The new year is an exciting time, filled with optimism. However, we tend to make resolutions that always seem unsustainable and short-lived. So this time, I want to focus on making changes which are simple yet still have huge benefits for our well-being and are sustainable & lasting.
1 Declutter my life
Our lives are constantly changing. It’s taken me a long time to accept that without fighting and resisting. Change becomes much easier if, periodically we discard some baggage; both physical and mental which we accumulate over time and weigh us down.
Doing such a clearout is analogous to having a big tidy up – say of my study etc. I always feel so much better and energised afterwards. For example, as we move on in our lives, our values also change and therefore our relationships also change; certain people no longer fit into our lives. We no longer enjoy their company, their values no longer match ours etc.
I want to spend my leisure time with friends who share my values and enrich my life rather than just meet up with longstanding people with whom I no longer have anything in common.
2 Reconnect with lost friends
Conversely, there are also some friends who I have not made enough effort to spend time with – except for the odd email and text – I know these are still good friends and I need to make more time to see them! In 2023 I will make much more effort to reconnect with those friends as I know they will enrich my life.
3 Continue to invest in my self-development
If I am to help others, I must also be dedicated towards self-improvement and learning from others. This means continuing to use coaches and therapists who can help me grow and inspire me.
Growth is about being inquisitive and wanting to learn from others...we invest readily in our physical appearance such as in gym memberships, etc but our mental well-being is even more important and we should not be reluctant to invest in people who can enrich our personal development.
4 Show more compassion
Compassion is such an important attribute for well-being, yet it's something I see far too infrequently! However, before I can show more compassion to others, I need to be able to be compassionate towards myself. That means being far less judgmental of myself and allowing myself to just be rather than continuing to push myself relentlessly regardless of my circumstances. It means showing respect for the needs of my body.
5 Develop a daily inspiration list
A great way to uplift our spirits is to listen, read things that inspire us and follow people who inspire – it’s a very effective habit to develop to improve our resilience. Listening to a favourite music track, reading a great quote etc – doing this only takes a few minutes yet the impact and ripple effect from doing this can last the whole day and always has a positive impact on my mood! I’m going to ensure I spend at least 10 minutes each morning on this activity.
6 Practice more positive self-talk
I am conscious that sometimes my language is not always positive when I am talking and thinking about myself. This negative habit will, over time, damage confidence and self-esteem so I must be much more mindful of this and instead, use more positive words and language.
7 Read more
There are so many benefits from reading; from improved creativity to better empathy and even better sleep. I always find it very relaxing and a great way to unwind so I want to ensure I carry on with this delightful habit!
8 Give more to others
I am a firm believer in kindness and a great way to show this is by helping others in deeds not just by words. Giving money to charities is easy to do but I have found that I get more satisfaction from giving my time towards helping others – as well as feeling good, it also provides me with perspective on issues in my life – makes me realise how much I have to be grateful for and that my stresses are, by comparison very trivial compared to other less fortunate people.
9 Slow down
This is something I have been told many times and continue to be told to do by family and friends – rushing around is a habit easily done and easy to become a defacto way of being. However, there is a danger that I miss so much by rushing around – and fail to enjoy the journey and all its experiences! Hence, I am going to make much more of an effort to be mindful as this is a fabulous way of slowing down and becoming more conscious of life! It's also much better for my health, so it really is a no-brainer!
10 Breathe better
It is apparent that I don’t breathe properly – and only do shallow breathing. Why does this matter? Well, there is a significant amount of evidence to show that our stress levels decrease and our blood pressure drops when we breathe deeper and slower. So there are some major benefits to making some simple adjustments to my breathing technique. One adjustment is by making a conscious effort to breathe from the bottom of my diaphragm rather than the top which is common with shallow breathing. In addition, I will also spend longer each day doing some breathing exercises such as – 3 breaths in, holding for 1 and breathing out for 5.
I would love to hear your own changes and choices for having a great 2023. I look forward to reading your ideas at info@XtraClarity.com