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This year let’s make a promise to ourselves not to play the typical resolution game. You know what game I’m talking about, the one when you’re out on New Year’s Eve and someone asks you what your resolutions are for the next year and you shout out three impressive ones (after three strong drinks). You may really want what you said, but if you aren’t committed and clear, it’s unlikely going to happen.
December is the perfect opportunity to reflect on how you’ve grown, what you’ve accomplished and what you need to let go of. There is nothing like the end of a year to really put everything into perspective. Before another year flies by, carve out some time to identify the lessons of the past year and decide how to make the next year count.
1. Book that trip you’ve been putting off. Traveling is something you'll never regret.
You know that one place you’ve always wanted to go but you have put off booking a trip for a bunch of reasons: money, work, fear of flying and so on. For me, that place was San Francisco and this year I got an opportunity to visit.
The timing of the trip couldn’t have been worse (I was moving apartments in New York City) but I knew I had to book the trip anyway. San Francisco was amazing and I got the chance to drive the scenic Pacific Coast and spend time in Big Sur. (Everyone should put Big Sur on their bucket list!) The trip brought a lot of clarity and even changed the direction of my life for the better.
Book that trip for 2013!
Trips always give you two things: (1) something to look forward to and (2) a fresh new perspective.
2. If you don’t love your job, start looking for a new job that will fulfill you.
Don’t be a victim of living a life working a job that you don't like. If you work 40 hours a week, that’s approximately 2,080 hours a year you spend unhappy. If you're in a situation where you absolutely cannot find another job right now but you would like to, find ways to change the situation, and work on making it a long term goal to find another job.
Here’s a suggestion, listen to a Wayne Dyer audio book on the way to a job you don’t like. I was listening to Wayne Dyer one day while on my way to an unfulfilling job, when he said exactly what I needed to hear. He always seems to do that. Well, two hours later I was in the conference room giving my two weeks notice.
I didn’t have another job lined up, I had no idea what was next, but I followed my instinct. I knew in my heart that if I was determined and I believed it would work out then it would. (Plus Wayne told me so.)
3. Commit to giving back more.
Spoiler alert: the next sentence you're about to read is a cheesy cliché, but a very true one. There is no better feeling than giving. It’s too easy to get caught up in your own life. When you start looking into charities and local volunteer organizations, it can open your eyes to how other people live and shed some light on how fortunate you are. Plus, there are many people out there who need the help.
If you can’t seem to find anything that interests you, get creative. Donate some yoga classes in your community or any kind of helpful service that you can provide to better the lives of others.
4. Spend more time doing things that light you up.
I always find it upsetting when I know someone doesn’t do a whole lot of what they love to do.
If the reason you aren’t doing what you love is because you are busy with work, family or whatever it is, reconnect with what you love doing. A great way to do that is to create a vision board for 2013. What’s a vision board? It’s a collage of images that excite you, inspire you, and that you desire for yourself.
When I first learned about vision boards, I was skeptical, but created one to gain some clarity on what I wanted. Time passed and my life began to resemble the vision board I created and that’s when I started to understand the power of visualization.
In 2013 do more of what makes you happy. The happier you are, the better your life is and the lives of others around you.
5. Give up that unhealthy habit that you keep saying you’ll give up someday.
The dreaded case of the somedays. "Yeah, I am going to give that up…someday."
Choose to make that someday happen in 2013.
This past year I came to the realization that gluten really bothers me. At first, I pretended that it wasn’t happening. I was not ready to give up all the things that contained gluten. When it became too obvious to ignore that gluten wasn’t good for me, I said that I’d give it up someday. I wasn’t sure if I meant it, I hoped I meant it, but I didn’t know if that someday would ever come.
It came. I am shifting to an almost entirely gluten free way of living in 2013. I know that my body will thank me, and although the beginning may be difficult, I am choosing my health over my taste buds because there’s nothing like the satisfaction of letting go of something that isn’t good for you.
The first few weeks are always the hardest so take on the mindset of “this too shall pass.” Plus, whenever you seem to give up something that isn’t good for you, you are led to great things.
When you make the commitment to give something up, tell your friends and family. By telling people you create accountability and you’ll end up inspiring others around you to give up what isn’t good for them.