We wish all our readers a happy and positive 2024 full of inspiration, health and a strong YOU!
This year, we want to support even more people from different contexts in tackling the challenges of the future with inner strength, motivation and courage. Socially, we are in the midst of a process of change that is currently picking up speed. This is a fundamental shift in values towards a sense of purpose, sustainability and a culture of togetherness and community. To this end, we are sharing our top 5 inspirations with you at the start of the year for getting started or deepening your own motivation and inner strength. These have proved to be very helpful for us and other coaches.
Top inspiration 1: The design of your vision board or film
A first step towards working on the future can be the creation of a vision board for each individual. Es ist eine Methode, um eine Vision für das neue Jahr oder auch mehrere zu It is a method of developing a vision for the new year or several years by creating an analogue or digital collage. The future can be experienced visually through the predominantly pictorial representation of goals, wishes and interests. Creating them gives us the opportunity to gain clarity for all areas of life, to align ourselves internally with our own priorities and to remind ourselves regularly.
Another option would be to create a short video. This is quite easy to do with a free video editor. There you store a few pictures that depict the wishes and goals, add text and accompany the whole thing with music. Such a short video is easy to play at any time on the go or at home to motivate yourself.
If you have less time to invest, find a free wall in your room and print out some pictures that represent your goals, wishes and visions and write a good motto to go with them. Sort them by theme and attach them to your wall or a memo board. Your little reminder for what you have planned is ready.
Top inspiration 2: The power of positive affirmations
We would like to add one more method here and that is the use of positive affirmations. These are encouraging, motivating statements that we write down and say out loud again and again, preferably twice a day for 30 to 60 days or longer. A few examples: I believe in myself and my abilities. I am good just as I am. I am fit and healthy. Everything in my life runs smoothly.
Start with a few and when you have internalised them, add new ones. You can also sort it thematically and, for example, start with positive affirmations on the topic of nutrition, then move on to the topic of resilience, etc.
It’s not about talking yourself out of the world, but about focussing on where you want to go and what is already good about your life. It is easier to anchor your goals and positive ideas if you practise gratitude. Be grateful for everything you have in your life, even for the things that don’t look so great at first. We can learn from everything that happens. Find guided meditations or imaginations to support you, which will make it easier for you to achieve the desired feelings and provide you with inspiration.
Top inspiration 3: Handling news carefully
Each and every one of us will be caught up in the maelstrom of social change in the future. Every day, we and many other change agents find approaches, many books and reports and people who deal with the topic and who encourage us that this path is the right one and wants to be supported.
In the general perception, negative news such as climate catastrophe, wars, extreme parties etc. are still in the foreground. This gives most people the feeling that there are only problems around us and no solutions. This fuels various fears and diminishes the joy of the future and the rest of life. These challenges exist in the world, of course, and we don’t want to ignore them – we want a different focus and perspective.
Over the past six months, I (Daniela) have started a self-experiment and consciously refrained from consuming news of any kind – Cathérine has already been doing this for two years. And I can say that it has freed me a little from my fears about the future. The important events are communicated to you by those around you anyway – whether you like it or not. I never had the feeling that I was missing anything and I have planned more time off this year.
Have you ever consciously become aware of your news consumption behaviour or do you switch on the media and are constantly “inundated” with headlines?
But what happens when positive news suddenly filters through and we are suddenly aware of news that we previously ignored? We would like to see more news like this in the media headlines. Be it that new technologies are developed, e.g. in the context of renewable energies. That more people find their way back to the common good and realise that democracy is perhaps not as obsolete as we fear. Or simply that there are many, many people who are working constructively to create a better future in order to enable a better life in a better environment.
As long as this is not widely covered in the traditional media and on social media, we recommend occasionally looking at news on dedicated good news sites or constructive journalism publications. This is very motivating.
Top inspiration 4: Bring mindfulness and new habits into your life
The first inspirations help us to see possibilities again in the future and to go through life with a mindful eye. I first practise mindfulness towards myself, but my mindfulness also applies to my surroundings. Mindfulness begins with self-awareness. Do you know when you take your time, sit still and listen to your body, notice your breath and feel where you are sitting, how you feel? When you perceive the space around you in this silence, the sounds, the smells, the warmth, the objects.
And if you then close your eyes and let the coming thoughts fly by. The thoughts can come and at the same time be released again without judgement. This is a small exercise that helps you to easily integrate self-awareness and mindfulness into your daily life.
It is well known that people need around 30 days to integrate new habits into their lives. You only need 5 to 10 minutes of your daily time to start with the above exercise. You will feel the first effects pretty quickly. You come to rest, find yourself and new strength for the next hours. At the beginning of the year, people usually make various resolutions.
My tip: Don’t start too much at once. Start with one habit and stick to it for 30 days. Our brain needs this time to implement the neuronal structures. Don’t put yourself under pressure. If you don’t make it on one day, just carry on the next day. The best thing to do is to make a note of this date in your diary. This gives the habit change a higher priority in your consciousness.
Habit changes are better achieved through self-commitment and by publicising them. Tell your friends and family about it and maybe one or the other will want to join in. It also helps to make a brief note of your successes. You could use the time before going to bed for this. You can write down your findings and ideas in a small journal. It is also helpful to think up small rewards for yourself to celebrate the small successes or simply that you have persevered. Important: Don’t celebrate with a bar of chocolate as a reward for staying sugar-free, for example, but perhaps with a nice evening with friends or a massage all to yourself.
Top inspiration 5: Practise together – start your co-creation process
It’s even better if you also start a co-creation process and look for supporters and contributors. What do I mean by co-creation? It is a term that, by definition from Wikipedia, originally comes from marketing and economics and means a method, the process or the result of a collaborative creation process for the interactive product design of several people or status groups. Today, it is used in various disciplines and social movements to function either as an umbrella term or the beginning of collaboration and collective decision-making.
This can also be during a walk together, a meal together or at work. Learning mindfulness is an ongoing process that can be extended to many areas once it has become a habit. What can you be mindful of on a walk? Start with the ground you are walking on, observe the weather, the clouds, the sun, the wind, observe your gait, your posture, then move on to the plants, animals, objects you encounter on your way. You see, there are unlimited possibilities of perception and you will always find new things.
It is important in this process that you do not judge the perceived phenomena, but accept them as they are. For example, you see a dark cloud in the sky and leave it at that, saying the cloud is grey or dark and not the assessment – it will probably rain soon. Be open and non-judgemental to the perceptions and observe what you make of them. If the original mindfulness exercise (see my description at the beginning) has become a new habit, try going for a walk.
If there is another person with you, exchange experiences. You will see that your partner perceives completely different things. You can do the same with food. What does the plate look like, what size, colour, pattern etc.? How is the food placed on the plate? What do you smell? What do you feel, what do you taste when you put the first bite in your mouth?
Of course, you can not only practise mindfulness together, but also work co-creatively on projects, plan trips, garden or whatever you want to do.
With momentum through 2024!
I would be delighted if you would accept these little inspirations and bring them into your life. These first steps are the prerequisite for becoming part of the change I mentioned above. Because only if we know how we perceive ourselves can we develop a sense of self-worth and achieve self-efficacy. This in turn is the basis for developing a strong self. We don’t want to promote egocentric structures in you, we don’t want to emphasise your EGO, but rather promote your true self and the strength that comes from an inner self-image – I am good the way I am. As we are all part of a system, we can then pass these insights on to other people and positively influence our environment.
Supplemented by the ideas and wishes that you see on your vision board, video or mural every day or that you read to yourself as positive affirmations, you will realise that you are walking into a better, more conscious life with more positive feelings. Because what we generally describe as a good, mostly consumption-orientated life is only good on the surface on closer inspection. With a mindful attitude, we achieve meaningfulness, sustainability and a genuine “we” culture.
With this in mind, we wish you every success in implementing your new habits in a conscious, mindful year 2024.
If you would like support in creating a vision board, practising self-awareness or any other topic that accompanies you on your daily journey, please contact us for a free initial consultation.
Book tips for this article: “Co-Creation: Wie Menschen zusammen Großes erschaffen” by Veit Lindau [so far in German], “From What Is to What If: Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want” by Rob Hopkins and “When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress” by Gabor Maté.