Quieting the Inner Critic

The beginning of a year intimidates. It overwhelms. Well, if you let it.

We have to break the beast down to consume in smaller bites. It’s just 52 weeks and you handle it one day at a time.

The “new year, new you” and all that business should not be the focus. Yes, it’s a new year but why does it have to be a whole new you?

We should all evolve with time and so Jan 1 is not a reset on who you are or how you live.

Jan 1 is an opportunity to continue expanding on what you have already built. The project may take a different turn with a new year but no need to scrap the project altogether and start over.

I cannot, will not and did not throw away 2015 as soon as 2016 arrived. Instead I choose to build on it. It is a new 365 day journal that will have ups and downs, victories and failures. But having arrived at the beginning of the yearlong journey I cannot help but think of the saying, “How do you eat an elephant?  A: One bite at a time.”

Every year we express bewilderment in how quickly 365 days go. I was just toasting champagne at the final countdown into 2016 with what feels like 3 hours ago but in reality we are already 3 days into January.

We must mentally prepare for everything that lies ahead of us. The mind is brilliant and amazing. It works well for us but sometimes the mind seems to work against us.

We intimidate and limit ourselves at times with just our thoughts. Do you find yourself being your biggest critic? I know I do it far too often but it never does me any good.

The time I spend complaining or being critical of myself, I could be making real changes or positive impact in my life and others. I get some of it is human nature and not easy to turn off or walk away from our inner critic but we have to learn to quiet it so we can be productive.

As necessary as it is to be kind to others, it is also so important for you to be kind to yourself. You already have to fight so many battles and the courage to do so can best be found in the most trying times if you are kinder to yourself.

When the critical voice gets loud, tell it to be quiet or get lost.

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The Upcoming Year is for You so What’s Your Vision?

The activity that excites me most in this last week of the year, is creating my 2016 vision board.

I drank the kool-aid on vision boards at the end of 2014. I took the project seriously and clipped pictures and words that inspire me. I chose things that were in my mind but could actually come to life with a little effort.

I picked easy, medium and stretch goals to accomplish for the year. I have never been faithful to New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe I just always felt the pressure to pick something but somewhere 3-6 months in I would often give up on it.

Vision boards hold a little more weight to me than New Year’s Resolutions. New Year Resolutions for many are outrageous new commitments that sound good but take more sacrifice than people are willing to make. Resolutions are often short lived unfortunately but a vision is not constrained by time.

It is bigger than one year. It may include some of the same items your New Year’s Resolutions have but the mindset must be purposeful to keep your vision from fading like a trend or fad.

It builds on the concepts of past vision boards to achieve your best version of life. It can also completely switch directions throughout the year as you actively live your life. It is yours to control, create, change, update, add to, subtract from or scrap completely when needed. If you do it with the right attitude, working on your vision board will be fun, exciting and get you amped up for what is to come.

It can be about your health, finances, family, career, relationships or all those things and then some.

I want to list for you some the items from my 2015 vision board first then later will share some things that have made the cut for my 2016 vision board.

2015 Vision Board
Be Prepared • Give • Live Gloriously • Make Today Fun • Noteworthy Style • Communicate Desires Clearly • Empower the Soul • Walk Your Talk • Smart is Beautiful • Roads Less Taken • Stop Stress Before It Stops Me • Dream, Plan, Go • Relax and Reconnect • Do Something For Yourself • My Career • Dream Trip • Love My Body • Live With An Open Heart • 2015 is Mine • More Together Time • Go on, Indulge • Relax and Retreat •

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2015 has been the most fulfilling year of my life for so many reasons and I feel I owe a lot of it to creating a vision board. It sounds cheesy but I really mean it. I don’t think I would have started blogging, created Life Untangled, taken a dream holiday to Hawaii with my (no longer long-distance) boyfriend because he moved to my city this year — yay! and my family for Thanksgiving or lastly, raised enough funds to take an unexpected trip to London, England on scholarship for a Leadership Conference without a vision board this year.

I met this year with intention and I intend to continue on in my new favorite tradition.

My hope is you can use ideas from me to help you start figuring out what direction you desire for your life to head. If you don’t know where you’re going, how would you ever know if you have arrived?

A vision board can help you with that and it can roll over for however long you choose. Vision boards also make it easier to verbalize to others what you want.

2016 Vision Board
This Year is for You • Remodel Your Commute • Live Life Luxuriously • Write the Next Great Chapter in Your Life Story • Natural Girl Magic • Be Adventurous • Be Miles Away From Your Daily Routine • See the World from a Different Perspective • Namaste • Dive In Headfirst • More Than Happy • Gracious • Get Completely Lost in the Moment • Be Somebody to Lean On •

I believe that if you share your vision for your life with others, it is more likely to happen. It becomes more comfortable to talk about.

You may find yourself doing what I did this year…subconsciously look for more opportunities to fulfill parts of your vision. Others can hold you accountable and help you look for ways to achieve your vision.

With the introduction of a new year that symbolizes a fresh start for so many of us, now is the perfect time for you to start your vision board process.

I hope you’ll join me. I would love for you to share your vision boards with me. If you have any questions about what to do or how to get started, please send me a note. I am happy to help untangle things for you.

See you in 2016!!

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