Every year we have the opportunity to review the last twelve months, learn from them, and choose a new path or two. What will your new paths look like? Need some suggestions?
- Be more mindful. Being present and mindful is a gift to yourself and to others. Learn a few tricks here. Meditation is a type of exercise for your brain to build mindfulness by calming your thoughts. Additional exercises for mindfulness will be coming up in a (near) future post as well!
- Find gratitude everywhere. Feeling grateful gives you peace and joy. It’s an amazing biological response when one engages in gratitude and grateful thoughts. A few articles on gratitude and grateful thinking can be found in these links.
- Treat your body well. You are what you eat. I’d even take it a step further and state you are what you intake, whether it’s food, drugs, TV, activities, environment, thoughts, etc. Whatever your body and mind absorbs will shape your thoughts, feelings, and mental and physical health. Choose as carefully and diligently as possible. Don’t go crazy with worry, but a good diet, moderate activity, mindful meditation and emotional intelligence will ensure the best life possible for you.
- Be the very best partner, parent, child, boss. Look back through the year and choose three relationship areas which did not prove successful. They didn’t have to be failures… but three of your biggest opportunities. Write a list of why those need some improvement (or what you didn’t like), what can you do different, and how to keep yourself on track. Use my favorite question to ensure success: What will success look like once I’m done? If you make this change, how will it look different?
- Learn something completely new. Our brain absolutely loves to learn something different. But it also hates it. What? Yes… it loves it because it’s one of the only ways a brain grows past puberty. Creating new pathways. The brain hates change because it is built to habitulize everything and you have likely already created a response for just about anything you already do. This is why I recommend learning something completely new, like a language, to draw, or complex math. Whatever you think you’re bad at, learn something from that category.
- Improve something you already do well. Just as noted above, the brain makes a habit for things you do often. Chances are that whatever you do well (your job, as an example) your brain already has it mapped out. To keep yourself innovative in your field you must keep learning something new within it. You need to push your brain to think in a different way. One suggestions I give clients is to do “it” backwards (whatever “it” may be for you). It really lets you see your thoughts, actions, reactions and logic in a new way. It opens the brain to finding a better path, a more economical path (economical in efficiencies of time and effort). The only way to innovate is to see something a completely different way.
- Do something amazing. This is an open item and one that should equal fun, amazement and total joy. It could be service oriented, thrill seeking, out of your comfort zone, whatever… but it has to elicit “that was AMAZING!” once you’re done. Some of you have a low AMAZING threshold… think BIG. This should be on your list every year!
The new year is an opportunity to love what you love more, and rid yourself of what rubs you the wrong way. You have absolutely everything you need to make that happen. You simply have to take action.