With the New Year fast approaching, here are 10 resolutions you can make now that will dramatically improve your quality of life.
- Accept that everything is exactly the way it’s supposed to be. This isn’t the same thing as fate, which preordains certain events to occur in your life. It is simply the acceptance of what exists, right now, right here. Using up all your energy fighting against reality is never the recipe for happiness. Try taking a realistic view of what exists in your life and then decide what you want to do about it.
- Realize that problems do not exist as separate entities from the self. You’re the one who decides to make a particular series of events a problem, giving it permission to come into your mind and cause you emotional distress. Remember, what seems like a big problem to you may leave others completely untouched. Try to look at events in your life with more objectivity and realize that only you can make them a problem.
- Treat yourself with the same kindness you would treat your family, friends and pets. This seems like a natural but many of us put our own emotional and physical well-being way behind all the others we love in our lives. Caring for your own self is as important as caring for others plus it has the side benefit of giving those you love more of you to care about.
- Take a walk outside at least once in every type of weather. Winter gives us more opportunities for realizing this experience. Why do we hide from certain types of weather and label it “bad?” Challenge your conditioning or personal likes/dislikes, put on the appropriate clothing and go outside your comfort zone. Experience the essential beauty of all types of weather. You’ll be surprised what you discover.
- Choose a book on a subject you have no interest in. While we all have reading preferences, they invariably limit us in expanding our horizons. How can we possibly know our feelings about every subject matter? Certainly our choices to date have been limited by our inclinations. Choose a new category and open your mind. You’ll be bound to discover something entirely new.
- Accept others as they are. Decide not to take other people’s behavior deep into your soul, making it your own, creating your own sense of turmoil. Instead watch other’s behavior like you would a movie, choose to enjoy it or dislike it, nothing more. A sense of humor helps a lot with this New Year’s resolution.
- Look into the eyes of someone you don’t know. Ever notice how catching a stranger’s eyes instantly establishes a line of communication? It feels good to be actively seen. It means that person matters. Give someone the gift of your attention. It will change your day.
- Listen with attention. Instead of waiting for your turn to interject, sit back and fully listen to what your neighbor is saying. Wait until they’ve finished and then take a breath. You’ll be amazed at what you might learn, plus you’re giving the gift of your attention.
- Chop something slowly. Next time you prepare a meal, instead of rushing through the preparation, choose one item to chop slowly, appreciating the feel of the produce in your hand and the flavors that are revealed as you chop. It will give you a whole new appreciation for the foods we eat and the simple and important gifts they give us.
- Decide to be happy. Make happiness your New Year’s resolution. Vow not to have any more “good” or “bad” days. Realize that all days are made up of both. Greet each morning with a positive attitude. The New Year is waiting.
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