It’s almost the turn of the year, and many of us are thinking about New Year’s resolutions. But with those resolutions often comes the feeling that resolutions, aka change, come with giving up something in the process.
Rather than focusing on what you may be losing, I’m putting out the idea of adopting a “yes” mentality in 2015 that’s focused on living rather than denying. A way to become more mindful, to enjoy life’s simplicity while also making it richer and much more enjoyable.
Here’s a short list of simple things to say “yes” to in 2015. You may find that trying just one, and keeping at it, may have a very profound effect on you. 🙂
- Heading out for an appointment, or to work, or to a friend’s house? Leave 5 minutes early, stand outside your door, and look up at the sky. Enjoy the warm sun on your body, or the gray clouds after a storm, or the sparkly stars that signal a quiet night. Heck, if it’s raining, let the drops fall on your face and revel in the sensation of them rolling down your cheeks. Experience what’s around you, and savor the moment that comes with it.
- When sitting down for a meal, put your smart phone or computer or TV away. Then, concentrate on the food on your plate. Be thankful that it’s available for you and your body. Take a bite of your meal and savor it. Chew mindfully and slowly, focusing on texture and flavor, taste and smell. Take your time, and swallow. Connect with the food on your plate again. Take another bite. Repeat the process until you have thoroughly experienced nature’s most precious gift to you.
- If you’re engaged in conversation with someone, focus on that person. If your mind strays, gently encourage your attention back to the person you’re with. Let them talk and try not to interrupt. Concentrate on their words and tone and expressions. Doing so will make the conversation much more engaging, and the other person will most probably notice your willingness to truly listen. This time between you is all about human interaction, and it’s A Good Thing.
- Take a break from your day, at work or at home, and go out for a walk. Five minutes, ten minutes, thirty minutes or more…it doesn’t matter. Focus on your surroundings. The colors. The smells. The sounds. Soak it in, like a sponge, and let that walk become a part of you. Then take it back with you when you continue your day. Oh, and don’t use bad weather as an excuse. Some of life’s best moments are discovered when it’s not sunny outside.
- Watch the sun rise. Whether at a beach, or a park, or the top of a hill, get up early and find a quiet place where you can watch the sun break the horizon. Alone. Doing so will remind you of your place in this universe, the smallness of our lives and this world, and that there really is something much greater out there.
- Watch the sun set. At the end of the day, find a solitary spot where you can reflect on the day that just passed. Do so without judgment. There is no right or wrong at the end of a day, only the knowledge that you had an opportunity to grow. And if you feel you missed an opportunity, well, there’s always tomorrow to try again.
- Remember that not everything has to be done at once. You’ll find much more joy if you focus on doing one project at a time instead of trying to juggle two or three in unison. You’ll also have a stronger sense of accomplishment, and a better understanding of what your real priorities are.
- When you go to bed at night, give thanks for one thing. Focus on one part of your life you’re thankful for. Little or big, it doesn’t matter. This time is for finding and focusing on the positive, and paving the way for a good night’s sleep. And remember — a good night’s sleep opens the mind and heart for facing life’s challenges tomorrow.
What about you? Have anything to add? I’d love to know.
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