Hard to believe but the second half of 2019 is here! How was the first part of your year? What did you accomplish and what changes did you make? What would you love to create in the second half of the year?
Not sure? Take a few minutes to do a little soul searching. You’ll enter part 2 of 2019 energized and aligned with who you are so you can unleash the power within.
The start of July is a powerful time to evaluate your life for two reasons:
First you’re halfway through the year, so it’s logical to take stock, make some changes and reboot. Whether your main outer goal was to shift your career or get a promotion, get in shape, lose weight, find the love of your life or eliminate debt, it’s a wonderful occasion to step back, appraise the year so far and determine what steps you want to take to get back on track, amplify what’s working or change direction. Pausing midyear to regroup and adjust (even if change feels scary) is a proactive step that will enable you to thrive rather than just survive.
Second we’re heading into eclipse season. There are 2 eclipses happening in July – a total solar eclipse on July 2nd and a partial lunar eclipse on July 16-17th. Eclipses provide a window to shed light on what is no longer working in your life and an opportunity for transformation and new beginnings.
As a personal transformational life coach, I use this time of year to help myself and my clients let get of who they think they’re supposed to be and embrace who they are so that they can feel authentic and be more in tune with their true self. We do both an inner and outer evaluation, looking at thoughts, beliefs and feelings as well as specific areas including: Health, money/finances, career, relationships and play.
Evaluation is particularly important at midlife when many women feel stuck, yet pulled in multiple directions that aren’t necessarily for their highest good. Taking a hard, yet nonjudgmental look at your life and determining what’s working and what’s not is an act of self-compassion. Essentially you’re treating yourself like a good friend, having a long, supportive conversation with yourself so you can figure out what you need and want to do to improve your life and wellbeing.
Here’s a specific 5-step process that will help you evaluate the first half of the year and start the second half right so you can end 2019 on a high note:
1. Complete the Wheel of Life
This is a fabulous, yet quick, simple and easy tool because it enables you to visualize all the important areas of your life simultaneously. As a personal health and wellness coach, I use it to give my clients a bird’s eye view of their lives.
Simply print out the wheel and rate each area from one to 10 (10 = great and 1 = needs improvement). Also consider which areas are more important to you. You can use the areas listed on this wheel or create a wheel of your own with areas that are of significance to you. By looking at all the areas of your life especially the ones that matter, you’ll increase self-awareness and will understand where you’re thriving and what needs work.
Ideally you want a wheel that is balanced so that you can drive down your path of life smoothly. Don’t worry if it’s not. Women’s midlife issues can make it difficult to have a smooth wheel. There’s a lot happening. We’re taking care of kids and aging parents. Longing to find work-life balance and often exhausted or overwhelmed from trying to balance so many facets of our lives and dealing with fluctuating hormones trigger by perimenopause.
For example on my wheel most of my areas are at an 8 or 9. However, I was recently divorced and my finances took a major hit so money is at a 5. Fun is also lower than I’d like (I can be a bit of a workaholic.), so for the rest of the summer and year I want to focus on enjoying my self and life more AND creating a budget and financial goals. Inner work to accomplish this includes working on my self-critic who tells me I’m not good enough and reminds me of all the items on my to-do list especially when I’m having fun or relaxing. Increasing a sense of abundance and being open to receive are also important inner shifts for me.
2. List accomplishments
Rather than dwelling on what’s not working or what you didn’t finish so far this year write out all of your accomplishments. These accomplishments will then become the springboard for your next steps.
What are you proud of? What goals did you complete? What new things did you do or learn? What positive changes did you make? What new relationships have you developed?
Personally, I’m super proud of my two children, Aly and Marcus. While I’m sad about my empty nest, I am thrilled that my kids are flying! Both are off to Europe and have amazing trajectories. My daughter graduated from college in May and is getting a Master’s in Amsterdam. My son graduated from high school and is attending Northeastern. His first semester will be in Greece. Yassou! In terms of relationships, I have more friends than I’ve ever had before and am in a healthy, loving, fun, supportive romantic relationship with my Beau. Other accomplishments I’m proud of include: Giving a Keynote speech for the American Heart Association addressing developing and cultivating self-compassion and learning to make Kombucha. My watermelon-rose brew rocks.
3. Evaluate self-care
If you’re one of the many women who feel taking care of yourself is selfish please exam your beliefs and let any shame or guilt around taking care of YOU go. When you take care of yourself you have energy for everything and everyone else. Plus, you just feel fantastic and feeling fantastic leads to being fantastic in all areas of your life and shining more light.
Self-care is not selfish. It’s an act of self-preservation.
Any activity that you deliberately do to improve your mental health, emotional health and physical wellbeing counts as self-care. In our busy, fast pace world it’s easy to neglect wellbeing and self-care and self-love. Remember, you must fill your cup before you can overflow and help others. You have to raise your vibration to do your work in the world, find your passion and purpose and live your truth.
Start by looking nonjudgmentally at your daily habits, rituals and patterns and consider how you are acting and treating yourself. Nonjudgmentally means not beating yourself up for things like loving sugar and loathing the gym, emotional eating or binging on Netflicks. Ask yourself: What can I do to love and nurture myself more on a daily basis? Does your diet need to lighten up? What’s one small change that will help you eat right? Are you getting enough rest and sleep? Moving your body every day? Do you journal or have a meditation or spiritual practice? What are your heart and soul encouraging you to do so you can live your highest vibrational life? How much time do you spend in front of screens and how much do you spend unplugged in nature? (For more self-care tips click HERE.)
As a board certified health and wellness coach and dietitian fitness coach, my self-care is great. I’m a nutritionist and former personal fitness trainer who loves to exercise, so taking care of my body is second nature. (I do have to let go of perfectionism and watch overdoing the exercise.) I’m a fan of Intuitive Eating and my diet is filled with whole foods chock full of plant foods. I generally sleep well (except when Athena, my rescue cat wants to play at 2 am or things are bothering me and I’m ruminating) and make time for meditation, yoga and spending time in nature.
One area of self-care that I want to improve is removing potentially harmful chemicals in my skin care products. I eat mostly natural ingredients, so why am I putting chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate, BHA, aluminum chlorohydrate and polyethylene on my skin? I’ve set an intention for the rest of 2019 to swap out the Oil of Olay for natural moisturizers and the Old Spice for mineral salt deodorant. My goal is to use natural products most, if not all of the time. My biggest challenge is finding a good replacement for the Garnier Fructis Curl Sculpt and a bug spray without deet that can keep the skeepters away.
Decluttering (both your inner and outer world) is a necessary, but constant process that takes loving awareness to accomplish. When you get rid of the old crap that is no longer serving you, you make room for something new.
If you are overwhelmed by physical clutter, take it a day or drawer at a time, or set an intention to work on one area or get rid of one thing a day. For motivation schedule a garage sale and donate the money you earn to a charity that’s important to you.
Decluttering is relatively easy for me because when I separated I left a ton of possessions and a huge house with a ginormous basement. Now I have a tiny apartment sans basement. This has been a blessing. I only have things that I actually like and use and I rarely buy stuff I don’t need because there’s no where to put it. I look in my closet and instantly find an outfit that I love. My drawers are free of clutter, and I only have books that I read. Less is more. When you get rid of what’s bogging you down you feel light and peaceful.
On my outer declutter list is cleaning up my computer especially my inbox which currently has 3,993 messages most of which are old, unopened and not important. Why do I keep it all? Great question. I’ll be asking myself that as I press delete.
Mind decluttering is more challenging. It takes awareness – being present in the moment and observing old patterns and conditioned responses. Notice where you are repeating outmoded ways of being. By becoming aware you can choose new, empowered responses.
For example, a few weeks ago I was at my son’s final high school music performance. I ran into my ex and he suggested that we step outside the auditorium for a few moments to ”chat”. Like a f*&^ing idiot I dutifully followed him down a flight of stairs into the lobby and slipped right back into my old way of relating to him. Not only did I miss my son’s solo, the conversation turned south and left me feeling guilty and bad about myself. I learned from my mistake and vowed never to get into that place with my ex again.
5. Consult inner guidance
Okay, so you’ve taken a hard look at all the areas of your life, determined what you’d like to change, looked at where you need more self-care and how you can lighten your life by decluttering. Congratulations! Now it’s time to consult your higher self.
For this part of the exercise set time aside and find a quiet place to tune within, clear your mind, listen to your heart and journal. Here questions to ask yourself:
- What internal whisperings keep coming up for me?
- What steps should I take now?
- Where am I being guided?
- What makes my heart come alive, what do I love to do and how can I do more of it?
- What signs, coincidences or synchornicities have appeared recently?
- What’s not feeling in alignment with my highest self or true calling?
- Where am I being guided and where would I love to go next?
- Where would I like my life to be in 1, 3, 5 or 10 years?
- What can I do to fill my own cup more and have more love and compassion in my life?
- What’s my next move?
Whether you feel completely stuck or full of energy, motivation and momentum this 5- step process will propel you forward. As you work start the second half of 2019 and work on what you want to change remember to….
- Remain open to change, guidance and new possibilities.
- Stay positive about your ability to be brave, welcome change and choose how you respond to life.
- Be adaptable and commit to responding to change with compassion and wisdom by listening to your inner guidance. When you don’t know what to do ask: What is my very next step to heal, support myself and live my best life.
- Practice mindfulness. Whatever shows up stay present and be loving.
- Be grateful. Gratitude changes everything. When you are grateful what you have you feel blessed, raise your vibration and welcome more joy and abundance.
Wishing you a fabulous second half of 2019.
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be at ease
Need help? Click HERE to schedule a Clarity Call and make your next chapter your best chapter!