Reflections and Intentions: Mindful Resolutions for the New Year
January 2, 2020
Many people view the new year as a new opportunity for change. But rather than focusing on all the things you want to change in your life, why not take a moment instead to reflect on the past year and practice gratitude for what you’ve experienced, accomplished, and overcome? Allow those experiences to inform the goals and intentions you set for the year ahead that focus on elevating the bar, improving your quality of life, and being a more whole, well, and fulfilled individual.
Be Your Own Advocate: This upcoming year, set the resolution to believe in yourself, respect yourself, and be kind to yourself. Write a letter to yourself—candidly, as if you are your own best friend. What do you appreciate about you? What do you need from you this year? Is there anything you would suggest you let go of or forgive yourself for? Commit to being your best friend and your ally and see the positive and immediate impact it has on your life.
Embrace Vulnerability: Don’t be afraid to share your true heart. Talking about your mental and emotional state is actually a gift to others—it normalizes the topic and opens up deeper, thought provoking conversations that can elevate not only your relationships, but your own wellness.
Experience Nature Therapy: Get outdoors at least 20 minutes each day. There is so much science that is telling us how important nature and water are to our well-being. Spending time in nature makes you happier, boosts your immune system, and even makes you more creative.
Positive In: Find a podcast, inspiring playlist, or guided meditation to listen to prior to getting out of bed, during your commute, or daily walk. Meditating or being mindful in small doses—just 10 or 15 minutes a day—can do amazing things for your daily mindset. It can help improve your mood, reduce anxiety, and even increase sensory perception, decision-making, and self-control.
Try Something New and Different Every Day: Each day, do something you’ve never done before. Mixing up your daily routine alters the neural networking pattern of the brain, increases your intelligence, and just adds a little variety to your life. Whether it be something as simple as taking a new route to work or listening to a new genre of music to something more involved like learning a new instrument, language, or activity, breaking out of your normal patterns of behavior shifts your brain out of autopilot and gives you something to focus on other than your daily worries.
Practice Random Acts of Kindness: Add the question “Is there anything I can do for you?” to your daily vocabulary—in your workplace, community, and with your family. Practicing random acts of kindness not only enriches your soul and the experiences of others, but empowers you and opens you up to new experiences and opportunities for connection as well.
Choose Your Words Wisely: They say you are what you think. Choose one word of the day and use it as your “benchmark” in which to anchor your decisions, tasks, and choices. Post it someplace where you can view it daily. Paying attention to how you speak to yourself and the language that you use should involve as much care as how you speak to others. It’s a lot easier to praise others than it is ourselves, but we need to remember to encourage ourselves as well. Studies show that positive affirmations and self-talk lead to positive thinking and can have a lasting impact on your daily mindset.
Resolutions don’t necessarily have to involve drastic change. Instead, shift your perspective and approach the new year with a new outlook, nurturing yourself to the “next level” of living an already good life, even better.