So, the new year is here, now what? For many, the beginning of the year is a time to shed bad habits, reflect, and start anew with lofty goals. But, that pressure in itself can be overwhelming. Instead of only focusing on a bucket list of gigantic aspirations (all wonderful, by the way), start with a few basic actions to practice year around. After all, realizing all those big goals starts with a healthy foundation!
Be Patient & Kind To Yourself
Without self-love, not much else matters. You could meet all your goals, have a million friends and all the material things in the world and still be miserable. Before anything else, prioritize your patience and kindness for yourself. Give yourself room to make mistakes, forgive yourself, and be your own greatest advocate. Then move on to everything else.
Instead of focusing on everything you don’t have, focus on everything you do have. It’s amazing how far appreciation and gratitude can go for the most basic things like clean drinking water, a hot cup of coffee, good health, shoes on your feet, and sunshine. You can change the entire course of your day (and life) by waking up and going to bed only thinking about what is good in your life. Instead of worrying about everything you need to do before bed and upon waking, try to focus on the positive things in your life that make you feel happy and relaxed. Reflect on good memories, watch a funny YouTube video, or just make a list in your head of everything that is awesome in your life. Even if you’re having a rough day, there is always something to be thankful for.
Surround Yourself Only With People Who Love You
There’s just no reason to hang around people that don’t bring out the best in you and make you feel good about yourself. Whether it’s a “friend,” family member, significant other or co-worker, don’t waste your time with people who don’t love and appreciate you. Limit your time with negative family members, distance yourself from negative friends and co-workers, and if you’re in a hurtful romantic relationship, leave or get counseling. We can’t always control who is around us, but we can control our exposure and our reactions. Life is too short to let other people make you miserable.
Procrastination is the true killer of everything -not lack of ideas, money or education. Procrastination is the grim reaper of dreams. Don’t let it take over your life and delay the realization of your aspirations. Defeating procrastination is easier said than done, but if you can master it, there is little that can stop you. Stop putting things off and get moving now and today. There is no such thing as the “right time” to do anything.
Never Forget Perspective
It’s hard to think clearly or be truly happy without perspective. When we complain about “first world problems” we often forget that there are millions of people around the world that are legitimately suffering. There is no reason to chew out the barista because your latte isn’t hot enough or to be offended that you didn’t get a “better” wedding gift. Stop, think, and be grateful.
See The Opportunity in Failure
“The optimist sees the opportunity in every failure. The pessimist sees the failure in every opportunity.” Which one of these people do you want to be? Which one of these people succeeds and leads a happier life? It’s the optimist. See failure for what it really is: an opportunity to make you a wiser, humble, stronger, better person. Respect failure -it is the ultimate catalyst for success!
We live in a society that works itself to actual death. (Ever heard of Karoshi?) It’s “cool” to boast about never sleeping and working around the clock. But what good is success if you’re unhealthy and too exhausted/stressed to enjoy the fruits of your labor? You have to find balance. I’m admittedly very passionate (obsessed) about my work. I’ve pulled more all-nighters than I can count, but I also have no shame about sleeping when I need to and taking time to relax and unwind. I find that giving myself room to do “nothing” helps me be more productive, happy, and creative long term. If you want to be the happiest, best version of yourself, prioritize your well-being.