So it’s been a long while since we last spoke, apologies for that, I’ve been in Australia for the best part of two months! I decided to take the time off to focus on the point of the trip; to recharge, realign, and reflect on the craziness of the past 18 months.

As many of you know, most of 2014, for me, was about recovery. It was about starting again and rebuilding many aspects of my life are a rather tumultuous time.

I’ve learnt so much about myself, others, the world around me and how they affect each other over the last year. It’s been an interesting path to walk along and I couldn’t have done it without some amazing people I’ve met in the past year.

I’ve never been one for New Year resolutions and I firmly disbelieve in the phrase ‘I’ll start Monday”. I believe if you want something, you start now, in the moment – you make the mental acknowledgement that you are going to achieve something and you begin to work towards it.

So, for today’s Monday Motivation I want to show you the things I am doing, no just this year but forever, to keep myself on the path I wish to follow. They are things I have learnt and they have helped change my life, maybe you might find they help you, too.

1. Let go of the past

Letting go can be hard to do, but it’s important. It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with aspects of my past, to accept them and move forward. You have to look at who you have become in spite of it and focus on that, and think of how much more you could be if you put it behind you.

2. Realise only you can make your dreams happen

Don’t waste your life building someone else’s dream – go chase your own. Make a plan; write a wish list and start planning what things your need to achieve it. If it seems too easy or you achieve it quickly, dream BIGGER. The worst thing we can do is to assume we will have time in the future. You never know what is around the corner. As Jim Carey said, “You can fail at the things you don’t want to do, so you might as well try and do the things you love.”

3. Give yourself a break

Something I have realized over the last year is that I push my self incredibly hard. I expect the best from myself at all times and see success and development as my only goals. The problem here, while not trying to sound clichéd, is that I spend so much energy trying to reach the end, I’m missing the race that I am running now. Recently I was looking through my CV and updating various profiles, I went to write the sentence, “I’m a copywriter with … years of experience”, when I thought I should get the exact time frame to put in. I was shocked when looking through my CV, that I had only been in my field of work for just over 3.5 years. I genuinely thought I was nearing or in my 5th year. How had I managed to add so much time in my head? I was so focused and hungry for the next promotion, and was worried I’d fall behind that I hadn’t even realised. It was a huge shock but one that changed my perception. I felt a huge weight lift and I realised I needed to give myself a break, I was doing pretty damn well considering and I needed to focus on the now, and learning, not focusing on progression.

4. Failure is OK

We are all scared of failure; of having to own up to our shortcomings or mistake. But this isn’t a natural instinct. We aren’t born with this fear, it is a learnt reaction and one than can be unlearned. Think, a child is never fearful of failure; they yearn to explore and try new things. Cherish discovery. Try to learn from your failures, don’t expend energy chastising yourself for it, us that to push yourself harder next time.

5. Live life to your own values and expectations

I’m terrible for this one. I see my friends and family achieving so much with their lives; relationships, work, families – and I yearn to stand beside them with the same things. But my path is different, and so are yours. This doesn’t even have to mean physical things like your home, or your salary, it can be how you hold yourself as a person, how you act and how you see the world.

6. Cut out negative people and stop being negative

This can be the hardest one to achieve, but I tell you this; it is worth it. There have been some people in my life, who though I genuinely and deep love have brought such negativity and pain into my life that I have had to move away from the relationship. It is a painful process, but also part of the healing. Sometimes these people don’t even really know they are doing it, it’s just in their nature to act a certain way, which can cause I problems. This is just as bad. Of course we always try and find a resolution first, which I tried many times over. But sometime you get to the point where you have to enough. I love you, but I am letting you go.

7. Accept your current situation

I learnt this lesson when I was a teenager. I was overweight and desperate to change, but I found I kept failing. A week of trying and I would look at myself and be angry I wasn’t changing. I disliked body that much, I would then comfort eat. It was only when I got to the mindset of accepting my body, appreciating the good things about it and then choosing to make a change with it, over feeling a need, that I was able to focus longer and actually begin to see result. It’s something I am learning again now. Life can throw you a lot balls that’s be hard to juggle and the fear of it going wrong can be intense, but it’s by accepting your predicament, laying it our before you and making a plan that you can truly start to affect change. You need to accept where you are to change where you want to go.

8. Unplug from technology

This one’s a fun one. I tried doing this in Australia for a week, the first morning I had been on Facebook for 20 minutes before I even realised what I was doing. I just couldn’t stop. It then became a constant knocking in my head, trying to not think about thinking about not checking my phone. I was totally absorbed by it. It was only when I started actively leaving my phone in another room did I stop. Our emotional connection to our phones and tech devices is astounding. So from now I plan on buying an alarm clock so I don’t keep my phone near me.

9. Meditate every day

I have the beautiful Jasmine Skee to thank for this one. She’s an amazing life coach and her wisdom has inspired me. Whether you call it ‘meditation’, ‘quiet time’, ‘reflection’ or even ‘chilling’ – just make sure you do it. I’ve learnt it is so important to spend time removing yourself from the world around you, going into yourself and focusing your mind and centering the body. You can do it on the train, or in the morning or evening in bed, but just take 10 minutes, or more if you can spare to sit, eyes closed, in silence (or with some relaxing and uncluttered music playing) and try just being for a moment. How does your body feel? How does your breath feel? What can you hear? Effortlessly focus on your breath and ask yourself, Who am I? What do I want? What is my purpose? What am I grateful for? You don’t need to have the answers, just become aware of sensations, images and thoughts that flood your body. Check out Jasmine Skee’s website for lots more life guidance.

10. Be thankful

There aren’t many things greater than thank you. From the little generosities to the big loves in our lives, it’s important to say thank you. Imagine, right this instant, that when you wake up tomorrow, you would only have the things you had been grateful for today, and I mean actually thought about how grateful you are. For many, me included, I would wake up with nothing. Not that we aren’t grateful, but because we get so caught up in living life, we don’t stop to take stock of what we have and to be thankful for it.

 

So this is my challenge. It’s going to be an interesting road, and I’m buzzing with excitement for the rest of 2015 to reveal it’s self to me. I want to take this whole idea further and challenge you all to choose something that you wish to achieve, not just for the year but on going. What is your challenge?

Keep your eye out for a very exciting project, coming soon.

Have a great week, folks.

Neil

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Written by Neil Thornton
London-based coffee drinker. Editor by day, blogger by whatever time he finds spare.