The new year is a time when so many of us start taking stock of our lives in efforts to evaluate where we want to make some changes. Most of the time we focus on external changes that we feel will bring us happiness, but what most of us fail to realize is that happiness comes from within. That is why I feel these are 5 of the most life changing resolutions you can make and, as a bonus, they are really simple to implement!
Like so many others, we tend to put ourselves last. We give to our family, our friends, work and even strangers, but when it comes to caring and giving back to ourselves, we simply don’t. Sometimes it’s because we feel we are being greedy if we take time for ourselves, sometimes we feel we don’t deserve it, and sometimes we feel we don’t have time. Whatever the excuse, it’s this simple. If you continue to give to others and don’t care for yourself, you will eventually burn out. That may look like withdrawing, or illness or it may be feelings of resentment towards others. However it may show up in your life, it certainly will.
This year vow to yourself to take care of you! You deserve it! Schedule time for self-care and actually enjoy that time. Do things that recharge your soul and bring you joy! If you won’t care for yourself who will?
Take Time to Pause
We all lead busy lives and I understand that you may think “I don’t have time”. The thing is, if you don’t pause, life passes you by. Pausing means taking a minute to be mindful, to be in the moment, to really be present to the current experience. This is a simple thing that you can do at any point in your day. Take the time to just be, like a daily recess for your mind, body and spirit.
Vow to yourself that every day, at least once a day you will pause and be in the moment. Who knows, you may like it so much that you practice it more often.
I have written numerous blogs on the importance of practicing gratitude. It is something that all of us can do and its effects are life changing. Gratitude shifts our mind from a feeling of lack and negativity to one of positive abundance. Who doesn’t want that?
Every day, take time to list at least 5 things that you are grateful for. Some days they may come quick, some days it may be a struggle. But stick with it and you will start to notice that it becomes automatic. All of a sudden you will start to notice you are not practicing gratitude, but living a grateful life and that is powerful!
Befriend your Inner Critic
We are our own worst critics! We are harder on ourselves than anyone else would ever be, and yes, there are protective aspects to our inner critic. But we do not have to take the negative messages that we say to ourselves as the absolute truth. We have a choice!
When you recognize that you are being critical try having a conversation with yourself. Recognize the message then choose to not believe it, let it go if it is not helpful! Don’t let your inner critic hold you back this year, move past the negative messages. They are not truth. Most of the time they are just fear!
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
This almost goes hand in hand with the inner critic. When we compare ourselves to others, we usually are either doing it in a way that minimizes us or degrades others, neither of which is helpful! Instead of comparing yourself, recognize that we are all different and we all have our unique journeys. The one thing we do all have in common is that we are all doing our best with what we have at any given moment.
Instead of comparing yourself try having compassion for both yourself and others. Know that you are doing your best and so are they! Don’t assume that you or others are doing things purposely to screw up or hurt you. I don’t think that anyone wakes up in the morning excited at the prospect of failing at life, we all try, but we all have our different ways. We all make our way through life the best we can.
This year, if you find that you are comparing yourself to someone else, stop and recognize that you are the best version of you and no one else in the world could do a better job of being you!
These are 5 simple things that you can implement today, but the effects are life changing. When you are able to master these skills, suddenly you may notice that your other resolutions are either now irrelevant or seem easily achievable. Whatever your 2018 brings, I wish you all a Happy New Year full of love, happiness and success!