baby steps is a slow, steady momentum that is easy on us. It is welcoming, doable and steadying, never exhausting. This process allows us to enjoy the journey, to watch ourselves creating an empowering new foundation on which we can begin to build bigger and better things. It also gives us time to course correct in a more forgiving way. As we become more positive, we take that positivity and apply it to even more self-honoring choices. The beauty of this? The more we self-honor through baby steps, the easier it gets, and the easier it gets the more we self-honor! Baby steps can also help you avoid the sting of disappointments that come when big leaps goes awry, protecting your sense of self on this somewhat uncertain path of evolution. And let's be honest, who among us doesn't enjoy feeling successful? You can increase your odds of feeling that way by using baby steps. Now, let's take a look at how you can add even greater power to all of your self-honoring baby steps.
The most important thing you can connect with self-honoring baby steps is consistency. Consistency is often difficult when we create a large, elaborate plan for life or habit changes. Let's consider a simple example of going from drinking 4 cups of coffee a day, to no coffee--cold turkey. This is going to be a lot harder than tapering off the drinking of coffee with consistency over a period of time. The same goes for wanting to release any other food or beverage, activity or habit from your life. It is easier to be consistent with a slower elimination process. You also avoid the feelings of deprivation or withdrawal that would be triggering to your emotions or physiology, resulting in repeating old negative behaviors. You will feel good each time you see yourself succeed, methodically over time. I would be so bold as to say that if you were consistent with just a handful of inspirational baby steps throughout 2020, you would come to December 31st seeing the evidence of your efforts and feeling like you crushed it! This seems so much more loving and satisfying than feeling you have betrayed yourself from following through, which can generate self-doubt and make future attempts feel less and less interesting. Small, consistent steps are incredibly powerful and will help you hit your mark.
The second thing that sets the foundation of the self-honoring baby step is a compelling reason. When you have strong, clear, meaningful reasons for what you are doing--here I mean reasons deeper than wanting to look better in a pair of jeans or a bathing suit, or wanting more money or a promotion at work because of the validation. Creating compelling reasons means that these are coming from the heart, from deep within. To reveal the deeper reasons, we need to keep asking, "What is the deeper meaning of this desire and why do I really want this?" And likely, you will need to sit with and ask that question repeatedly to get to the "gold nugget." In the process, you may learn something new about yourself or actually find that the goal you thought you wanted dissolves to reveal something far better. You get the idea. Let's say you want to drop some weight in 2020, one of the most popular resolutions it seems...nothing wrong with that. But what is the deeper reason for you wanting it? You may find your Intuition has been nudging you to treat yourself with greater self-love or compassion, reclaim your health or confidence, feel more in sync with your authentic self, or shine instead of hiding your light under a bucket. Understandably, each person will have unique reasons that eventually rise to the surface. I can't emphasize enough how powerful it is to have meaning-full reasons. They truly are the "life support" of goal achievement.
Self-honoring baby steps supported by consistency and compelling reasons have the power to take you on a journey of success and delight. They can help you to follow through rather than abandoning your resolutions and intentions for the New Year. They work together with a beautiful alchemy and will likely be of much greater help to you in the fulfillment of your 2020 goals. I wish you all a year of thriving, created and experienced by your self-honoring choices, one powerful step at a time.