Time for a moment of truth: I abhor making New Year’s resolutions.
Without fail, ever new year starts with me making a promise to myself to exercise more, but really, who am I kidding? I also promise to stop eating crap, drink less wine, stop dropping the occasional F-bomb, and cease and desist from watching the news when it only angers and depresses me.
But this year, inspired by my son, Erik, I will not be making resolutions (it's senseless to make these idle promises that I never keep for more than a week). He said there are other resolutions that can empower rather than make me feel pressured and guilty, and he shared the following tips that are sure to make my next 12 months — no, the rest of my life — wonderful. I hope they do the same for you.
1. Set your intention.
In accordance with the Law of Attraction, “Ask and ye shall receive.” With our intent, we manifest our own reality. In fact, “thought creates reality” is a principle in quantum physics. That said, at least every morning and night (and more often if you can), ask for what you really, truly want.
Whether it's a new relationship, a promotion, or something else, be honest about what you want. Lying to yourself about your hopes and desires isn't going to do any good, so why bother? Set your intention with radical honesty.
2. Be emotionally honest.
If you can't be honest with yourself, then you'll never know what you really want from life and no one else will know what you need from them. Furthermore, you can never be your true, authentic self if you engage in self-deceit, blame shifting, rationalizations, excuses, and denial. Always be up front with how you feel, both inside and toward others.
3. Practice gratitude.
This right here is the secret to a satisfying life. When you feel and express gratitude, you're telling the Universe that you are grounded in abundance, not scarcity.
So often we feel we lack in something or another, but gratitude shines a bright light on all that we’re blessed with yet may have overlooked. Maybe we struggle with money or we wish we had more self-confidence. Maybe we hope to be thinner, prettier, smarter, or have more hair ... but instead of dwelling on the things that don't bring you joy, why not try focusing on something that does? That precious friend in your life. The unconditionally loving pet. Your cozy morning coffee. The sun shining in your garden.
See? I bet you take all that for granted. We are blessed with what we have right now, not for what we think we want or need.
4. Be generous.
It's hard to be generous if you view your world as an unkind place, but it’s important to give of and to yourself. You’ll notice that when you give more, you receive more, and your perspective of the world becomes more positive. Generosity, a facet of love, is a powerful tool for change that can open not only your own heart but those of others, too.
There’s no simpler way to make the world a better place than doing so one grateful beneficiary at a time. So show love to yourself with a special treat like — a new pair of shoes, a nice bubble bath surrounded by scented candles. Give a local shelter some of your old clothes or toys. Call the elderly widow next door and grace her with a long and friendly chat. It's so simple, but the impact can be so strong.
5. Smile, laugh, and hug more.
As the great Louis Armstrong once sang, “When you're smiling, the whole world smiles with you.” The same goes for hugs and laughter. Watch as these three actions transform the attitudes and energy of complete strangers. Powerful and infectious, these will not only make you feel better, they will make everyone around you feel better too!
6. Set judgment aside.
We live in a very judgmental world. The crazy thing is, none of us like being judged or criticized yet most of us dish it out to others without a problem, making both sides feel bad in the end. This year, remember that it’s not your place to set a value on others — that’s up to them. Surely you have enough on your own plate, anyway. One less thing, you know?
Follow these six tips and, perhaps for the first time, you’ll realize how blessed you are, and your 2016, 2017, 2018 — well, you get the picture — will be the best years of your life.
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