To borrow a quote from my friend’s holiday letter- “Happiness is not a matter of intensity, but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony”- Thomas Merton. So this year, I encourage you to resolve to find happiness and balance in your life for 2014. What this means, and how you go about this is different for all. My next blog/newsletter will have more about this, but, for now, just think about what this means for you and your life. Now is the time for reflection, introspection and preparation. Come January 1, 2014, or for some of us- January 6, 2014, (when school starts back up), we have an opportunity to start fresh, clean the slate and get back on our path to health and happiness. Here are a few steps and tips in the process:
REFLECT on 2013: What worked? What didn’t work? What do you want to improve?
SET YOUR INTENTION: What do you want this next year to embody for you? What are your themes? For example- I want to get back in touch with ME and my spiritual power or intuition. I want to be happier and more relaxed/ less intense. These are not your resolutions, just general themes/concepts to help set resolutions.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS (just 2-4)? Set specific, realistic, accomplishable goals vs generalized, vague or lofty goals. THIS is the WHAT.
WHAT IS YOUR PLAN TO ACCOMPLISH GOALS? Again, make them specific and realistic. THIS is the HOW.
Here are examples:
– I am going to reduce my stress level by taking deep breaths, practice mindful meditation 2-5 minutes every morning, go to yoga at least once a week and simplifying my schedule. vs. I am going to lower my stress level.
– I am going to be more mindful of what I eat by eating more fruits and veggies every day, drinking more water, writing down what I eat and how I feel, and eating more whole foods vs processed foods. vs I am going to eat only whole foods and stay away from sugar and gluten. (not realistic and sets you up to fail).
-I am going to exercise and move my body in some way for 20-60 minutes at least 3 days a week and listen to my body as to the intensity. vs I am going to exercise every day.
People have a tendency to set unrealistic, lofty goals for the year and usually, too many. By doing that, failure is imminent as well as disappointment vs accomplishment and success. SO follow the steps above for success. I am here to help if you need support, structure and guidance. I know it can be overwhelming, so just focus on small changes.
As Hellen Keller said- “Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood”. (Thanks, Tim for that one too!)