How many of you make New Year’s Resolutions? And how many of you actually keep them? I stopped making New Year’s resolutions several years ago. I wrote about my New Year’s ritual of listing everything that no longer serves me and letting go of it, and setting intentions for the New Year in “The Space Between the Years” last Sunday. Today, I’d like to suggest three habits that are guaranteed to not only help you stick to your resolutions if you make them, but that will make this year your best year yet.
Why am I so sure that these three habits will change your life? Because I’ve seen it happen not just in my own life, but in the lives of countless others.
If you don’t already have a regular meditation practice, this is a good time to start one. The benefits of meditation are endless: from helping us handle stress better to getting in touch with our true spiritual nature, meditation has been proven to make our lives better. In fact, there is so much evidence that meditation is good for you that it really should be as much a part of our daily lives as breathing.
You don’t have to meditate for hours to gain benefits from mediation. Even a 5 minute mini meditation can make a difference. Gradually increase the time. Ideally you want to meditate at least 20 minutes a day.
And if you need more inspiration to get started, look to your cats! Cats are natural meditators. What else do you think they’re doing when they’re sitting with their paws curled under, their gazes soft, and not a care in the world? Of course they’re meditating!
Technology is awesome. I use it every day, all day long, and I wouldn’t want to imagine my life without it. Much of my work is centered around technology, and I use it to connect connect with friends near and far via email and social media. And of course, there’s online shopping (Amazon and I are BFF’s these days – is there anything you can’t buy from Amazon?). The fact is, technology has become as much a part of my every day life as breathing and eating. But unfortunately, technology comes with a dark side.
We need to remember that technology comes with an “off” button. I think it’s especially important to end your day unplugged. Don’t check email and Facebook “just one more time” before you go to bed. Not only will it not put you in a mood conducive to sleeping, studies have shown that the light emitted by our device screens disturbs sleep cycles.
3. Practice gratitude
The energy of gratitude is a powerful force. It can shift your mood and your thoughts from a place of scarcity to a place of abundance and joy. Gratitude is about being in the present moment, and appreciating what’s around you. Gratitude is about choice: you have the power to choose how you view any given situation in your life.
Gratitude is also a practice. Practicing gratitude is a great way to start and end each day. Think about three things you’re grateful for before you get out of bed each morning, and again before you go to sleep each night. Better yet, keep a gratitude journal. Writing things down anchors the energy. You will notice a shift in your energy after just a few days of this practice.
Adopting these three habits for the New Year will make 2015 your best year yet. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post about resolutions to make 2015 the best year for your cats!