“Don’t worry about what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
My theme for 2014 isn’t just Carpe Diem (Seize the Day) but Carpe Annum (Seize the Year)! Rather than pick impossible goals to accomplish, try these new habits to practice. Resolutions like this make you a happier person. And in becoming happier, the people around you will be happier, too.
1. A Balance of Work, Play and Learning
Balance is extremely important for a healthy mind and body. A balance between work, play and learning. It’s a simple idea that is really hard to accomplish at times. What does being balanced mean to me? It means not rushing, feeling grounded, calm and peaceful, and best of all, excited for my day and for just being alive. It’s feeling awake, mindful, receptive and wise. We all have glimpses of balance in life but not usually on a daily basis. What if you could have this feeling nearly everyday?
2. Be Mindful
Mindfulness is paying attention on purpose. It’s paying attention without judgment. All five senses become involved. You are more aware of your thoughts. People are often on auto pilot and easily distracted. Mindfulness brings about an awareness, stillness and a feeling of gratitude for your life. Even just a few minutes of mindfulness a day can help.
Kindness doesn’t have to cost anything. Kindness can be given to those you know with a compliment, a smile, a chore done for someone, a meal or just a listening ear. Kindness creates community and all human beings need to be part of a community to be truly happy. People who are part of a community are healthier and live longer, too. Practice kindness with people you know and those you don’t.
Gratitude is thankfulness taken to the next level. It is a heartfelt and intellectual acknowledgement of all that is good in your life. It’s embracing uncertainty and adversity as well as the good times. Try to feel gratitude towards the bad things that have happened to you, knowing that it will lead you to a new opportunity. When you practice gratitude you will find your mood change from good to amazing!
5. Use the “I AM” Affirmation
“I am” affirmations are powerful. “I am” is a positive visualization. You say the affirmation even if it’s the opposite of what you’re thinking. The visualization enters your consciousness and then your subconscious takes charge and transforms you. Your brain believes whatever you tell it! Just say something like, “I am abundance.” And don’t say “I’m going to…” make it a definite “I am”.
6. Love Yourself
Why is it that being grateful for ourselves and giving ourselves affection is so difficult? Why is it that we are always hardest on ourselves? I hear people say, “I don’t like how I look in pictures.” “I wish I was different.” “I am so sorry that I’m bothering you.” So many people apologize all the time when it’s completely unnecessary! When you feel inferior about yourself, you will give others permission to treat you in the same way. You deserve your own affection and that of others.
7. Discover Your Purpose or Passion
Your passion or purpose is the reason you get out of bed in the morning. The Okinawans called it Ikigai which translates to “reason for being”. Do you know what your passion is? If so, make time to practice it this year! If not, take time to listen to your inner self. What is it that you really love? Find the courage to do, first as a hobby and then as a job.
8. Replace Negative Thoughts With Positive Ones
Positive thinking is a state of mind where you change your negative thoughts to positive ones. Negative thoughts can lead to depression, frustration and disappointment. Positive thinking does not mean you avoid unpleasant situations in your life. It means you approach your problems with a different, can-do attitude. Positive thinkers try to see the silver lining in situations and in people.
9. Unconditional love
What is unconditional love? Just that, love without conditions. Unconditional love is letting go of the expectations, tolerating mistakes, being there for conversations, and appreciating differences. The people in your life will flourish with unconditional love. Give unconditional love to people you don’t know. Just send out thoughts of love as you pass someone by in a store. It may sound crazy, but it works. And the amazing thing, as you give out unconditional love, it will come back to you, ten fold!
10. Do something to make other lives better.
You may not realize it but every time you help others, you make your own life more meaningful. Helping others fills your life with purpose. When you help others, you are helping yourself. We are all on this planet together and are all interconnected. True compassion has it’s own reward. As Ghandi wrote, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Any more positive resolutions you can think of?
Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to experiencing a great new year with all of you!
“Let our New Year’s resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.”
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