New Year Resolutions That Will Make a Powerful Difference in Your Life
Consider these meaningful yet simple things you can do to bring about real change in your life in a most powerful way. Everyone is different but these resolutions can be applied to anyone and everyone on a very personal level. Choose one to focus on or pick a few to set as your goals for a healthier, happier new year. You deserve it!
The fact that you desire to make a change is an important first step in the right direction. It's not always easy to do, even when it's a positive change you're striving toward. We're human and as such we don't always like to step out of our comfort zone. Turning your mindset toward embracing change in your life instead of avoiding it, helps to set the stage for success in the journey toward achieving your personal goals. Change is growth. Change is an opportunity. Change is powerful. So what's the secret to embracing change? Socrates said it best: "The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new."
Perhaps your year has not been the best. Your life has lost its luster. You're feeling a bit drained. You've lost your joie de vivre, as the French say. Well then, it's time to reclaim joy and bring more of it back into your life. Without joy, you are not living up to your full potential. It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day only to find yourself going through the motions of work, family and life. It's time for a change! You can't actively pursue something that you're not mindful of. Recognizing that you're lacking joy has to happen first before you can go about restoring it in your life. Your next step is to remind yourself of the things that bring joy into your life—and start doing them! Joy is a very personal thing. Begin to seek joy in the little things around you where you can, and plan to spend time doing the things that will help bring bigger doses into your life in the year to come. Does the beach make you happy? Then go! Does being in the great outdoors inspire and refresh you? Get out there! Do you crave quality time with family and friends? Make more time for that. Do you find joy in giving to others? Volunteer for a worthy cause.
Make your health a priority.
If you are looking for one achievable and worthwhile goal to focus on this year, then this might be it. It can be as simple as deciding to make your health a priority. In a busy world with unending demands and distractions as part of our daily life, sometimes it's the most important things that get pushed aside. Without a healthy you, everything else in your life can suffer. Don't let that happen. Make a decision to change. No matter how you decide to make your health a priority, it's important that you make it a priority nonetheless. Whether you choose to make one general healthy choice a day or set specific goals toward a healthy lifestyle, hold yourself accountable for doing it. Need a jumpstart on ways to do that? Keep reading.
Making a decision to eat well (and eat well more often) can bring about a pretty powerful change in your daily life. Your food is fuel. Without the best fuel for your body, you're not going to feel as well as you could nor be as healthy as you should. Whether you choose to make a small change in your diet or a big one, you can be assured that it will positively impact your life each and every day. Logging your healthy food choices by keeping a food journal or using an app like MyFitnessPal can help to give you the tools you need along the way.
Get more sleep.
This seems to be a recurring issue in our day and age. Not enough sleep or not enough quality sleep can wreak havoc on your overall well being. Rest is so necessary for restoration and rejuvenation of your body, your mind, and your spirit. By making a simple resolution to get more sleep, you're actually implementing a major change in your lifestyle for the better. It's as easy as setting an earlier bedtime and sticking to it. Or, not allowing yourself to fall asleep in front of the TV but instead mindfully creating a nighttime routine that eases you into relaxation and prepares you for sweet, restful sleep in your bed. Don't overlook the little things like making your bed as comfortable and inviting as it can be. Or creating an oasis in your bedroom where you don't bring your work to bed, or watch movies in bed, but instead you only use it for its intended purpose: sleep. Perhaps you need to curb your caffeine intake so it doesn't interfere with your ability to rest well at night. Whatever way you find that works to help you achieve a deeper, more restful sleep—just do it.
Make exercise part of your every day.
Exercise every single day? You may think that is an unrealistic goal, but it's not! You don't have to go to a gym seven days a week to do this. Just find time in the day to do something active. Choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park in the back of the parking lot so that you get a brisk walk in on your way in to work. Take your lunch break away from your desk and fit in a quick stroll. Play tag with your kids. Start your morning with some sit-ups or push-ups. End your day with a relaxing yoga routine. It can be as scheduled or as impromptu as you want it to be, but just make sure it happens each and every day. You'll see definitive results over time and feel better almost immediately. Carve out some time in your day to do something active, and don't let anything get in the way of that time. You'll be so glad you did.
If an Apple Watch deems this important enough to give notifications about to stop and do this, then it's got to be pretty vital, right? Right. But does breathing really qualify as a New Year's resolution if we already do this all day, every day? Yes, we breathe out of necessity all the time but purposely taking moments throughout the day to just stop and focus on a deep breath or two is an instant relaxation and refocusing technique that can bring about an immediate change to your body and mind. It only takes a few moments out of your day, so there's no excuse why this couldn't or shouldn't be part of your day. It's also a great way to zero in on the moment before it quickly passes you by and to be present. We're all busy, but it's nice to take a timeout for a minute or two to actively inhale and exhale before continuing on with the day. It's such a simple thing, but one worth considering. The best part is you can do it anywhere at any time and whenever you need to.
Ah, worry. We all know it. There's a Swedish Proverb that says: Worry gives a small thing a big shadow. How true! The habit of worry is not an easy one to break. Depending on your personality, you may be even more inclined to worry than others. That's okay, though, there's still hope. You can still make a change. Worry is also the great stealer of joy. And while you can always find something to worry about it, you don't have to. Sometimes you just need to zoom out of the situation and gain some perspective. Will this matter in a week, a month, or a year from now? Sometimes you need a place to put your worrisome thoughts to get them out of your head. Try writing them down. You're acknowledging that the worry exists and giving it a place, but not giving yourself permission to dwell on it all day long. Sometimes you have to stop worry right in its tracks. Put an end to your racing thoughts at the onset by saying "stop" to yourself or by verbalizing it out loud. Redirect your thoughts to something else and try to move on with your day. If all else fails, imagine the worst that can happen and find peace with it. Chances are that your imagination is far worse than the actual reality is or ever will be. This technique offers a bit of a reality check and helps you to be more realistic about finding a workable path to dealing with whatever it is you're worrying about.
Spend more time unplugged.
I don't know about you, but for me I find this more challenging each and every year. With smartphones, technology-driven watches, apps for every need and want, Google, social media, online games, email— and the list goes on and on and on—it's no wonder our lives today center around being plugged in. It can be such a good thing and such a bad thing. Like anything else it has its place, but then there's that fine line of spending too much time doing it. And if you're anything like me, you find yourself having to set limits. Technology can be all-consuming to the point that other things suffer both on an internal and external level. Imposing a few boundaries on your screen time can do wonders to improve your life. It can be as simple as setting a no-technology zone or time period. It can be as straightforward as no technology after 9p.m. Whatever and wherever you can find ways to get unplugged, you can be sure to fill that time with better things—like the above-mentioned items in this blog post. Screen time can be a time-sucker for sure. I've lost hours and hours to Pinterest and Facebook and Twitter... but at what expense? Find some time to do something, anything, other than being plugged in and you're sure to see unending benefits in your life.
Do something new, different and exciting.
Maybe you're in a rut. Perhaps you need some excitement in your life. Trying something new and different is actually really good for your mind. We all need to step out of our comfort zone every now and again and push our personal boundaries. Get those brain neurons firing by learning a new language. Achieve some of your life's dreams by getting started on that bucket list. Overcome a fear. Accomplish something you never even dreamed you could. Complacency kills so don't let it. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable and see how your life changes for the better.
Have an attitude of gratitude.
Thanksgiving is over but that doesn't mean your thankfulness has to be. In fact, maintaining a mindset of gratitude every day promotes a much healthier and happier outlook on life. You can choose to look at all the things you don't have or you can choose to focus in on all that you do have. Don't get caught up in comparing yourself to others because you'll always be able to find those who have more of this or that than you do. That's not productive nor is it healthy. Seek out things to be thankful for in your own life and mindfully put apply an attitude of gratitude each and every day. There's always, always, always something to be thankful for.
Be more giving and forgiving.
A powerful way to make a difference in your own life and someone else's life is by choosing to be more giving. Look for ways to contribute or to help or to give in your everyday life and you'll feel the positive effects and so will others around you. It can be something as small as giving a smile to a stranger or something as big as helping someone in need, and everything in between. Along these same lines is the choice to be more forgiving. Being forgiving of ourselves and forgiving of others is a necessary part of bringing about peace, growth and forward momentum in a positive direction. Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all decided to give more and forgive more? Yes, yes it would. It doesn't take much more than a decision to try and then to do.
Dare to dream.
"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” Those are inspiring and incredibly truthful words from C.S. Lewis. Without hopes and dreams, one's life becomes stagnant. We all need things to aspire to and to inspire us. Dreams are those things. So go ahead and dare to dream. Your life will be better for it!
May your New Year and your every day be filled with change for the bettering of yourself and for this world. Cheers!