10 Writing Exercises to Help you Bring in a Healthier and Happier New Year
Posted Dec 28 2009 12:00am
As the end of the year approaches there are many habits we look to including setting intentions or resolutions. Taking time to take stock in where you are NOW, where you have come from and where you want to be is very helpful in attracting your wants and desires to you. I have listed ten writing exercises to help point you in the right direction. Whether you do one or all ten each will bring you closer to manifesting your deepest desires and a happier and healthier new year.
1) Gratitude – Make a list of 10 things that DID go right in 2009, perhaps you lost weight, exercised more, spent more time with friends, went on a vacation, played more with your kids, started a new hobby…. Gratitude for what has gone right opens the gate for even more goodness to show up in your life. We all have many things to be thankful for even in the bleakest of times waking up, fresh water, the sun, people we love and who love us. I know firsthand that when times are tough it can seem impossible to find the good – I also know that by shifting your attention to gratitude you invite miracles into your life. This is my one of my favorites of all healing tools and it never ceases to amaze me what the power of gratitude can bring into your life. My post Gratitude and Giving Thanks lists some of my most visited posts on gratitude.
2) Set Intentions NOT Resolutions for the New Year. See my previous post, “ Make Intentions NOT Resolutions ” to understand the difference between the two. If you feel you have “failed” it just means it is time to reassess. Forgive yourself, and look to renegotiate your intention with yourself or just begin again. We are often our worst enemies… by being kind to ourselves in how we set intentions we are recognizing and celebrating our human-ness. Yes, we may not “get it right” the first time but there are ALWAYS lessons to learn along the way and THAT is a gift in itself.
3) Break Intentions into “Mini-Goals”. Be sure to include them and flesh them out in different aspects of your life: Physical, Emotional, Mental, Financial and Relational. “ Setting Big Goals to Heal and Feel Empowered ” is WONDERFUL BUT if you just set BIG goals without fleshing out STEPS that could get you there you may become overwhelmed. Breaking things down into smaller steps also gives you more times to pat yourself on the back or readjust as you see that the original goal was a little off course from what you really want to accomplish.
4) Write out what your PERFECT day would look like. If so inspired write out what your PERFECT week or MONTH or YEAR would look like. Get descriptive – the more it is expanded upon the more you are visualizing and bringing it to you. I know all days can’t look the same as I exercise 3 different times 3 different days/week so planning out how many hours/week I would like to delegate to stuff really helps. Remember this is your PERFECT week how many hours would you work? How many hours would you spend with your spouse, kids, friends, family? How much time would you spend exercising? How much time would you spend on other hobbies, vacations, learning new stuff?
5) Make a list of friends you would like to contact by phone or see over the next year. Life seems to go faster and faster. It blows me away saying that I have not talked with some of my friends in YEARS. The older I get the longer those years can span. Even though there is that lapse in time – I know if I picked up the phone and called them the conversation would begin as easily as if I had spoken with them yesterday. As we meet more and more people and move locations it seems easier to fall out of touch with more people. I feel true friends are such a gift. Reconnecting with an old friend to me brings such joy. Writing a list of 10 friends I hope to reconnect with this year made me smile and brought back many fond memories.
6) Make a list of music that will ALWAYS get you up and happier. If inspired make a mix CD or a play list for your MP3 player of these songs. Then you always have it to go to if you are feeling like you could use a smile. I know I have mentioned Pandora before – but if you are not a member I highly recommend joining. Enter in one of your favorite songs and/or bands and/or genre and Pandora makes a radio station for you that it thinks you will like. It is a wonderful way to find new bands and old songs you may have forgotten about. Music truly can move our soul. I have a few playlists I can put on that I KNOW will get me smiling and happy.
7) List 3 of your favorite FUNNY movies and/or books. Remember these are always things you can go back to. We are fans of reading jokes as my daughter is quite the comedienne . Knowing and naming what these are makes it easier to go to them if you feel you are in need of some happiness or laughter. Remember I feel it is very important to “ Appreciate EVERY moment Not JUST the good Ones ” but there are times when we JUST want to feel a bit better, have wallowed long enough and are not sure how to do that. Having a list of movies, tv shows or books that you know can make you smile is a good way to perk up quickly.
8) List 3 things you like about each person that is closest to you in your life AND yourself. Again, gratitude is key. I have often seen people get caught up in what they DON’T like about themselves or others. I feel this attracts more of that behavior. If you are concentrating on how annoying it is when a spouse/child/friend does something that is where your attention is going. Each time that thing happens it feels magnified and intense. What if you began thinking about the three things you like the MOST that that person does? It shifts your attention to what is good and it invites more of that into your life. Same with yourself yes we can say we hate when we overeat, don’t exercise, can’t get work done fast enough or whatever else we choose to beat ourselves up about at that moment. What if we wrote down the opposite. I LOVE it when I pass on dessert. I LOVE it when work flows easily. I LOVE it when I make time to exercise. It may seem simple – but in that simplicity is enormous power. Love for yourself and others can grow tremendously when you are concentrating on the good and what is working instead of the bad and what is not working.
9) Coming up with ONE word that you want the year to signify is a powerful way to set an intention. My friend Lance wrote about this last year as I mentioned in my post, “ What do You Expect? ” and got over one hundred comments to his post “ And the Word Is… “. One word really brings your focus in to what is most important to you and what you hope to concentrate on in the next year. EXPECTING that one word brings it to you even faster. I have had “Healing”, “Spirituality” and “Abundance” my last 3 – this year is “FREEDOM”. Freedom to do what I want, when I want. Freedom to say “no”. Freedom to travel and spend time with friends and family. Freedom of spirit and to be authentic to my soul 24/7. Freedom from my own critical judgment and knowing all is as it should be.
10) Write down 3-5 of your favorite quotes and have them where you can see them. I have quotes on my desk, in my desk, in my journal…. many places I know I can look quickly for inspiration and also to be constantly reminded of what I truly find important. I recommend picking quotes from authors that you feel have resonated with you. If you want a list of inspirational quotes, a favorite site of mine Self Growth has a section just for quotes . If you are looking for new teachers to inspire you to gain quotes from, please check out the Heroes of Healing Group Writing Project. More Heroes will be added to this list in the next few months.
If you take the time to think about the next year and take action by writing about it – you are beginning the year with a much healthier and happier attitude. I have witnessed my life undergoing dramatic change and growth in every aspect of it the last few years and I know writing has helped to make that a reality. It has been three years since my life changed forever after healing myself and I now know for sure we are so much more powerful than we were ever told. Setting intentions, having coping mechanisms, focusing attention on the good stuff, being kind to ourselves, taking time to “be” and connect within – these are all ways we can ensure our positive evolution. I hope these writing exercises help you to get into a good frame of mind heading into this new year. As always I welcome comments and of course any other exercises you think may help us bring in the new year happy and healthy. I wish all my readers a very happy new year and all the best for health, happiness and success in 2010. With Much Love – Jenny