Happy New Year! As we begin our journey into 2019, its a good time to talk about ways to create and foster hope — not just for the coming year, but for all the years. One of the best ways to do this, is to change our attitude, so that there’s room for the hope.
A new year is kind of like a clean slate and it gives us one of the most important ingredients to our happiness: hope. We see a new year as a fresh start and we make promises that we’ll be better, happier, calmer, more productive and a host of other resolutions to improve our life. What those promises (resolutions) really are, is hope. The trick of course, is sustaining that hope not just for the following 12 months, but through all the months of all the years.
Here are a few ways to help hang on to hope in the new year and beyond.
1. Visualize the “New” You
It’s great to think about what you want to do and be in the new year, but visualization is often a better way to make it stick. In your mind, visualize the life you want for yourself and get as detailed as you can. Are you going to get a better job? Move to a new state? Have more friends? Eat healthier and exercise more? Maybe you’re going to volunteer for a few charities? What ever it is that you want to accomplish, picture it in your mind, including a visualization of how happy it will make you. Too often, we talk a good game when it comes to change, but we fail to execute the change. Regular visualization will help motivate you to make and sustain the change you seek in your life.
2. Retreat to Your Fortress of Solitude
Hope often gets derailed by the mundane banality of everyday life. Without even realizing it, we let ourselves fall back into our tired routine year after year and our hopes and dreams are thrown to the wayside. Knowing that this is a threat, when you see this happening, have a place to go — that place can be physical, or it can be in your mind. Have a fortress of solitude where you tune out the distractions of life and focus back-in on your hopes and dreams for the new year. This is to help sustain your hope so that you remain motivated and energized.
3. Share for Care
If you’re able to, share your hopes and dreams with trusted family and friends. Let them know what it is you want for your life and that the “new year” is your starting point. Having reliable family and friends to regularly encourage us is vital, so let them know what you’re trying to accomplish and that you may need their support. This is also a good way to know who you can truly count on in your life.
4. Boost Your Spiritual Side
Prayer, meditation — these are the ways to help maintain your momentum. Set aside time to pray or if you prefer, meditate, to help recharge your inner strength. Hope often suffers when we’re tired and stressed, so it’s important to nourish our spiritual life as often as possible.
And finally, consider throwing a few “hope parties” throughout the year. These can be opportunities to gather those nearest and dearest to you in an environment of positivity and hope. Let guests know that the tone is to be one of hope and inspiration and when it comes to how you do that, the sky is the limit, so get as creative as you want. The great thing about a “hope party” is that you can also host them to benefit others, such as a local charity, an animal rescue facility, etc.
Hope does indeed spring eternal. Don’t let setbacks stop you in your tracks — hold onto hope and believe that with a positive mental attitude, anything is possible.
“There is a basic law that like attracts like. Negative thinking definitely attracts negative results. Conversely, if a person habitually thinks optimistically and hopefully, his positive thinking sets in motion creative forces – and success instead of eluding him flows toward him.” – Norman Vincent Peale
To help inspire your hope, here are some beautiful quotes from Cornelia “Corrie” ten Boom:
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
“Do you know what hurts so very much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain. There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill that love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel.”
“Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.”
“Worry is like a rocking chair: it keeps you moving but doesn’t get you anywhere.”
“Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future. I know that the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do.”
“Happiness isn’t something that depends on our surroundings; it’s something we make inside ourselves.”
“Faith is like radar that sees through the fog—to the reality of things at a distance that the human eye cannot see.”