As we say goodbye to the old year and ready ourselves for the new one, let’s take some time to think about growth and change for the year ahead. Almost immediately you might notice it’s easy to get trapped in overthinking – getting stuck in thoughts about what happened in the past or what might happen in the future. The new year is a perfect chance to leave this habit behind and open up to new possibilities.
Understanding Overthinking and Its Impact
Overthinking so often holds us back. We can get caught in a loop of thoughts “not again”, or “what if” scenarios which stop us from enjoying the present moment. For this shiny bauble of a new year, let’s try to break free from the overthinking mindset.
Start with noticing you’re stuck in your thoughts, going down the rabbit hole. Take a breath and gently bring your focus back to what’s happening right now. Be in the present, it’s actually the only place you can be anyway!
Setting Intentions for a Positive Future
Instead of making lofty New Year’s resolutions that usually fall flat in the first week and leave you disappointed and judgmental, try intentions. Setting intentions can be a kinder and more effective way to approach change.
Intentions focus on how we want to live and feel, rather than just on what we want to achieve. Think about the qualities you want to bring into your life this year, like being more open or resilient, and let these guide your actions.
Mindfully Welcome Change
Mindfulness is a great tool for dealing with change. It teaches us to experience new things with curiosity and without judgment. We look at things from a fresh perspective and observe our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them. Curiosity helps us look from different angles and without judgment to shut us down we can experiment with new ideas.
Cultivate a Mindful Mindset
Meditation: You don’t have to do anything silly here, simply taking a few minutes to sit quietly each day can help you stay focused on the present and open without overthinking. Use this time to connect with your intentions for the year.
Journal It: Writing down your thoughts and feelings regularly can help you understand your goals and what you want from the new year. Writing about what goes well and what you’d like to change about your life gives you a perspective that you just might miss in the rush of the day.
Practicing Gratitude: Being thankful for what you have can shift your focus from what you lack to the good things in your life. Try to think of things you’re grateful for each day. Write them down, or better yet, say them aloud.
Learning from the Past, Living in the Present: It’s okay to learn from past experiences, but it’s the past! You can’t actually go there, so dwelling on them too much isn’t helpful. Try to acknowledge your past and then bring your focus back to the present.
Trying New Things: Challenge yourself to do something different this year, like a new hobby or meeting new people. New experiences enrich life and opens new doors. Say yes!
Embracing a Year of Mindful Living
Yes, I’m a mindfulness coach, but just like you, life throws curve balls in my direction. I can see I have a choice; overthinking or remembering my training and experience and moving through life with resilience, an open mindset, and joy! Here’s to a year of learning and growth!