New Year, New View

How to create your best year yet (without feeling like you’re starting over)



Amber Lilyestrom, transformational branding strategist and business coach, author and speaker, shares her tips on coming home to yourself this new year. Photo Lauren Bodwell Photography

With the dawn of New Year’s Day come promises of reducing debt, losing weight or any number of typical resolutions. Instead of letting the outside world influence your resolutions, what if you defined what a new year would mean for you? If you’ve always wanted to pursue a new passion, such as becoming a health coach or starting a photography business, but felt stymied by unknowns, perhaps this is the year to set a life goal. We spoke with Amber Lilyestrom, transformational branding strategist and business coach, author and speaker, and asked her for a few manageable tips on how to make 2019 the year of a “new year, new view.” Her first suggestion — ask yourself how it would feel to unapologetically honor your truth.

Figure Out How You Want to Feel

If you’re feeling stuck, are in a creative fog, or are lacking inspiration, take a step back and ask yourself what your big dream is. “The heartbeat of now, especially for 2019, is the emphasis on discovering what really matters to each and every one us individually,” says Lilyestrom. “Your dream isn’t someone else’s dream. We are taught from a young age to think about what others think of us rather than what we know to be true for us. We can’t answer questions about our own needs when we are plugged into someone else’s achievement system.”

Instead of focusing outward for answers about where you want to be in life, pause, grab your journal, and look inward. “The more you go inward, the more you are going to face your ‘stuff,’” says Lilyestrom. “You have to be willing to roll your sleeves up, feel those hard feelings, walk through the weeds and pull them out of the garden that is your belief system. Every step is necessary in the outcome of your big vision.” Your business or life-transforming idea won’t have any soul behind it unless you truly know what you want and why.

Journaling and keeping track of your goals is a great way to stay connected with yourself. Photo by Lauren Bodwell Photography

Lilyestrom suggests asking yourself a series of questions about what your ideal day would look like. “What would you be doing, where would you be and who would you be with? How do you want to feel when your feet hit the floor in the morning?” If you want to feel free, you have to ask yourself what is stopping you from pursuing it, or if you want clarity, you have to be free from disturbances and unnecessary noise. You have to be willing to go deep if you’re going to experience the power in your purpose. “True fulfillment begins with the decision to honor what’s most sacred to us,” says Lilyestrom.

Get Rid of What Doesn’t Fit

Once you identify how you want to feel, you have to access all of the things in your life that don’t fit that description. “You don’t need to be radical and suddenly quit your full-time job,” says Lilyestrom. “Simply recognize that awareness is the first step to freedom, and it will help you get the data you need to help you take action.” If you take on too much at once, you’ll be at risk of getting overwhelmed and burning out. Instead, she says, be willing to analyze yourself, work on one thing at a time, and give your energy to what needs attention. How can you be more present for your family, friends and kids? Maybe you need to identify your top distractions and make a plan to avoid them. Or, maybe you need to develop a morning ritual that could be as simple as drinking your favorite tea and recognizing what you already have. “Focus on the blessings in your life as you transition into what you are being called to next,” says Lilyestrom. “What we focus on grows.” The more that you filter out what doesn’t serve you and welcome in what does, the more you will be in touch with, pursue and live out your bigger mission.

One of the other most important questions to ask yourself is where do you need help. “In order to be great and step into the goodness that is already within us, sometimes we need extra help,” says Lilyestrom. “Admitting that you need help doesn’t mean that you are less than, or that you have to hire your own personal team. It isn’t a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength.” Just as much as you enjoy helping and serving others, you have to have the courage to give permission to others to do the same for you.

The Journey Is the Gift

Lilyestrom’s biggest tip when it comes to pursuing your passions this year? Be patient. “You have to remember to be patient in the waiting,” says Lilyestrom. Progress is a process. We live in a society that is focused on instant gratification. If you find yourself floundering in doubt or restlessness, look at your relationship between success and failure. “If you think that you will be successful when you have a certain number of followers, or you quit when you don’t get clients from your first website launch, then you are forgetting the most potent part of why you started in the first place. Trade in failure for feedback, and success for belief and impact,” says Lilyestrom.

It isn’t a question of if you will fail; it is a matter of when, says Lilyestrom. Look at every opportunity, whether it is a moment of failure or success, as an opportunity to correct your course, improve and grow. As a child, you couldn’t grow without experiencing growing pains along the way, and the same goes for your resolutions, goals and dreams. You can’t have mountains without the valleys in between. One day, you will be living out the blessings that you used to always dream about.  

2019 isn’t about a “new year, new you,” it is about having a new view. By focusing on becoming a “new you,” you are missing out on the beauty of the journey along the way. You aren’t broken and you don’t need to change who you are, you need to change your mindset. “You are just living a life that doesn’t belong to you,” says Lilyestrom. “When you give yourself permission to want what you want, everything changes.” Meaningful, real and fulfilling progress is made slowly, not just when you start a new calendar.

This year, don’t strive to become all that you are not, be all that you already are.

For more information about creating a business and brand that reflects who you are, visit amberlilyestrom.com to hear more about Lilyestrom’s life-changing programs, book, podcast and upcoming live event at The Music Hall in April 2019, The Ignite Your Soul Summit.

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