5 Ways to Make This Year Your Best Year Yet
As each year goes by, many of us wonder where did time go? Everything in our lives is like a blur - one to-do list after another, one more email, one more project. Yet, when it comes time to remember what you did last summer, last month or even last week, most of us draw a blank. It is as if we are living our lives in fast-forward mode. Think about it, how would you feel if you were watching a new episode of your favorite TV-show in fast-forward? Would you be able to know what is going on? Would you be able to enjoy the show? I would bet that you would become stressed, frustrated, and upset because the show is no longer enjoyable.
This is exactly what happens when we are moving through life with our foot constantly on the gas pedal. Moving from one thing to the next without a break. In such a fast-paced world, we need to slow down and pay attention to the little precious moments more than ever. Because it is in these little moments that we find joy, happiness and fulfillment.
These moments are enhanced as we build or develop a more intimate relationship with our senses. Looking back at the last six months, ask yourself these questions:
Can you easily remember 10 of your happiest moments?
Can you think of nine moments where you were fully in love with life?
Can you think of eight moments of absolute bliss?
Can you think of seven moments of excitement?
Can you think of six moments when you were in awe?
If you are having difficulty remembering these moments, then it is time for you remove your foot off of the gas pedal, stop the car, take a few cleansing, deep breaths and start implementing one of these 5 practices into your daily routine. If do you this, I promise you that you will be able to answer all the questions above without any hesitation:
1) Always schedule time for some fun each day:
At the beginning of each year, many of us say I am going to make time for [fill in the blank]. This could be exercise, “me time”, meditation time, etc. We have found that no matter what it is, if you don’t schedule time for it, you won’t follow through. The same can be said for fun. It can be so easy to get so caught up in your busy schedule that you simply don’t make time for fun.
We urge you to overcome this and stay committed to making time for fun. Right now, take out your pocket calendar, iPhone, Android, outlook or google calendar and mark off 5 to 10 intervals for yourself to have fun. These intervals don’t have to be super long and they can be whatever activity or moment you find fun. It could be as small as taking 10 minutes to grab yourself a really good cup of coffee or taking yourself on a date to a movie you have been dying to see.
You and only you have the power to change yourself, but change takes conscious effort to adjust the patterns and behaviors you currently yield to. By scheduling this time, you are putting the power into your own hands and setting yourself up for success and more fun in your life!
2) Truly connect with others:
The best ways to connect with others is to listen. My mom always used to tell me that I have one mouth and 2 ears, therefore I should spend more time listening. Connecting with others is about doing just that – not just listening to listen but to feel, understand, connect and empathize.
There are 3 different levels of listening:
Level 1 listening is where you are not 100% focused on what you are hearing. Instead, you are also paying attention to other thoughts, distractions in your surroundings and more.
Level 2 is focused on listening, where you are so focused on what you are hearing that your other surroundings almost melt away. This is opposite of level 1 where surroundings and distractions pull your attention away.
Level 3 is truly connecting when you listen, meaning that you listen not only to what you hear but tune into what the meaning behind it. This level combines the focus of level 2 with understanding, intuition and empathy.
We urge you to try practicing level 2 and 3 listening next time you have a conversation. This will help you be more present of the moment you are experiencing and connect deeper with others.
3) Make your personal time more enjoyable:
To make your personal time more enjoyable it requires you to be more present with yourself. Here are some ways you can practice this:
The next time you are having dinner turn off all electronics such as your cell phone, the TV, the computer, Alexa, etc. and just be present with yourself in that moment.
The next time you are taking a shower or a bath, don’t just let the water hit your body but feel every aspect of the water washing, caressing, and cleansing your body.
During your next commute, be fully present and enjoy the little things that are funny, new or different about your entire environment.
Allow yourself to always learn something new and experience something exciting and powerful every time you get to spend some time alone with yourself. Regardless of how common the environment is, be fully present.
4) Avoid multitasking:
One of the biggest myths in our corporate world is that multitasking is an asset. The truth is that multitasking overloads you psychologically, stresses you physically and can have a negative effect on you physiologically.
No one can ever perform at their best if they are doing multiple things at once. It has been proven that multitasking decreases quality of work on everything you split your attention between. But, if you were to perform one task at a time, you may find the task more meaningful, more enjoyable, which in turn will benefit you physiologically, psychologically, and socially.
5) Get to know your inner child:
We all have that child inside of us that we have left behind either because of responsibilities, workload, lifestyle, and/or fear. That inner child is a very important aspect of your being. It is the one that is excited about new things, sees the possibilities and potential in all things, is quick to experience and always open to having fun.
When was the last time you actually did something to please this child? Scream at the top of your lungs, have a snowball fight, go paintballing, laugh until you cry. It is important, perhaps not all the time, but every once in a while, to schedule time to let your inner child out and have fun!
In addition to these 5 steps, you may be looking for additional tools to help you be more mindful. Our R.E.S.S.E.T Cards can help. Our cards are designed to teach you how to manage stress and add more joy into your life simply using your senses. Get your deck today and start adding more joy and happiness in your life this NEW YEAR one card at a time.