Measuring Up

Happy New Year!

trees-progressJust before the change from 2015 to 2016 I taught a class themed around our life’s markers. If you are unfamiliar with the term, the idea is that we have distinct measuring points that allow us to reflect and evaluate progress. Sometimes these markers may even define our lives, ie. the day your first child was born or the day of a cancer diagnosis. What makes markers important is that they denote a change. A marker symbolizes a turning point.

I’ll give a Hollywood example from the movie ‘The Holiday,’ a seasonal favorite of Meaghan’s and mine. In the movie one of the lead characters, Iris, has been fatefully in love with an unfaithful scumbag named Jasper for several years. As she attempts to get away and move on, he leaches onto her and tries to rekindle the toxic relationship. Fortunately, she has been developing her gumption, thanks to the advice of an elderly neighbor. At the crucial moment, when she finally realizes that he will never be right for her, she pushes him away and moves on with her life. Iris created a marker in that moment where her life will never be the same as it was before.

The change to a new year is a shared marker, but not necessarily one that marks a significant change to each of us personally. You may have hoped that once the new year rolled around that things would all of a sudden be different. This type of mindset, unfortunately will never work, because it relies on external forces to dictate our destiny. Although life does happen to us at times, we are the only ones that control ourselves. Much like Iris’s character it is only our courage and strength that will empower us to make the radical changes where our life will never be the same as it was before. This is at once a scary and liberating realization!!

Maybe it’s time to make a change, to mark a new direction for yourself. Whether that’s moving on from on undesired job or relationship; or emerging from a perceived failure, or loss of a loved one, and no longer wallowing in self-pity, but rising up to live anew. These are the inspiring stories that we can create, so foster your gumption!

The possibility of markers exists at every turn, so maybe we just need to drive a little less straight and narrow. If we’re stuck in a rut, start manifesting some positive change by mixing things up – even small changes can lead to big results!

Here’s a tip: Write it down.

journalSometimes markers are obvious, like your wedding day, but sometimes there not. Keeping a journal, so that you can reflect and evaluate might just show you the significant change that has occurred since a certain time. Also, if you’re not sure what direction your headed, again you’re letting the universe just toss you around. Grab the controls and steer your own ship towards your destiny. Writing down realistic, measurable goals is a valuable exercise. You don’t have to be a poet to write, simply put in your notebook or journal ‘Want to travel more’ or ‘Ready to change jobs.’ Then the subconscious mind can help us get the ball rolling and formulate a plan. Eventually, you’ll likely be inspired to write action steps. Now we are no longer be marked by things that happen to us, but we are making our own mark!

I hope this new year marks a magnificent time in all of our lives, bringing positive change individually and globally. I love the famous words of Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Let’s all be life-changers, and make our own mark today!