This time of the year is when gym memberships go through the roof and juice cleanses are ordered by the office. “New year, new you” as the saying goes. But often we make promises we can’t keep, we put pressure on ourselves and feel disappointment, frustration and regret. So how do we make resolutions we can keep? The key is to commit to New Year Evolutions instead. Here are a few that I love:
1. Be. Here. Now
Presence in every single moment is the greatest gift we can give ourselves, our loved ones and the world. So often our attention and energy is scattered, either worrying about the past or desiring or dreading the future. A simple evolution for 2018 is to become more and more aware of how present you are in each moment. How? Simply get into the habit of checking yourself. Where is your focus? What are you thinking? How does your body feel? How are you breathing? Through observation we ground more into the present moment.
2. An Attitude of Gratitude
Is your cup half full or half empty? What we focus on will inform what we think and that in turn determines how we feel. An attitude of gratitude allows us to focus on what we have rather than what we don’t. On the abundance we experience each day rather than what we are lacking. Gratitude is also a key component of presence. If we are grateful for this moment, right now and all it brings, then we are more able to experience it, instead of wishing we were somewhere in the future or hurting over the past. So start every morning by writing down 5 things you’re grateful for and set a beautiful tone for the day.
3. Make Space For Grace
We already have the answers, we just have to get quiet enough to hear them. There are so distractions in our external world that it can be difficult to connect with ourselves. From social media, to advertising, to bills, to jobs and relationships it is far too easy to start believing we are what we do rather than who we be. Make a point to take some time each day for yourself. It can be on your balcony, in your backyard, in a park, on the beach. Anywhere you can be in your company for 5 minutes and enjoy observing your own breath and presence. So wherever you find yourself, take of your shoes, close your eyes and pay attention to your breath. How it moves in and out of your body. How does it feel? is it deep or is it shallow? Become curious about your breath and it will create space for you to become firmly grounded in that moment.
4. Make Fun A Priority
What sets your soul on fire? What makes you laugh so hard it hurts? What would you do all the time if money wasn’t an issue? Whether it’s play guitar, write, paint, make and eat awesome and healthy food or dance around your house make time to do it every day. You don’t need a long time, but make sure you make the time. We trade in our passions for obligations far too often and before we know it, our day is done. Make it a priority and it will be a part of your daily life!
5. Eat Well & Be Well
Whatever your lifestyle, whatever diet you follow, make 2018 a year where you become more mindful of how and what you eat. It doesn’t mean you have to follow a specific regime. Rather, take time to be aware of what you’re eating and to understand how awesome it is to be able to nourish yourself. A lot of us chow down a sandwich as we are rushing to our next appointment. Make time to honour your food. It doesn’t take long, just a few minutes to express gratitude for what you’re bout to enjoy, chew properly and savour the flavours. Something I always do before every meal is give thanks for whoever made, served and grew my food. I give thanks to the earth for providing everything we could ever need. I tune into my body, prepare it for the nourishment it’s about to receive and put my own good vibes into the food.
All of the practices above are simple and can be applied in the moment. It’s not so much about reaching an end goal as it is about cultivating a way of being that can facilitate your steady and graceful evolution. That means if you make a mistake, it’s all good, you have the next moment to keep practicing. Happy 2018!