How to start your new year with confidence

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Is 2024 the year that you drift aimlessly into the shallows, or the year you paddle confidently down the wave train?

It’s up to you to choose your position relative to the current, and peel out of the eddy with effective edge and vision. 

When you try to drift out of the eddy, it doesn’t work out so good.

Apply the same navigation rules to your life.

It’s up to you to choose your goal, set your course and take action toward your destination. 

The only thing you can control is you, and it’s time you start choosing your own line. Here are some navigational tips to start 2024 off powerfully:

Stop the mind drift

Did you know that the default mode network of your brain is what neuroscientists call the parts of the brain that light up when your mind is wandering? 

When your mind is wandering and your default mode network is activated, you’re typically ruminating, remembering the past and thinking about the future. 

Spending too much time letting your mind wander is like drifting aimlessly down a river without any direction. Your mind may start to get depressed about the past and anxious about the future.

When you interrupt your mind wandering with focused tasks that bring you into the present moment and/or focus on an action you can take toward a goal, it’s like setting your angle, looking where you want to go, and paddling your boat with control.

In fact, you may love whitewater kayaking BECAUSE it interrupts your default mode network and brings you, over and over, into the present moment. 

You can interrupt your mind wandering off the water too, anytime, anywhere with the practice of mindfulness. Jon Kabat Zinn, the renowned mindfulness teacher, defined mindfulness as the awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, without judgement.

One way to do this is to pay attention to your hands, right now. Bring your focus to your hands and pay attention to them right now, on purpose and without judgement. You can stop the drift by practicing this anywhere, anytime. Even when you’re paddling.

Get Clear

When you get clear about what’s important to you, you have a north star to navigate toward.

You stop the drift, by continually choosing to set your angle, and take action in alignment with your values and your goals.

One thing that really helped me out this past year get clear on my values, was the values exercise in Brené Brown’s book Dare to Lead. I highly recommend!

Another helpful tool is the practice of journaling about what’s important to you. What brings you joy? What’s something you’ve wanted to do for a long time? What activity or project keeps coming up over and over?

The more you practice mindfulness, the more self-awareness you’ll cultivate, and the clearer you’ll get on what’s important to you. It’s a lot easier to look where you want to go when you know where you want to go!

Set boundaries

The river exists because of the boundaries of the banks. Without river banks, there would be no river. 

When you set boundaries they help to direct the flow of your awareness and attention toward what’s important to you. 

Without boundaries, the drift is real.

To navigate toward your goals, it’s important to set boundaries with yourself and  others.

When you say yes to something, it means you’re saying no to something else, and vice versa. If you say yes to mind wandering for too long, you say no to mindful, focused attention and action. Saying yes to people and things that suck your energy, means saying no to what brings you joy. 

If you want to learn more about these strategies join my upcoming FREE webinar Thursday December 28th at 7 p.m. Click here to register.

Ready to take action toward a powerful mindset in 2024? Register for my Mental Agility Mastery 8 Week Course starting January 15th. Click here to read more and register.