It's hard to believe that in less than 24 hours, we start a new year! As part of my coaching practice, I often hear about fresh starts at the beginning of each new year. Unfortunately, many of these goals and fresh starts are abandoned by about March, and we find ourselves back where we started. I wanted to share some practical tools for you that will help with making changes as we enter 2016.
The first step to creating change is identifying what it is that you want to be different. Keep in mind that this may be something material, or it could be something that involves relationships, training, or even confidence. Look at what things are working really well in your life, and write them down. Next, write down the things you want to change. If you struggle with this part, ask a good friend or training partner to help you. Sometimes, the best clues are found in what we complain about, or what makes us feel frustrated. The very best tool that I ask my coaching clients to employ is used in decision making. Does something make you feel open and expanded? Or does it make you feel closed down? If it's the later, it needs to either change, or go.
A big part of what you need to consider for potential change is human relationships. If someone in your life is impacting you in a negative way, not respecting boundaries, or taking too much, then they need to go. Likewise, in training situations, you need to surround yourself, and your dog with positive. If you have a classmate or training partner that is making you feel closed down, it would be best to move away from them. The important thing to note is that the Universe will keep bringing us the lesson until we get it right. Part of getting it right requires that you identify what it is that you want, and what you will no longer tolerate.
Next, you're going to focus on your ideal outcome, and write that down in the positive present tense. Put it somewhere where you'll see it each day, such as on your bathroom mirror. An example is "My dog and I are surrounded by supportive, friendly, knowledgeable training staff and students". Ultimately, statements like these become your truth and your reality. What to do when doubt creeps in? Shut it down. Hold up a mental stop sign,and re-read your positive affirmation.
It's very important that you identify with and embrace your individual identity. You aren't what people say about you, you aren't your fears, and your dog believes in you! Don't lose sight of your goals and the things you want to change. Stay true to your commitment, and give change a chance. There is a great saying that I'd like to close with. "Change is scary. But know what's scarier? Regrets.".
Now let's make 2016 the best year for you and your dog!
Jen Ortman, owner of Holistipet (LLC) is a Professional Animal Communicator, Animal Reiki Master Teacher, author, and speaker.