New Year’s Goal-Setting: 5 Steps to Personal Growth Success

New Year's Goal-Setting: 5 Steps to Personal Growth Success; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

New Year’s is one of the busiest times for goal-setting–for envisioning a new path, for choosing to grow. And if you’re choosing to grow, you’ve come to the right place; I literally wrote the book on it (haha!). One thing I learned through writing This is How We Grow is one of the hardest parts of personal growth is knowing HOW to do it. That’s why I’m here writing this today–to show YOU how to grow, how to set goals that will lead you to personal growth success.

 

3 Reasons New Year’s Goals & Personal Growth Fail

There are many ways to choose to grow (and of  course, growth doesn’t just have to start on January first). Whether you write New Year’s Resolutions, or set goals, or whether you instead use a yearly (or monthly or bi-annual) theme, like I do, there is one thing that can make or break your success: goal-setting skills. See, that’s one of the problems with Resolutions–too many of us write them down without any real plan of attack. In fact, resolutions, and even goals, tend to fail because:

 

1) We try to do too much at once. It’s great to set 10 resolutions, but you can’t really work on them all at once. You’re better off to try one or two and then add more as the year goes by.

 

2) We expect change to come quickly. We set a goal and say, “I’m starting tomorrow,” and then dive in. While that can sometimes work, more often we’re frustrated because we find ourselves slipping, by day three. Instead, we need to realize that change is a process that can take longer than we’d like. There is much more to making change that lasts than we think. (Read this–How to Make Lasting Change: 5 Lessons from the Transtheoretical Model of Change–and you’ll see what I mean.)

 

3) We quit if we “fail.” But the only true failure is quitting. Lasting change and growth usually takes several tries, and readjusting our goals as we make mistakes is part of success. (Again, read this article–it really will help! How to Make Lasting Change)

 

 

5 Steps to Goal-Setting Success

So, how can we set goals that will lead to success?

1) Create a vision of success. Stephen Covey said it best: “Begin with the end in mind.” (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) Too often, we set a goal without a clear vision of what a “successful” outcome might look like. We know

Want beauty and peace? Create the vision, then set the goal.

Want beauty and peace? Create the vision, then set the goal.

we need to lose weight, for instance, but does that mean we can fit in our jeans or does it mean we are shooting for an overall healthier lifestyle? Before you set a goal, get clear on your best-case end result. Close your eyes and envision what you would be like after your goal is reached. Write it down. Then, write down what “success” for each goal would look like to you. Once you know what you’re trying to achieve, it’s much easier to achieve it.

 

2) Take the time to create a solid plan. Don’t jump in to the “action” phase of a goal before you’ve taken the time to contemplate and prepare properly. As I explain in my article on the “Spiral of Change,” there are actually six stages of change, and skipping steps won’t help you get to where you want to be any sooner. Instead, think about your vision and the steps it will take to get there. What might get in your way or prevent success? What challenges do you anticipate and how might you overcome them? What time frame is best for this goal, and how will you know when you’ve achieved it? Write all of this down, creating a plan you can follow to achieve your goal.

 

3) Write goals in the positive and use the active present tense. Instead of saying, “I am not going to be negative,” say, “Today, I am acting cheerfully.” Instead of, “I will not eat junk food,” write, “I am eating whole foods because I am a healthy person.” Instead of telling yourself what NOT to do, tell yourself what TO do. It helps you feel more empowered and focused on how to achieve your goal. And speaking in the present helps your mind act as if you have already achieved your goal. It helps you believe in yourself, reminding you of what you are capable.

 

4) Create a way to measure your goal and evaluate your progress. Most goals fail because there is no system of measurement and evaluation. Some are easier than others–losing 5 pounds is pretty specific, while “being kinder” is harder to measure. Instead, create a way to tell how much progress you are making. You might check in with yourself each day to evaluate your progress–“How kind have I been today, from 1-10?” Or you might evaluate once a week by writing about your ups and downs in a journal. Whatever works for you is great, as long as it helps you measure and evaluate where you are. Only in knowing where you are can you get to where you are headed.

 

5) Make yourself accountable and stick with it. Another key to successful goal-setting is accountability. If we have no accountability, it’s going to be hard to stay the course when things get tough. Some of us are great with holding ourselves accountable–checking in, reevaluating, encouraging, and sticking with it on your own–but many are not. According to research, most people do best by having a “partner” to help achieve goals. Consider setting up a “buddy system” with a friend or family member, where you check in and encourage each other regularly. Or, involve your partner or even the whole family by helping everyone set one or two goals and then working to achieve them together. Or, post a goal on Facebook and encourage friends to ask about it. Or, join my This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group for a built in support system. However you do it, make yourself accountable–to yourself and/or to someone else–and you’re more likely to stick with and eventually achieve your goals.

 

Here’s to a year of goal-setting success and personal growth! Happy New Year, everyone!

 

 

What are your New Year’s Resolutions or Personal Growth Goals? What helps you achieve your goals? What stands in your way? Leave a comment, below!

 

 

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This is How We Grow, available now on Amazon.com!

New Year's Goal-Setting: 5 Steps to Personal Growth Success; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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What Matters Most

 

 

 

The Art of Living Gratefully

I’ve been practicing gratitude for quite some time now. I started a gratitude journal back when I was first married, I’ve studied countless books and research articles on gratitude, and I even spent an entire year learning how to be more grateful and then wrote a fourth of my memoir, This Is How We Grow, about my “Year of Gratitude.”

It’s only now, however, as I just celebrated my birthday and as I prepare for holidays and time with family, as I reflect on my past and my present and my future, I realize I am finally learning the art of living gratefully. There’s a difference, after all—between feeling grateful or even being grateful and truly living gratefully. Gratitude can be an emotion that strikes us when something beautiful or good happens. It can be an act we perform each time we say thank you, say a prayer, or do an act of service for someone who has touched our life.

But to live gratefully is more than an emotion, an act, or even a practice. Though practicing gratitude is a great place to start, living gratefully means actively keeping in focus the goodness of life. It means, even when things get tough, when we feel like there’s no light or hope, we can still see how everything is right and will somehow work out for our good. It means we cultivate gratitude continually in our heart and express gratitude continually in our world.

 

How do we live gratefully?

It’s an art. It’s a way of being, of creating a life of meaning, purpose, and joy. Living gratefully takes conscious, constant work and attention to the details that make life great. Here are a few things I have learned about how to live gratefully along with a few questions I often ask myself to see how well I am doing. We can all cultivate the art of living gratefully–just be willing to work, then patiently begin.

1) Seek to serve. Cultivate a love of service in your heart. Teach your children and family to do the same. Learn to love giving even more than getting. Then, give, and give, and give.

Ask yourself, “Am I seeking to serve each and every day? If not, how can I reach out right now and start a legacy of service?”

 

2) Take care of yourself. Grateful living means taking care of what we have been given, starting with our body and mind. Practice self-love, self-care, and treat yourself kindly. Be grateful for your health and wellness by taking good care of your body through good nutrition, exercise, sleep, and even time to relax, play, and do what you love.

Ask yourself, “Am I showing gratitude for my body, mind, and spirit by taking good care of myself? If not, what needs my attention today?”

 

3) Focus on relationships. Living gratefully is about so much more than just ourselves. It is about actively cultivating healthy The Art of LIving Gratefully: Focus on Relationships and Express Gratitude; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comrelationships–appreciating the people in our lives while they are here, building memories, and doing the work required to strengthen and maintain those relationships. This involves telling your loved ones you love them, seeing the good they are doing and letting them know you see it, speaking their love language, and making sure they know how grateful you are for the love they give and for all they do for you.

Ask yourself, “Am I focusing on the blessings in my relationships? Am I expressing my appreciation for my loved ones? If not, how can I begin right now?”

 

4) Carry grateful thoughts and a prayer of gratitude in your heart at all times. Whenever I start feeling sorry for myself I always know I have let my prayer of gratitude go. Over the years, I have practiced creating grateful thoughts and emotions, and I have practiced expressing gratitude for the little and big things to my maker each morning. When I forget to do these things, my grateful living fades. Our world is created by the thoughts and emotions we choose to plant and grow in our minds and hearts. Choose grateful ones. We owe everything to our Higher Power. Even when we feel abandoned, we are not. There is always good to be discovered, and when we express our gratitude to our maker, we are blessed with the joy of a grateful heart.

Ask yourself, “Am I actively planting grateful thoughts and feelings in my mind and heart? Do I seek to keep a prayer of gratitude in my heart at all times? If not, what thought or prayer can I create right now?”

 

5) Express gratitude often. I love complimenting others. I love telling them how beautiful, intelligent, caring, supportive, humble, inspiring they are. I look for opportunities to do this each and every day–with my kids, my husband, my friends, family, and yes, perfect strangers. Even telling a pregnant woman on the street, “You look so beautiful today–you are positively glowing,” can make a huge difference in how I feel and it usually lifts the other person, too. Too often we think positive, grateful things, but we fail to express them. Why? I have long wondered about this, and I think, at least for me, it’s usually because I am fearful or lazy. So, I made a goal that whenever I think something positive about someone else, I will try to tell them. When I fail to do so, I feel the difference. Sharing gratitude for the strength and beauty of others increases the grateful feeling inside me and brings more light and joy to the world.

Ask yourself, “Do I express grateful thoughts and compliment others when I think kind things? If not, what is holding me back? And what can I do to begin today?”

 

6) Ponder the gifts, blessings, and small miracles all around us to cultivate intense feelings of gratitude. Like I said before, we don’t have to wait to feel grateful; we can create gratitude. In fact, we can create such intense feelings of gratitude that they make our heart swell with joy and fill our eyes with light. Each day, set aside some time–even a few minutes–to actively seek out the blessings and miracles in your life and in the world around you. Focus on these things, take deep, slow breaths, and let gratitude swell within your heart. You’ll be surprised how much this brightens your day and how easily gratitude will spill out onto everyone else around you.

Ask yourself, “What good in my life am I missing? What small miracles, gifts, blessings are in the world around me that I have not yet noticed? What would my life be like without those things?” Then, focus on those things, ponder them, let your heart swell with gratitude.

 

7) Don’t take the good stuff for granted. This goes along with seeing and really feeling the good in life. Think of others who might not have what you have—health, a good relationship, a family. Make sure you do not take for granted the beautiful treasures that will not last. Enjoy and love them while they are yours.

Ask yourself, “What might someone else see as my treasures, gifts, blessings? What am I taking for granted? How can I begin to day to never take my blessings for granted?

 

8) Use your strengths for good. Turn your trials into chances to grow, then use them to help others. Living gratefully means giving The Art of Living Gratefully--Share Your Strengths; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comof yourself–sharing your stories and lessons to help others grow, too. We have all been given strengths. Will we acknowledge, embrace, and develop them? Will we use our strengths for good, and in so doing, live gratefully?

Ask yourself, “What are my strengths? How have my trials strengthened me? How have I ‘grown’ in my life? How might I use these things to help others grow, too?”

 

9) Pay attention. We tune out so much through technology and other distractions, we miss the mighty moments that bring the greatest feelings of gratitude, joy, and peace. Focus right in front of you right now. No matter what is happening in your life or the outside world, there is beauty to be found. In a sleeping baby, a hug, a blooming flower, in a meal, a bird’s song, in reading this post.

Ask yourself, “Where am I right now? How do I feel? What is around me? What am I missing?” Then, seek it out and ponder the good moments until you feel gratitude swell in your heart.

 

10) When ungrateful times hit, as they definitely will, acknowledge the feelings of ingratitude, and move on. I am by no means perfect at living gratefully. I still catch myself being ungrateful or too self-focused or a host of other things. But that is part of the art of grateful living–seeing when we are failing and choosing to turn it around. Acknowledging feelings of ingratitude can remind us they are just emotions, which, like the clouds, are blocking the sunshine for a while. It reminds us we can choose to seek the sun in cloudy times. We can choose to let go of ingratitude and continue to strive for grateful living.

Say to yourself, “These are feelings of ingratitude.” Let yourself feel them. Give yourself time to just be where you are. Then, when you’re ready, choose to let them go and focus on practicing gratitude again.

 

Live gratefully. Artfully create a more beautiful world—for you and for all.

 

 

www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Clinical Psychologist, Mom of 6, Bestselling Author of This is How We Grow, Postpartum Couples DVD Producer, Non-Profit Founder, and expert on Parenting, Women’s Emotions, Pregnancy & Postpartum, and Grief & Loss, Dr. Christina Hibbert loves songwriting, learning, and teaching what she learns. She believes the art of grateful living is an art at which everyone can excel.

 

 

 

How do you practice the art of living gratefully? Share your ideas, insights, and inspiration below by leaving a comment!

 

 

The Art of Living Gratefully; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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“These are my Strengths!” & “This is My Lame-O List!”: How to Embrace Strengths & Weaknesses

We all have our strengths. For instance, I’m good at: 1) writing and public-speaking, 2) talking with my kids and listening to those in need. I’m also good at 3) acknowledging and working on my weaknesses.

 

We all have those too, you know—weaknesses. Some of the things I’m not so good at include: 1) being nice when I’m too tired (or hormonal), 2) keeping my life stress-free, or 3) keeping up with my work, home, and all six of my kids all the time!

 

 

“This is My Lame-O List”

In fact, yesterday, I had to face up to the fact that my life is so full, I pretty much don’t do anything until it absolutely MUST get done. This means there are many, many items that get shoved into never-done land.

 

In an effort to finally own up to this weakness of mine and how lame I’ve been this past year about getting these things done, I grabbed a sheet of paper and wrote at the top, “The "This is My Lame-O List!" from How to Embrace Strengths & Weaknesses; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comLame-O List.” I started writing down all the important things my husband and I need to do but haven’t (for months!):

  • Clean off the back deck for summer (a little late for that one!)
  • Get the dog trained with the invisible fence
  • Finish our bathroom remodel (painting, hanging the mirrors, putting on the bathtub fixtures!)
  • Get my girls’ hair cut (It’s officially been a year. My youngest said to me yesterday, “Mom! You need to cut my hair! It’s all the way to my bottom now!” Lame-O.)
  • Hire someone to get the mold out of our boys’ shower area!
  • And many, many more!!

 

I mean, come on! These aren’t the world’s biggest jobs. They can be done in a few hours or a day. But, like I said, it’s my weakness right now. My life is currently made of only what HAS to be done right now. There are too many pieces to keep up with! And I get tired even trying, which is not a good thing either (See weakness number one, above).

 

 

“These Are My Strengths!”: No More Excuses

It would be easy for me to sit around and give excuses for why I can’t seem to get these important things done (I’ve got too many kids, I’m in the thick of publishing my first book!). But, like I said above, one of my strengths is seeing my weaknesses and choosing to work on them. It’s not my husband’s strength, however. When I showed the Lame-O List to my husband, OJ, he laughed. “We need to start crossing these things off, dear,” I encouraged him, accepting my weakness. “I’m in denial,” was his reply. He is in denial. But I am NOT! Not any longer, anyway.

(Side Note: When my son asked me when I was going to get the carpet fixed in his room, last night, I said, “Put it on my “Lame-O List.” To which he replied, “Yeah, I feel like you’re not actually going to do any of those things.” Ha! I’ll show him!)

 

 

How to Embrace Strengths & Weaknesses

The point is, we need to see these things we’re not so good at. And we need to see the things we are good at. We need to own them. All of them. Just like I’m trying to do with my “Lame-O List.” But, I can hear you saying, “How?” How is the right question. Here are a few things to get us started!

 

1)   Most of us tend to either under- or over-estimate our strengths and weaknesses.

I’ve had plenty of times when I’ve overestimated my strengths and others when I can only see my weaknesses. I’ve also had times when I have under-recognized my strengths and my weaknesses. Getting real about our strengths and weaknesses opens us up to them. It helps us accept them. And when we accept them, we discover a greater sense of joy and self-worth.

 

2)   Owning our strengths allows us to utilize them to bring passion, purpose, and joy to our lives and to those around us.

I may be weak in getting things done, but I'm strong in having fun!

I may be weak in getting things done, but I’m strong in having fun!

It’s true. When we know what we’re good something, we can seek more of that in our life. This can increase our passion in life and even help us discover our life’s purpose. And that makes us happier.

 

3)   In fact, evidence shows that working from one’s signature strengths is one of the surest ways to increase joy and happiness in your life.[1]

Too often we fail to take the time to search these strengths out and creatively seek ways to use these strengths in our daily pursuits. But it’s well worth it, for research shows using our strengths on a daily basis is a sure path to joy.

 

4)   Owning our weaknesses helps us “get real,” accept where we are, and discover peace.

If someone were to tell me I’m not a great gardener right now, I would have to agree. It wouldn’t make me feel terrible about myself, because I know that, right now, I can’t remember to water the lawn, let alone a garden! And that’s ok. I have friends who are great gardeners—master gardeners even. It is their strength. It’s not mine. Knowing our weakness helps us accept it. And that brings more peace and a deeper sense of self-worth to our life.

 

5)   Accepting our weaknesses allows us to improve and grow.

Yes! Only through seeing and accepting our weaknesses can we choose to grow. We can set goals—like me, writing out my Lame-O list—to improve. And someday, our weakness may even become on of our strengths. (Again, I will prove my kids wrong!!)

 

6)   Start by making a list of our strengths and weaknesses.

It’s simple. Just start by listing your strengths and your weaknesses. Is one list longer than the other? Why? Are you being honest and letting yourself own it all, strengths and weaknesses alike? Do you need practice seeing your strengths? Or your weaknesses? Approach this list like you’re an investigator—just trying to gather all the facts and lay them out for a good look.

 

7)   Choose one strength to strengthen and one weakness to improve.

Start small. Just one at a time. Use one of your strength more in your daily life—in your career, your parenting, your relationships with others, your hobbies. Then, set a goal for how you will improve a weakness. Give yourself time, and you will grow.

 

8)   Our strengths and weaknesses change with life’s circumstances, and as we choose to grow.

Believe it: We can choose to strengthen our strengths and improve our weaknesses. And sometimes life helps us do this too. We’re given circumstances that make us grow in new ways, develop new strengths, overcome old weaknesses. But it’s a choice we each must make each and every day.

 

Choose to grow, my friends. Choose to see what is. Choose to embrace your strengths and your weaknesses, to say, with comfort and confidence, “These are my strengths,” and “This is my Lame-O List!” Choose to not judge yourself, but rather to openly see and accept where you are. Then, choose to grow a little bit more each and every day.

 

 

How to Embrace Strengths & Weaknesses; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

You don’t have to “Grow” it alone!

Join us for my “This is How We Grow” Personal Growth Group! Starting this week!

Details coming very soon (like tonight!), so stay tuned!  “Like” my facebook page for news and updates! Also, be sure to SUBSCRIBE, below, so you you won’t miss a thing!

Oh, and I’d love to hear what you think about embracing your strengths and weaknesses (or about joining our group!), so leave me a comment, below!


 

 

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.drchristinahibbert.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/square-head-shot1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Clinical Psychologist, Mom of 6, Postpartum Couples DVD Producer, Non-Profit Founder, and expert on Parenting, Women’s Emotions, Pregnancy & Postpartum, and Grief & Loss, Dr. Christina Hibbert loves songwriting, learning, and teaching what she learns. She has a lot of weaknesses, but she’s working on them. She has a lot of strengths too! [/author_info] [/author]

 

 

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[1] Based on the research of Dr. Martin Seligman. Visit his excellent website to find out your signature strengths! www.authentichappiness.org

Beyond Resolutions: Discovering Your New Year’s Vision

Beyond Resolutions:

Discovering Your New Year’s Vision

 

My New Year’s Vision

“A few years back, tired of ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ and needing an entirely new approach, I developed the idea of a ‘yearly theme’. What I really wanted was to move away from the small, too-often forgotten goals of New Year’s resolutions toward a more meaningful practice of personal development. Having a yearly theme would serve as my one resolution for the entire year and give me focused, extended practice in mastering it.

 

“My first year’s theme was ‘Carpe Diem’—a time in my life when I was ready to take on the world as a freshly licensed Clinical Psychologist, mother of three, and starter of a non-profit organization. I think I ‘Carpe’d’ a little too much ‘Diem,’ if you catch my drift, and ended up completely burned out by the end of the year. But somehow it was all ok; it was the exact lesson I needed at that time and paved the way for the next year’s theme, ‘Humility’. And that’s what I have found every year: my theme-selection process produces uncanny results” (excerpt from This is How We Grow, Hibbert, 2013).

 

I don’t take my theme selection process lightly. After all, if I’m going to be attempting to master something for an entire 365 days, it had better be a worthy opponent. When December rolls around, I begin my theme-selection process by evaluating the year past and pondering the year to come. Sometimes I’ll just know what the theme for the next year will be, but more often than not, by December 30 and 31, I’m deep in the process of sorting it out. I will have pulled out my previous year’s journal and read through the more important entries to get a feel for where I have been—for my strengths over the year, the ways in which I have grown, and the weak spots that need a little more nurturing–and I will have created a list of theme ideas that might suit me for the year to come. But mostly, I will pray. And I will ponder. And I will write. And I will listen.

 

And when I do this right, it leads to, not just a list of nice ideas that might help me be thinner or more organized or happier, but to a purpose—my vision for the year to come.

 

My New Year’s Vision for YOU

So, my advice to you at the start of this New Year is this: Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t settle for resolutions that lack meaning and depth. Goals and resolutions are good and well, as long as there’s a bigger picture and purpose to them, as long as they are steps on the path of your greater vision.

 

Take the time to evaluate your life, to see the strengths and the weaknesses, to listen. What do you need to learn this year? What needs a little more nurturing in you? Then, don’t just choose to change this year–choose to grow.

 

This is my New Year’s vision for you and for me–May our New Year be one of growing, and may we grow lavishly.

 

 

What is my “theme” for this year? As I write this post, I’m still working it out. I’m getting close, though, and hope to be sharing it in the comments (below) soon! 

In the meantime, what is your goal for this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts and feelings about this time of year. How do you tackle the new year? What are you choosing to work on? And especially, are you with me in “choosing to grow?” Let’s do this together!! Share your heart with us in the comments, below!

 

PS-I do have one actual “resolution” this year, I admit. You can read about it in this article from Psych Central!

 

Join our mailing list, below, and “Like” us on Facebook for news, updates, ideas, and inspiration to help you grow lavishly!


 

 

Check out my bestselling memoir, This is How We Grow!

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Where Really Great People Meet!

 

 

Slow Down & See: How to Appreciate the Richness of Life

“Slow down and See”:

How to Appreciate the Richness of Life

I’ve had mixed emotions this past week, as I’m sure many of you have. From holiday celebration to national tragedy, my heart and mind have been churning.

It’s easy to let the turmoil of the world weigh us down. And it’s just as easy to keep ourselves so busy that we don’t have to feel much of anything. But, there’s another option–a better one–based on the meaning of the holiday season and the gift that turmoil can offer. It is to  slow down and embrace the richness that is all around us.

That’s what this week has given me—more focus, more reverence, more presence, and more of “me” in my life. It has halted me in my tracks and shown me what really matters once again. And my heart is bursting with gratitude.

So today I would like to share the words I’ve been coming back to all week, an excerpt from my upcoming memoir, This is How We Grow (2013). I wrote this in December, 2007, during one of my most turmoil-filled times, and it is my gift to you this holiday season. May you be filled with hope and love, and may you choose to slow down, see, and embrace the richness that life holds in abundance.

 

“Slow Down & See”

“Living life in the fast lane may get us where we think we want to be in a hurry, but how much do we miss as we fly on by? Everyone I know is busy. There are mouths to feed, bills to pay, things to get done, and hopefully some fun added in the mix as well. It’s not a bad thing to be busy; it’s part of life. But too often we fail to see the beauty and richness simply because we’re going too fast. The slower path is the path of patience, and the gift of the path of patience is the opportunity to see.

Slowing down, breathing deeply and taking a good, long look around enables us to see our gifts, lessons, blessings, and strengths, and to choose to appreciate and learn from them. Sometimes life’s circumstances will knock us out of our fast lane, but more often than not slowing down is a choice we each must make for ourselves. It usually takes conscious effort to slow down and see. As one author writes, “…calm is something you must go after, whereas stress comes after you” (Emotional Freedom, Judith Orloff,p. 38).

It is precisely when stress is coming after us that we most need to slow down and see. Seeing can calm us and open our eyes to what really matters. Seeing involves all the senses—hearing a bird’s song, smelling the love in the dinner on the stove, tasting the salt of a falling tear. By simply noticing the beauty of the world in which we live, we begin to actually see it.

Another way to see is to sit still and search within yourself. The following exercise I do with my clients might help:

     Close your eyes, get comfortable, inhale, exhale. Imagine entering a dark room. This room represents your life—emotions,       relationships, experiences, dreams, desires, and who you intend to become. You close the door behind you and are enveloped in deep blackness. Slowly, you take out a shiny silver flashlight and flip the switch. Using your flashlight, look around the room little by little. Illuminate every nook, corner, and crevice. Take a searching look at your life—your activities, time, relationships, stresses, successes, blessings, weaknesses, strengths. Be willing to see the areas that need improvement. Be willing to appreciate all the good you see. Be willing to see all the little things that you may have missed along the way. Do not judge. Instead, just focus on letting yourself see everything. Breathe. And let it all be.

As we exit the speeding highway and opt for the slower, scenic route, we find a richness to life, and we wonder how we’ve missed it all this time. We catch the beautiful moments shining right in front of us. And we see. We see our life. We see where we have been. We see where we are headed and have an opportunity to decide if we need to alter our course. We see one another. And when we see, we can’t help but be filled with gratitude and peace, for we no longer miss the blessed gifts sparkling in the gutter that once seemed to be our life. We bend down, see the jewel and choose to pick it up, and, in this way become a little bit richer each time we slow down and choose to see.” (from: This is How We Grow, Hibbert, 2013).

 

 

 

Reach out and share with us: What has your heart been saying to you lately? What helps you “appreciate life’s richness”? Please leave us a comment below! And–Warm and Love-filled Holiday Greetings to one and to all!

 

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G.R.O.W.

When Life Throws You In The Mud, Plant Yourself And Grow.

Mud is good for growing things. Well, maybe not mud exactly, but dirt, soil. In fact, the darker the soil, the richer and more nutrient-dense it is.When I looked up the word “grow” in the dictionary here’s what I found: to spring up and develop to maturity; to increase in size by assimilation of material into the living organism; to promote the development of (Webster’s New World Dictionary). Now we’re obviously not just talking about plants here; no, we are talking about growing ourselves—springing up to maturity, increasing in (figurative) size by assimilating information, and ultimately, about promoting our personal development. Life gives us countless opportunities for growth, but far too often we fail to see them for what they really are. We see the obstacle, the opposition, the obstruction, but we fail to see the opportunity.

 

That little word–grow–seems so small and insignificant, but really it’s big and important. To help you see just how important it is G.R.O.W.; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comI’ve created an anagram: G.R.O.W., or Grasp the Repeating Opportunities for Wisdom. When things don’t go your way or when life seems completely flipped upside down, remember to Grasp—reach out your hand and take hold of the lesson. It’s not always easy to do, but if you’re willing to try, I guarantee the lesson learned will be worth it. In fact, life’s lessons keep Repeating until they are learned. So if you miss it on the first go around, don’t worry–it will come back again. Growing is not about ease anyway; it is an Opportunity, an opportunity to gain Wisdom. It is stretching high to the sky and then stretching a little bit more. Try it now. Reach your hand up as high as you can. Did you do it? Ok, now reach up a little bit more. See? Just when we think we can’t grow anymore, we surprise ourselves and go a little bit higher.

 

The next time life seems to be beating you up, submit, plant yourself deep in the mud and G.R.O.W. You will become something much greater than you could have dreamed, catapulted to a higher and deeper knowing—of life, of love, of yourself, of the Divine.

~Excerpt From Dr. Hibbert’s forthcoming book, This Is How We Grow”.

 

 

from "This is How We Grow," by Dr. Christina Hibbert; Join the "This is How We Grow Summer Book Club" & Preview Chapters at www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

How do you GROW through life’s challenges? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment, below.   SUBSCRIBE to “The Psychologist, The Mom, & Me” blog & Dr. Hibbert’s Newsletter & Updates, below, and please “Like” us on Facebook!


 

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