As a health and wellness coach, Im sure it comes as no surprise to you that New Years is one of my favorite holidays. Dreaming, defining, and discovering life goals is a passion of mine and a new year brings so much positive potential it’s beyond exciting. I’m like a kid on Christmas come January first.
As some of you know I am a fan of creating a “theme” for a New Year. I believe this sets a strong, powerful intention for a desired outcome and allows you to stay consistent in taking action towards a year congruent with that theme. For example, 2012 for me was the “year of self love” where I dedicated time, energy, and effort towards loving myself first. It was an incredible year (highly recommend the theme!) full of health, happiness, and getting strong in every area of my life. At the end of the year I was a completely different woman, self-love had allowed me to spread my wings and start flying. I felt more alive than ever and was ready to explore everything life had to offer. It seemed only appropriate that the following year, 2013, should be the year of discovery with a brand new set of eyes. It was then the theme “Year of Yes” was born.
My challenge for the Year was this:
- Define my priorities, values, goals, and dreams for 2013.
- Think of one thing to say yes to everyday that would contribute to the growth and potential of those goals. “Do one thing a day that scares you” in the best possible way.
- Use the year of yes as an opportunity to stretch in areas where in the past saying no created limits.
- Use YES as a way past fears and into fearless living.
- Discover the outcome of what happens by being open to the infinite possibilities of life by saying “YES”.
Quick clarifications on the “Year of Yes” theme:
- There is a big difference between being a “doormat” and saying yes to your life. Doormats say yes to everyone else’s needs first. Successfully living in the year of yes to me means knowing yourself and evaluating requests to see if they are in line with what you want and need first. When you’re crystal clear about your goals, you can painlessly arrange new activities and opportunities in the right order and turn down the ones that do not support the outcomes you want for your year. Often times the thing keeping you from reaching your dreams is simply sitting down and knowing what exactly is important to you and what you WANT. If you don’t know yourself it makes it harder to say yes to things inline with that doesn’t it??
- If you are a people pleaser the year of yes will challenge you to truly get to know yourself, your desires, and to learn to prioritize those without feeling guilty. It will also challenge you to set boundaries so that you can enjoy the things you say yes to fully.
- Of course there are appropriate times to say no and you must honor your intuition and respect those times. This is also a great opportunity to learn to trust your gut (and to learn what happens when you don’t 🙂
Without further ado, here are a few valuable lessons I learned in 2013,
“The Year of Yes”
Life Lessons From My “Year Of Yes”
- Life really does begin outside your comfort zone. That feeling you get when you try something for the first time. When you learn something new. When you don’t know what to expect. When you surprise yourself. Wonder, awe, excitement – those feelings fuel your “aliveness”. And while we all love a saturday night in watching movies, living in the comfort zone too often eventually leads to boredom, ruts, depression, and feeling “stuck”. After all, “If You Do What You’ve Always Done You’ll Get What You’ve Always gotten.” In order to live freely and happily, you must sacrifice the comfort zone, and this is not always an easy sacrifice. Making the conscious effort to continually challenge yourself, be a lifetime learner, and be uncomfortable when experiencing something new is the fuel that will keep you feeling alive. You will get a rush of life when you jump in… and not with a single toe, but with your whole self. Get your hair wet!
- Your fears are really so much bigger in your head. Have you ever done something you were afraid of and realized, “wow that totally wasn’t bad at all??”. Yea I thought so. Thats because the things you feel scared or uncomfortable by are much bigger in your mind. Taking action is the best way to overcome the over thinking or dramatizing the mind likes to create. If conquering the fear and saying YES will help you grow towards your goals, ask yourself, “whats the worst that can happen?” and then feel the fear and DO IT ANYWAY. You’ll find the things you thought were scary are actually not all that bad in reality. And once you start facing fears it gets SO much easier to face more.
- Sometimes you dont know what you need. Think you always know what’s best for you? Think again. People and experiences can teach you something about yourself you never knew if you give them a chance.
- Flexibility is a muscle that if you workout will help your life be stronger. Have you ever heard the saying, “blessed are the flexible for they will never be bent out of shape”? Well it’s true. The more flexible you are with life, the easier life is for you. Change is the only constant, yet most of us resist it. Learning to let go, accept, adapt, and go with the flow is vital to our happiness and general success. Saying yes to new experiences challenges you to exercise your flexibility muscle allowing you to grow and begin to see a world you never knew was possible.
- You are stronger than you think and braver than you believe. When you start to test your limits you uncover you don’t have as many as you once thought. Remember, FEAR stands for “False Evidence Appearing Real” . Challenge your fears. You owe it to yourself to try and find out just how limitless you are.
- Sometimes you might not like what you said yes to. And that’s totally ok. This is really the only way to learn and grow vs staying stuck in the world of no.
- Saying YES means you have to be willing to let yourself be vulnerable. Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience fully living life. If you play it too safe you miss all the good parts. Allowing yourself to feel scared, to learn, to experience, to grow is one of the gifts saying yes will bring you.
- Saying yes to life is actually a practice in self-care and self-love. Defining what you want in YOUR life is the first step – going after it is the hard part. The experience of saying yes as an act of self-nurturing can be transformative. For me the year was about saying YES to myself, yes to my life, and yes to what excites my spirit. And that is self-love. And let me tell you – saying YES to living a life I love feels great.
So the question you have is this: after ALL of this, has the year of YES helped me reach the New Years resolution outcomes I had hoped for?? YES, YES, YES a million times over. There is a lot of power in using this one little word intentionally to reach your goals. And even though the year is over I continue to trust, love, and respect myself by saying YES to living my life to the fullest. And so far, life has been responding with an overwhelming YES to me. At the end of this year, there is one thing I know for sure:
The best things in life don’t happen when you say no. They happen when you have the guts to say yes.
With love and lots of YES to you,
“Find a way to say yes to things. Say yes to invitations to a new country, say yes to meet new friends, say yes to learn something new. Yes is how you get your first job, and your next job, and your spouse, and even your kids. Even if it’s a bit edgy, a bit out of your comfort zone, saying yes means that you will do something new, meet someone new, and make a difference. Yes lets you stand out in a crowd, be the optimist, see the glass full, be the one everyone comes to. Yes is what keeps us all young.” Eric Schmidt
These words are my own and were written from my heart to yours. Copyright Caroline Jordan Fitness <3