There is something about a brand new year that I find so inspiring. It is full of hope and possibilities, of wonderment and curiosity. It is a crisp clean slate on which to write the next chapter of our story. This year I have decided to do away with New Year’s resolutions and instead create a 2018 To Do List. It’s a fresh perspective on an old tradition.
And speaking of perspective, I’m putting significant stock in some valuable lessons from this past year as I look at the horizon of this fresh new year.
My daughter laughed when I told her that throughout many years, my New Year’s resolutions always started with “lose 10 pounds”. The truth is that I would lose and then find that 10 pounds on and off throughout each and every year.
Being healthy is much more encompassing than what we weigh. Friends and family members faced a variety of health issues over the past year. I had a cancer scare myself in the spring. It served as a reminder to be proactive in my overall health and well being.
There are many components to a comprehensive wellness program. I’m a firm believer in the benefits of probiotics and quality supplements , the healing powers of restful sleep for brain and body, and how interval training slows the aging process. Mindfulness and meditation are additionally beneficial for stress reduction and emotional regulation.
When we hold a positive self image in our minds for a few minutes each day, our bodies and brains eagerly join our team and assist us in reinforcing smarter choices to keep us on a healthy track. Being mindful while exercising helps muscles work more efficiently. The same is true for helping our bodies absorb nutrients in our food.
Staying active, making healthy food choices, getting quality sleep, and consuming more water are sustainable daily goals. One of my favorite resources to keep me motivated is Experience Life Magazine (experience life.com).
During 2017, I was in constant amazement of the resiliency of others as they faced adversities including hurricanes, devastating wildfires, mass shootings, the loss of a beloved spouse or a serious health diagnosis. So many people I care about were affected by life’s challenges last year. We witnessed an outpouring of human connection as people came together to offer aid, support and comfort to those in need.
No one would have anticipated what 2017 had in store for them last January. Lives changed, goals and dreams were altered. It is a reminder that there are no guarantees in life, second chances are rare, and the only constant is change. I’ll spend more time strengthening valued relationships and expressing my gratitude and appreciation.
Perhaps my biggest revelation from 2017 was how freeing it was to let go of how I thought things were supposed to be or wished that they were – and learn to accept things as they are.
Recalling the Serenity Prayer, I began to focus on the “wisdom of knowing the difference between things I can change and the things that I cannot”. When strong emotions are in play, it is often hard to recognize this striking difference, especially if it involves personal relationships.
We’ve all faced disappointments in life when things didn’t work out as we had envisioned. We can get so caught up in ruminating, judging or blaming that we lose perspective. Not to mention the fact that we squander precious time and energy on matters out of our control.
My personal boundaries for trust and respect have helped me maintain patience and broaden my perspective around things in life that I cannot change.
Here’s my motto for the coming year which is bound to be full of opportunities to practice “letting go”.