Personally, I think that New Years resolutions can be a little restrictive. We should be always be investing in ourselves and asking self-improvement questions all through out the year, not only when coming to a new year. We tend to place so much emphasis on this one day and the first month of the year setting the pace for the rest of the 11 months that we forget, nothing it is not always that simple.
Knowing what we want to see manifest in our lives can sometimes be half the struggle and often the things we think we want can sometimes be a bi-product of what we truly need. Do you want to lose weight? Maybe you just need peace of mind. Do you want to quit smoking? Why are you addicted to smoking? Do you want to be a better listener? How much do you listen to yourself? Be a better parent? How well do you take care of your own needs?
My point is, maybe this year we need to simply make the resolution to be kinder to ourselves. What if the solution to our problems is simply to look inward. Listen to our needs and quiet our minds. I can tell you that the more I started asking myself these questions the more I started to uncover many things that needed attention before I could continue moving forward and into the life I've always wanted.
Here are a few things that were game changers for me and don't cost a dime!
1. Rule your mind or it will rule you.
To me, meditation can be as simple as just being fully present. Often, we find ourselves in and out of thoughts of the future and thoughts of the past. An anxious mind can go back and forth very quickly between what has happened and what is going to happen. Back and forth, back and forth. Tick. Tock. Really, when you think about it all we have is the present. The now! The past can't be changed and the future can't be predicted. For me, meditation can really be the best escape from all of these anxieties and constraints. The more we bring meditation into our everyday life, morning to night, the more you'll experience what it truly has to offer you. Start slow if you need to. Try 5 or 10 minutes and add more time every day. Don't be discouraged, just the act of trying to clear you mind and be present is what it's all about. You are retraining your mind. Research YouTube videos on guided meditations or meditation music for help!
Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. I'm sure we can all agree these are very important things. It is easy to forget this now more than ever because of our busy lifestyles and sometimes we can go hours without water. This can have a negative implications on our health and our happiness. Actually, every person needs a bit more or a bit less water depending on your your height and weight. Here is a calculator that can help you figure out exactly how much you need and here is an app to track how much water your drink per day, if you really wanna get into it. Also, do yourself and the planet a favor and grab a reusable bottle, preferably glass! Whole Foods carries the line that I use, but you can order them online here too. But any glass jar or water bottle will do. So, Phone. Wallet. Keys. Water bottle. Check!
3. Eat Less Meat
There are so many reasons to eat less meat and dairy, I'll name a few. Animal agriculture is estimated to produce more greenhouse gases than the whole of the transportation industry combined. If each person decided to eat less meat every week or everyday it would have huge implications on climate change. Switching to a less meat and dairy or none at all is taking a stand against animal cruelty which we all know is happening and can be easy to ignore. Or how about the idea of trying a whole new style of cooking with a plethora of new recipes to choose from. You can check out my Pinterest and my Vegan Instagram for some ideas. Choose a vegan day of the week or one vegan meal a day or Meatless-Mondays. Whatever! No matter what, if you make a concerted effort to eat less meat and dairy in small or big ways your actions will be felt by you and the planet.
4. Less time “connected.”
The internet is a phenomenal tool. We are so lucky to be able to learn something about almost anything we want to right at our finger tips, literally. That said, it's so easy to forget to unplug, turn off and defragment your own mind. If I let it, my mind is all over the place between emails, texts, phone calls, advertisements and things trying to get my attention. I can find myself becoming anxious and having hard time making decisions. Click me! Read me! Watch me! It's no wonder why approximately 40 million Americans between the ages of 18 to 54 are dealing with anxiety related disorders. If you need help keeping track there are a ton of apps for your browsers that help productivity by eliminating the amount of time you spend on certain websites. The one I use is called StayFocusd. Designate time for turning off your wifi and start reconnect with your surroundings. Stop looking for instant gratification on your phone, it's a trap!
5. More time "connecting."
Listen to the people around you. Loved ones, friends and even acquaintances. Most people would much rather connect to someone through their phone rather then look up at the person sitting across from them. We've all be guilty of this. Connection is something that we're all truly lacking in today's society more than ever. We're connecting but not with other humans that we can feel, sense, smell or touch. Connect. Listen. Feel.
Happy New Year Everyone! Let's make 2016 everything we have ever wanted! Let's accept our mistakes and flaws and learn how to fix and heal our wounds. Let's work towards personal growth and global goals Peace!