Resolutions are not my thing. Never Been. Every time I’d set a resolution, it would fall flat on its face by the time 10th of January has rolled in. It has been about 5 years since I stopped making resolutions and have never regretted the decision. Why do we have to wait a whole year to decide that it’s the new beginning? Changing of the calendar year is encouraging but let’s not get carried away here, 1st of the month occurs 12 times in a year. Last year was insightful, to say the least because I noticed a trend of keywords recurring in my life – Eat healthily, Exercise, Meditate, Work Less, Blah, Blah, AddAnotherWeAlreadyKnow. Here is my list of keywords/disciplines from last year and will continue for 2018.
- Stay True to Yourself – Whatever we want to accomplish in life, a goal or a target has to come from the depths of our heart’s desire. And sometimes in the hum-drum of life, we tend to stop listening to our heart. What’s my purpose? What’s my life in the big scheme of life? What’s important to me? Do my daily/weekly actions lead me closer to my goal? Do I even have a goal? Sometimes it’s not easy to pause and reflect but if there is anything that I’ve learned this year, it is t to stay true to yourself. Listen to our beating hearts and question everything that moves around. Time spent on gadgets, type of books to read to the company we keep. Sum total of our environment + input in the form of tv/Netflix/books + actions and behavior towards friends, family or a stranger.
- Pray – One of the most humbling experience is bowing, accepting fragility of life, lifting myself and loved ones in prayer. Once upon a time, my lips were sealed tight – I didn’t know how to pray or what to say. But slowly I learned to open my heart, mouth and let words glorify our creator. You don’t have to pray if you don’t believe, it’s one discipline that I want to inculcate in my life.
- H2O – Our bodies are ~65% water. Not only drinking 8 glasses of water helps increase metabolism, if you drink more water, you have to move more – to pee – so the way I see it, it’s killing two birds with one stone.
- Move – If you drink more water, you’ll have to empty your bladder frequently which means you’ll have to get up from your desk and go to the washroom which means you move! Add a walk, climbing stairs and alternative 30-minute gym session 3 days a week and you’re treating your body with love. It’s a lifestyle – I haven’t mastered it but I think I am onto something when Fitbit reminds me that I have walked 6kms. It makes me happy that I have achieved today’s goal, which in turn helps me focus on other areas of life.
- Create – Holding a pen gives me a lot of joy. Drawing lines, writing some words here and there, doodling some art. It’s an activity that let the brain to wander and create some form on a paper. Whatever it is. Create something. Cherish and then stick it in a binder for a reflection for later on. You’ll be surprised to notice the patterns later on. If writing lets you loose then do that. If swearing on paper helps relieve some tension then do so.
- Let Go – Holding on to stuff doesn’t work well for the mind. Try to find the reason what’s stopping from throwing, donating or selling the stuff you don’t use anymore. Create empty space, create room for creativity.
- Watch Your Thoughts – Thoughts lead to action and if we don’t watch our thoughts then it could get downhill pretty fast. You could say that thoughts are not really a movie to play when you wish and I’d say that it is. It’s surprising how many thoughts we can have in a minute. We need to wipe away the ones that don’t serve us: thoughts about being insufficient, inadequate, being fat, ugly or stupid. Doesn’t help. Ignore them because we can’t really stop having those thoughts; these are thoughts they will re-surface from the depth and width of our past experiences. The point is to train ourselves to spot them and then ignore them. They are there in a void. Focus on good, positive and encouraging thoughts because that’s what we thrive on.
- Be generous – Don’t be a hoarder of love, good wishes, and praise. Be generous with your smiles, hugs, love, anything that you have been blessed with. Here is a secret – whatever you share – multiplies!
- Love – 1 Corinthians sums it up nicely.
I haven’t perfected any of these habits – as I say often – I’m a work-in-progress. I stumble, I fall and then dust off and carry on