New Year Resolution 2021 - mindfulness tips
What a year 2020 was and one I doubt we will all soon forget. 2021 has not started the way we hoped for and has left people feeling the need for change. Now is the ideal time to include mindfulness in your life.
The start of a New Year inspires the need for change and with it the good intentions to make and keep these changes. Often, people find they start the year joining the gym, buying new and expensive fitness gear and then by March it is packed away, collecting dust.
What follows is five tips to help you easily bring mindfulness into your life and help keep those resolutions and changes in play.
1. Don't be afraid to fail
Over the Christmas period, I read a brilliant book by John Krumboltz called, Fail Fast, Fail Often: How Losing Can Help You Win'. This book is aimed predominantly at careers, but the philosophy suits anyone. It is about living your life, being creative and taking chances. Not waiting for life to happen to you, but instead going out creating opportunities and making it happen.
Follow your hopes and your dreams and, if it does not work out, learn from it, take those lessons with you and grow. But never, ever, stop trying. This is the essence of tip 1.
Make a list of all the things you would like to achieve this year. Then choose one of them, but instead of going big, start small. Sometimes when we go all in and set big goals, we lose momentum and interest. Keep that big goal in mind, but start with little rewarding, steps. Those you can experience a sense of achievement for quickly.
For example, you decide this year you want to lose weight. Keep that big weight goal in mind, but start small. Introduce small changes to your diet and reward yourself for eating healthily for a week. Then the next week, up your game and additionally include one day of exercise. By taking it a step at a time, you can enjoy a sense of achievement and forward momentum to keep that motivational energy going.
Thomas A. Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
So, never be afraid of failing, because with every step we learn, adapt and grow.
2. Be happy. Be creative
This is not easy, I hear you say. True, we all live in different circumstances. But, if you are unhappy, look for activities that make you happy, are creative and most of all, follow your instinct. If your job is making you unhappy then think about a career change.
Write a list of all the things that make you feel good and ensure to include them in your life. Perhaps you love art but have not drawn since school? Buy yourself a colouring book and get colouring. It is surprising how relaxing and mindful this can be!
What does your happy place look like?
According to the America Psychology Journal, you should have three pleasant experiences for each unhappy one. If this is currently unbalanced, think about what you want from life? If your job is making you unhappy, make an appointment with a career coach for guidance and support, or turn to a friend. Small changes can lead to big things!
The butterfly effect - sometimes doing the smallest thing can open up a world of opportunities.
3. Random act of kindness
I kid you not; it is scientifically proven that happy people are happier when carrying out acts of kindness. So why not, one day a week, carry out a random act of kindness? Keep it simple, it does not have to be anything big to be beneficial to others.
Sometimes simply taking the time to call a friend, or smile and say hello to a stranger, is enough to make a positive impact. Especially in the current climate, when everyone is so segregated from each other.
What could you do today to help someone?
4. Embrace the journey
Life is filled with ups and downs and sometimes it can feel that you have more down days than ups. Life has an ebb and flow to it and it is learning to trust your instinct and listen to your inner voice, that‘s key. Again I can hear you say, this is not always easy!
This is where mindfulness comes in. Create 20 minutes a day of space for you. Find a quiet space and take those 20 minutes and just breathe. Perhaps sit or lie in a relaxed position and try a simple breathing routine.
Breathe in and out from one up to 10 and then 10 down to one. So, breathe in, to the count of one and then out to the count of one. Breathe into the count of two and out to the count of two. And repeat up to 10 counts.
Then repeat the same but work backwards. So, breathe in, to the count of 10 and then out to the count of 10. Breathe in, to the count of nine and out to the count of nine and keep going back down to one.
5. Two is better than one
Now, this is not just about romantic relationships. It is about seeking out people who can support you on your life's journey. Life is about making connections. There are some great apps out there to connect and foster new friendships, like Bumble BFF. You may also already have people in your work network who could turn into good friends. Reach out and you may be surprised by who reaches back.
Overall, remember it is not a one-way street. Happiness in life is about give and take and being there for one and other. When you reach out for help, others may reach out too, so make sure to reach back.
Start small, stay positive, take those first steps and create beautiful memories along the way.