Wondering How to Move Forward? Look Backward First.

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All change is a miracle to contemplate; but it is a miracle which is taking place every second.

~ Henry David Thoreau

As we approach the New Year, it’s important first to take a personal inventory of the year that has passed. Instead of being swept away with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, take the time to note how you have grown this year – in any way and no matter how small or how big. You may have had outward changes that are easily visible in your life, such as a move, a job change or a new relationship, but be especially focused on the subtle changes on the inside. Reflecting on the changes we have made reminds us that change is possible and it motivates us to continue on our path enabling us to envision the future in alignment with our true spirit.

Review all of the various aspects of your life. Look at all of your relationships – from the brief interactions you have with strangers to the quality of your long-term close relationships. Consider the aspects of your body and of your physical health this past year, as well as your physical surroundings, such as your home, neighborhood and community. Be sure to review the area of finances. Your spiritual life should definitely be on the list. Consider your career, whether it be a job you hold, your job as a parent or volunteer work and consider any hobby you pursue for enjoyment and for leisure. Look at the level of play and fun in your life, as well.

Thinking through each and every area of your life, ask yourself what aspects of your life brought you joy in the past year. List everything, from the seemingly small and insignificant items to those obvious and immediately memorable ones. You may remember the fulfillment you felt in helping a friend going through a difficult time or you may recall appreciating a sunset while on vacation or hearing your child say thank you. When visioning for the future, we will want to expand these aspects. Review your list and focus only on the joyous aspects and take a moment to revisit the joy that the past year has brought.

Going through every area of your life again, ask yourself what negative patterns have you been able to remove from your life. Here is where you need to pat yourself on the back for your growth. Perhaps you have resolved your anger around a difficult relationship, curbed your spending or stopped eating an unhealthy breakfast. When we focus on our progress, we are reminded of our own personal power. We can see that we are living more in alignment with our purpose and by focusing on that our future is more likely to continue on this path.

Finally, before visioning for the year ahead, ask yourself what visions you have had for your life that have been slow to manifest. An underlying pattern can block the manifestation of our visions and the end of a year is always an appropriate time to and its time to clear out the clutter of old patternse past that have not manifested yet? You may ned to clear out the clutterclear out the clutter of old patterns, enabling us to move forward.

For instance, perhaps you have envisioned, like many others, making more money. If the money is not manifesting despite your best efforts, ask yourself what underlying beliefs about money may be blocking you. Perhaps you have a belief that making money is necessary for others to find you valuable. Once you identify this belief, you will be able to redefine your vision from ‘making more money’ to ‘recognizing my own self-worth’ – something that is your birthright simply because you exist as a human being on this planet. In other words, recognizing your worth will clear out the clutter of negative beliefs. Once we clear out some clutter, we are in closer alignment to our spirit, enabling our visions to manifest.

Find a quiet moment this holiday season to take a personal inventory and to acknowledge what has brought you joy. Also note the ways you have grown over the past year. Then, take the time to acknowledge and appreciate and revisit that joy. You may be pleasantly surprised by what a difference a year can really make. No matter how small the accomplishments may seem remember that great change is usually made up of very small steps that have accumulated over time. Consider those underlying beliefs that may be blocking or slowing the progress of your vision. Envision how you would like to grow and develop by this time next year and notice how that vision has a funny way of becoming our new reality. Happy New Year!

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