“A new year, a new you!”… how many times have we proclaimed our dedication and commitment to changing old habits and creating new ones? The beginning of a new year is an event that can be marked with resolutions to lose weight, eat healthier, quit a bad habit and introduce a new, healthier, better, more productive you.
I am not above creating resolutions, I actually find that they do work for me (I finally and successfully quit smoking many years ago on a New Year’s resolution *disclaimer here: I was a heavy smoker and had tried many times to quit before, this was not my first go). The problem with making resolutions I find is that making too many goals may result in inaction leading to inability to prioritise one main goal, thus resulting in an inundated mind frame with too many options and action steps. Simplifying goals is key! Stick to a main purpose and write up action steps that will help get you to where you want to be and of course, do not be discouraged if you don’t get it right straight away. Success can only come from failure.
So here I am sharing some personal resolutions for 2016 with you all….
- Be Mindful & be present
– Mindfulness in your everyday life is so important. We go about our days doing things because we are used to doing them without too much thought or mindful presence. Taking time out and being mindful, even when you eat can make the biggest difference. It can help you enjoy the food more as well as allowing your brain to actually register what you are eating and have eaten to help you feel fuller and more satisfied. Once the focus is on the food, what and how you are eating, food start to even taste better.
– I would like to be more mindful in social situations. As a general rule, I try to avoid checking my phone for anything when I am with my friends or colleagues, unless I need to answer a call. Giving people undivided attention is so important to help enrich your own life as well as giving people courtesy. I see so many people hanging out with their friends, sitting together around a table, yet they are all on their respective phones and not giving each other attention. “Social-phoning” perhaps? Is this even a thing? When others pull out their phone to check on something, it’s very tempting to do the same – kind of like the impact of yawning, one person does it and others have an involuntary yawn; likewise with a phone. This year and going forward, I refuse to subscribe to it, in any case.
– In a digital age it is easy to get sucked into scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, basically anything to kill time. But why do we feel the need to kill time when time is so precious and fleeting anyway? My resolution this year is to be more mindful and absorbing the outside world instead of being on the phone or having some sort of medium for entertainment. What ever happened to looking up once in a while, to being bored and having time to think?
- Choose to choose – I recently read an incredible book, ‘Essentialism’ by Greg McKeown (pictured above) which enlightened me and also made me realise that if you do not make choices yourself, someone else will make life choices for you, intentionally or not; whether it be your parents, your boss, your partner or even your friends. Choose to choose and be accountable for your choices. Don’t follow the pack and don’t be afraid to go down a different path to everyone else because you won’t find happiness on someone else’s path or dreams for you. Again, success can only come from failure.
- Action not reaction – 2016 for me is the year of action, from physical activity to blogging to cooking more often and everything in between. It sounds like a lot, but I have simplified it to doing at least one thing a day and not everything every day. Action leads to change which leads to evolution. If you read my earlier post (click here to check it out), one of the biggest realisations I had of recent times is that I over-analyse and over-research elements in life which often leads to inactivity in ‘real-time’. We live such a short and wonderful life, so the time is always NOW. If we leave things to later, they will just pile up with everything else that has been parked to the side and will not eventuate as pile grows to an unsurmountable degree to hard to sift through.
- Meditation – possibly the most important goal of all this year is to reinforce and cement the habit of meditation into daily life. The benefits of meditation are incredible and include, but are certainly not limited to the following: increasing levels of concentration, being more mindful, relieves stress-related diseases, help control behavioural reactions, increases creativity, helps you to be more peaceful and harmonious with your life, increases motivation and patience as well as helping you to be more present in your daily life. There are many types of meditation. I practice Vipassana meditation, which brings an awareness to your body and helps you to relax, clear your mind and focuses on your breath. Other meditation styles I have tried out include visualisations, light and colour meditation, body scanning; all of which bring their own benefits. There are plenty of apps nowadays that can help with meditation such as the ‘Mindfulness’ App and ‘Headspace’, to name a few; but I find silent meditation works best for me.
I have been actively thinking a lot about these goals so far this year and I know it has only been 2 weeks. In saying that, I have also stuck with my ‘doing at least one thing a day’ objective and realised that the more you do, the more you want to do!
Here’s to a more productive and fulfilling year!
Happy New Year!