So if you just careened through the holiday season, abandoning all restraint, telling yourself that you’ll reset in the New Year – you know those New Year’s resolutions that you set on January 1st – well maybe they work for you, but I can tell you they have never ever worked for me. I’m thinking I’m not alone here.
Anyone that goes to the gym in the first week of January knows all too well that you’ll be joining the hordes of well-intentioned resolution-ers. By mid-February many of us are not so enthusiastic. So why is it that, in spite of our good intentions, improving our lives seems so elusive?
No matter what the goal is, here’s where I think the issue is. We often start working from the outside in rather than the inside out. Change has to come internally first, in your mind, before you can make sustainable changes on the outside. There is a Russian proverb that illustrates this: “It is not the horse that draws the cart, but the oats.” If you want your goals to materialize, first you must change your mind.
Much of this changing your mind, or finding your motivation, comes from self-discipline. Like building a muscle, you build self-discipline, and yes in the process you have to deal with the discomfort and face the challenges that come with that. So here are some tips to keep you moving forward:
- Visualize what you want. I know this sounds simple but visualization, even creating a vision board, is very effective in keeping us on track by reinforcing our goals and reminding us to take action.
- “Don’t bite off more than you can chew or you may choke” as the saying goes. Start with one step at a time, and be willing to revisit and revise along the way. Modifications can be good as long as they support what you are setting out to do.
- Learn to focus. We live in a world of chronic multi-tasking, but you need to train yourself to prioritize. Spreading yourself too thin is not sustainable in the long run so allocate time where you can concentrate on making progress with what is most important to you.
- Understand why you are pursuing what you are pursuing. If you truly understand why you want something, you’ll be able to push through the obstacles rather than giving up half way through because you were never really serious in the first place.
- Make yourself accountable by finding someone; a family member, friend, mentor, coach, teacher, whoever you feel can be your accountability buddy. When you share your commitment with someone else, you are way more likely to do it.
By now you may be wondering what this post has to do with essential oils. For me implementing certain essential oils into my daily routine is a great tool to help me stay motivated. Why do they work in this way? It comes down to the limbic system of the brain where a gland called the amygdala is located. This gland plays a major role in the storing and releasing of emotions and the only way to stimulate this gland is with the sense of smell. Essential oils carry tiny aromatic molecules that not only have a significant oxygenating effect on the brain, but can also facilitate the release of emotional blockages. New scientific evidence shows that inhaling essential oils may be one of the fastest ways to create physiological or psychological benefits. Here are just a few, and truly there are many more, of my favorites oils to diffuse or apply topically when I’m feeling I need a little help to stay on track.
- Motivation (yes there is a Young Living blend called that). This blend of Spruce, Lavender, Roman Chamomile and Ylang Ylang helps to overcome fear and procrastination. Use this when you’re feeling stuck.
- Peppermint. Just a whiff and it peps you up, no pun intended. Use when you’re lacking energy.
- Oola Balance. This is a Young Living blend of 24 different oils (too many to list here but you can look it up) to promote centering and grounding. Use this when you are looking to achieve focus.
- Magnify Your Purpose. Another Young Living blend that contains Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, Nutmeg, Ginger, Patchouli, Sage, Cinnamon Bark, Coriander, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang and Geranium. Use this to foster positive emotions and promote perseverance.
Whatever your goals, here’s to wishing you a purposeful, successful and resolution-less New Year!