New Year, New Success: Three Steps to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

Wildly successful people focus on their goals every single day, 365 days each year.

Regardless of your specific goals or what “success” means to you, a real sense of fulfillment comes with identifying what you want and focusing on it every single day until you have it.

Still, many people set goals starting January 1st – commonly around becoming healthier and more fit, or becoming more organized, or living a fuller more adventurous life.

What goals will you be working towards in this new year?

Honestly, it’s ALWAYS a good idea to reflect on your goals, so you can regularly make sure you’re heading directly towards them. These three steps can ensure more consistent success, whether you’re a year-round goal-setter or a “New Year, new you” type of person:

  1. Manage your expectations. It’s been said that less than 10% of people actually accomplish their New Years Resolutions. Often, we set very strict, rigid expectations in place, only to lose steam and quit entirely when our progress slips even the slightest bit. If you’re often hard on yourself, please, lighten up a little by managing your expectations. Change doesn’t happen in an instant – it requires consistent focused actions over a long period of time… throughout this entire new year and every year that follows. Rather than setting yourself up for a sprint in January, break your big goals down into small, incremental steps, and be willing to adjust rather than quitting when challenges come up. Moving through failure is an important part of becoming successful. Accepting that your growth is a life-long process will set you up very well for the long haul.
  2. Clarify what you want and WHY you want it. This is important. Not only does understanding your intention keep you motivated, it helps you set more deeply satisfying and realistic goals for yourself. Let’s take getting healthy, for example. Do you want to lose weight and feel lighter? Is feeling at home in your body the priority? Or, is there something specific you want to achieve through improving your health – like a longer life or a more loving relationship? Each of these versions of “becoming healthier” come with completely different action plans. Identifying exactly what you want and why that’s important to you can keep you focused while helping you identify the most direct route to truly fulfilling success.
  3.  Get support. We do not create long-lasting results for ourselves in a vacuum, though we often value our independence and our ability to do things alone highly in our society. This point of view often keeps us disconnected from each other. It ensures that our results will come much slower and more painfully than they would have if we consulted with loved ones, mentors, and specialists to assist us when the way forward doesn’t look clear. While making changes in your life, you WILL encounter obstacles. Enlist people you trust who can support you when you do.

When you live your life this way – setting goals and moving towards them every single day – nothing will be out of your reach. Have a fantastic 2018.

 

 

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Give Lovingly: Be Generous Without Sacrificing Yourself

Generosity is readily giving more of oneself – more time, more money, more kindness – than is necessary or expected considering the situation. I’m sure you know, generosity is an extremely desirable quality to have.

It also has a dark side.

Unfortunately, the desire to give weighs heavily on some generous people when they don’t practice giving to themselves first and foremost. Generous people often give to others, to their own detriment.

The pressure we feel to be generous often doubles during the holiday season.

For instance… We donate money or buy gifts before accounting for our own financial well-being. 

We always say “yes” to new responsibilities or events, when we’re already worn paper thin.

We force smiles and niceties with people and family members who don’t make us feel good, just to maintain the status quo.

When we neglect our own needs like this for the benefit of others, we nurture a breeding ground for resentment, anger, and eventually burnout, when we have absolutely nothing left to give.

This is not the spirit of generosity. True generosity happens naturally – inspired and overflowing from a full cup, without creating any hardship whatsoever for the giver.

To the contrary – true acts of giving always carry an element of receiving too. Contributing to someone else’s life from an inspired, loving place always feels genuinely enjoyable, abundant, and fulfilling for everyone involved.

When you’re NOT enjoying the process of giving – when you feel like you don’t have a choice, or you feel that you never get anything back in return – that’s a sure sign you’ve stepped into the territory of self-induced self-sacrifice.

So let’s take a step back, shall we?

These tips will help your giving spirit thrive throughout the holiday season.

1. Take 100% responsibility for the way you feel. Let other people take 100% responsibility for the way they feel, too. Your #1 job is to care for yourself – let that be your priority. It’s not your job to make other people happy. It’s not up to anyone else to make you happy, either. People will survive and thrive without you, or they’ll learn how with practice. That is a very, very good thing.

2. Learn what your “full body yes” feels like, then follow it. Close your eyes, take deep breaths, connect with your body, connect with the wisest part of you, and ask – what does a full body “yes” feel like? Say NO to everything that doesn’t elicit that solid YES reaction. You’ll still have plenty of amazing things to fill your calendar, especially during this time of year. Your time is valuable and in high demand – spend time following your “yes”, not pushing down your “no”.

3. Only commit to projects, parties, and people when you KNOW you will deliver. Everything on your to-do list will subtly drain your energy until it’s complete, so be deliberate, be selective, and be realistic. Don’t stretch yourself too thin. You don’t owe an explanation to anyone – you’re allowed to say “no” (or at least stay temporarily non-committal).

When you give generously to yourself first, a joyful generosity towards others will naturally emerge – because nothing feels better than making an impact in the life of a loved one or someone who needs it.

Happy Holidays!

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Feel In Flow: How to Spark Imagination & Creativity

Nothing feels better than the experience of empowered creative energy running through your body.

You know that feeling when you’ve just accomplished something you really care about?

Or the experience of having a brilliant idea?

When you feel passionate about what you’re working towards, with plenty of energy to get the necessary work done, what’s that like for you?

All of these things are involved when you’re aligned with your creative flow.

Think of a person you know who’s very healthy, happy, and successful. Do you think they’re connected to themselves like this?

You can hear it in someone’s voice when they’re in this creative state. Their voice has a whole different resonance to it, doesn’t it?

You can see the glow of their skin and the light in their eyes, regardless of their age, size, or gender. They turn heads when they walk into a room. They seem to attract opportunities effortlessly, they seem carefree and confident. They feel comfortable in their own skin, and everyone around them can see it.

Not only do these people feel inspired themselves, but they inspire everyone around them.

They’re easy to remember, but they can be difficult to emulate… even if you’re usually one of them.

When you’re feeling out of sync with those amazing creative juices, give these steps a try:

1. Move your body. Get out of your head, and into your body. Slow down & stretch. Get up and go for a walk. Focus on your breath. In a locked, uninterrupted space, breathe and bring your conscious awareness to the sensations in different parts of your body. Explore how those sensations feel. This can be uncomfortable to do, but it’s almost guaranteed to move you past whatever’s blocking you. If emotions surface, just let it happen & let it pass. Everything is normal.

2. Get back to the basics. Who are you? Where do you come from? Where do you want to go? What’s important to you? What are you really passionate about? Take some time to reflect on these questions. Journal about them if you’d like. Cancel your plans if you’ve been feeling overwhelmed. Unplug from your devices, stop checking social media, let go of what others think. Watch some favorite movies or listen to your favorite music. Remember, anything is possible. If you can believe it, you can achieve it.

3. Connect with others. Who’s someone who never fails to bring out the best in you? Reach out to them. Brainstorm your thoughts & ideas with someone else, so you can get out of your own head and use the feedback from others. When we’re open to collaboration, we can take each other’s ideas to the next level, and we can have fun while we do it. Incorporating different perspectives makes for dynamic success.

When you reach that extraordinary creative connection with yourself, remember how much you deserve it. Be ready to repeat the process over and over again, as long as you live. Don’t forget to enjoy every second of the ride.

 

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Accessing Desires & Why You Should Care

Desires often get a bad reputation for being frivolous & nonsensical, dangerous to indulge. But, honestly, when we’re not able to look closely at our desires on a moment to moment basis, we usually end up repressing them & misunderstanding them entirely – which is a problem, because desires serve a pretty important purpose in our lives. When you CAN examine your desires, there is generally a way to fulfill them immediately, without making any changes to your life or compromising any of your relationships – most importantly, without compromising your relationship with yourself. Give this video a watch & let me know what you think.

I’ll be taking a break from Tuesday Musings, probably for the rest of 2017, definitely for the next few weeks! Don’t worry… get connected here & “like” my facebook page – there will be plenty of content coming through to hold you over. Please, email me & tell me what topics you’d like to hear about once these come back!!  – info@briannamcinerny.com. Love you all, & talk soon.

Coping with Trauma in a Traumatized World

 

Big, scary word we’re musing about this week… trauma! Specifically, we’re talking about how to process trauma effectively in the moment, ASAP, after a disturbing/distressing event has occurred. Trauma – defined as a deeply disturbing or distressing experience – is happening all around us these days. Even if you don’t think you’ve been traumatized yourself (which you probably have), it’s really not uncommon to feel secondary trauma from the things we’re seeing in the news lately. Unfortunately, when we have trouble recognizing & processing traumatic things as they occur, we can end up experiencing a lot of difficulties later in our lives. Even when we DO recognize what is happening, it’s easy & common to feel totally out of control when dealing with trauma responses in real time. I’d love to give you some of your power back today. Most importantly – especially with this topic – make sure to put GOOD SUPPORT in place for yourself. Don’t try to deal with this all alone. Please, feel free to leave a comment or send a direct message to me with any questions or requests that come up! You can also email me: info@briannamcinerny.com. See you next week.

Become Comfortable & Present: Making Mindfulness Tangible for Peace and Success in Your Life

Mindfulness is defined as the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something, OR, a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

This is a common word to encounter once you’ve started a journey towards a healthier lifestyle. Still, the concept can seem pretty vague.

If mindfulness sounds light & fluffy to you, like a frivolous practice or a waste of time, the potential benefits might help you reconsider. Scientific studies have suggested that mindfulness practices (like meditation) support strong memory, emotional regulation, and communication between the left and right brain hemispheres.

Who can’t use some more brain power & better control over heavy emotions like anger, disappointment, and anxiety? Am I right?

When we feel more comfortable in the present moment, we don’t feel the need to escape our reality through unhealthy habits. We’re able to access unlimited creative ideas, have more meaningful conversations, and get more important tasks done faster. We’re able to move consistently towards our goals. Most importantly, we feel more complete and empowered as individuals, exactly as we are, regardless of our surroundings and the challenges they hold.

In this society that pushes a go-go-go mentality, a mindfulness practice has the potential to be more useful than ever. Here are some practical tips to get you started:

Become conscious of your thoughts. Meditation is a great way to do this – but you don’t need to sit in an uncomfortable position on a cushion to practice. I prefer to keep my eyes open while I meditate so that the effects translate more seamlessly into my everyday routine. Sit at your desk and look out of a window, or find a spot to sit outside, then take five minutes to focus on your breath. When thoughts creep in, just notice and let them pass by, continuing to focus on your breath. With time, your thoughts will slow and you’ll have more control over their progression. Keep a pen & paper handy to write down the amazing ideas that bubble up!

Get comfortable in your body. An essential part of mindfulness is becoming aware and tolerant of your feelings, both emotionally and physically. When we’re avoiding feeling our physical experience, we can’t be present in each passing moment. Practice this by adding an element to your step one meditation practice – after focusing on your breath, start engaging your senses. What can you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel? Notice how your thoughts naturally calm as you engage your body. Stretching, taking walks, or getting a nice long massage can help with this step.

Practice acceptance AND persistent positivity. Mindfulness depends on your ability to accept and embrace every facet of your mental, physical, & emotional experience – even the parts that seem weird or undesirable. The truth is, we ALL experience a full spectrum of thoughts, sensations, and emotions, even though we’ve been socialized to hide it from the world. To support your new awarenesses, especially the challenging parts, build a positivity practice. For example, you can start a gratitude journal. As you actively search for the silver linings & the positive aspects of your life experience, it’ll feel much easier and natural to sit comfortably in the present moment.

Lather, rinse, repeat – and enjoy this feeling of spaciousness you’ve just created.

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