Well here we are – 2017. If you’re reading this post, you are lucky enough to be able to continue on the journey of life. On January 1st, most of us have been conditioned to make resolutions for the next year – things about yourself you would like to improve. After saying “Happy New Year”, the most often asked question is, “Did you make any resolutions”? My answer is an emphatic, “no”. Oh sure, I used to make them – long lists of them. And then about January 5th or so, I’d begin to scold myself for a lack of discipline and worse. It became a negative in my life – just another thing to sabotage my mellow.
a firm decision to do or not to do something.
synonyms: intention, resolve, decision, intent, aim, plan; commitment, pledge, promise
See where it says, “firm decision”? I’m not really into firm decisions. So darn rigid! Almost impossible for a human being like me.
Several years ago, I decided to make goals instead.
1. the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.
synonyms: objective, aim, end, target, design, intention, intent, plan, purpose.
So much better…
The new year brings with it a sense of new a beginning, an opportunity to right any wrongs, perceived or real, and to make some positive changes – to begin the next part of the journey. I live my life in gratitude, thanking the powers that be for the life and luck I’ve been given. For my husband – my love, best friend, and partner in crime, our sons and their wives, the three lights of our lives, our grandsons, and for our families – aunts, uncles, and cousins.
I set goals that will make my life full. I have found that if I don’t have a list of things to do, or a record of things I’d like to accomplish, I will usually put things off until mañana. I’ve listed a few things that I think are essential to emotional health and, therefore, physical health.
1. Subscribe To Mindfulness. Try not to think about what you should or should not be doing. Sometimes when we’re having fun, thoughts tend to creep in like “I should be cleaning the floor, or doing the laundry”. I say, enjoy what you’re doing at this moment. I promise you, the household chores will wait.
2. Be Brave When Making Choices. If you don’t like the situation you’re in, change it. If you know you can be happier, or want to be a better person – go for it. Go to school, make a move, leave that dead-end job, travel. Find your bliss.
3. Be Who You Want To Be. I believe that we are the sum of all of our past actions – it makes us who we are today. But if you aren’t satisfied with the current “you”, turn your life around. Be who you want to be today. Live an authentic life. You want to get a tattoo – change your hair color – shave your head – take opera lessons – go ahead. You won’t be sorry you tried, and it can always go back to the way it was. No real harm done.
4. If You’re Happy – Go On And Show It. – Sometimes I think I laugh too loudly – full and hardy. It’s just who I am – demure by no means. Express your delight. I promise, it feels so good. Never be afraid to laugh out loud. Show your joy.
5. Be An Optimist – In the end, life is a point of view of your own making. When you’re feeling blue, look at the goodness in yourself and all around you. You can turn things around – it is within you to do so. Sure, there are lots of things that can make you sad or angry. It’s ok to have those emotions for short while – then lose them. Don’t carry them on your shoulders – they are very heavy. It can and will get worse if you let it. Move on! One more thing I can promise you. Everything turns out the best in the end. Maybe not today or tomorrow – but it does. I’ve experienced it firsthand over and over throughout my life. One of my favorite lines is from the movie, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”. “It will be alright in the end and if it is not alright, it is not the end.” (see note #2 below)
6. Be Kind – Every day, in every way. Don’t get into gossip. Don’t spread rumours. Think the best of people, until they prove you wrong. Remember, we all have a bad day, month or year. Be understanding. Freely give compliments. Kindness doesn’t cost a penny. Your smile may be the one thing that changes another person’s day from one of sadness to one of possibility.
6. Find The Adventure, and Beauty All Around You – Sometimes you have to look for it. But when you find it – take advantage of it. And you don’t necessarily have to travel or vacation to see it. Look in your own yard, neighborhood,or town. Trust me – it’s there.
7. Delight In Your Own Beauty – Don’t spend endless amounts of time in front of a mirror critiquing yourself (or others). You have to believe that you’re a god(ess) in your own way. Think about the wonder of you. Own it. Flaunt it.
8. Keep Moving.
You’ve heard it before. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. Yep – take it from me – It’s true. It doesn’t matter what you choose – walk, exercise, garden, yoga, lift weights, swim. Anything!!! Everyone knows that any kind of exercise is good for the body. But exercise is also one of the most effective ways to improve mental health. It can relieve stress, depression, and anxiety, improve memory, help you sleep better, and boost your overall mood. And you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic for the benefits to kick in. Doing a little something every day can make a difference. No matter your age or fitness level, you can use movement as a powerful way to feel better.
I hope that 2017 proves to be your best journey yet ! Go for it.
NOTE: Thanks to Google Clipart for the wonderful photos.
NOTE #2: John Lennon famously said, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” Being a super sleuth, I found that this was based on a quote by a Brazilian writer named Fernando Sabino, who said, “In the end, everything will be ok. If it’s not ok, it’s not yet the end.” Anyway, the message is always the same.