New Years "Intentions"
Let me just preface this by saying I don’t 100% agree with the title of “new year's resolutions”. I think there can be a negative connotation built around the concept; that they are supposed to be super restrictive and rigid, suck the fun out of your life, and entitle something that you attempt to work on for only a year and then never get used ever again. So let’s just call these some new “intentions” to adopt starting in 2021!! My hope here, is that this will inspire at least one person to adopt a new intention and influence mindfulness.
Practicing gratitude on a regular basis (i.e. using a gratitude journal)
There are NUMEROUS podcasts and studies that explain the importance of being grateful, which I will link. Speaking from experience, I would let so many minor and trivial events dictate my mood and well-being. Then I educated myself on what being grateful actually means and how to take action on it. I can personally admit that actively practicing gratitude has immensely changed the quality of my view on life, given me a sense of purpose, and improved my health, well being, and productivity. You may be wondering, “Well Rachel how the heck do you even suggest I work on this when the moment I wake up I feel like a self destructing ball of pessimism”. My answer to you is... the gratitude journal! Find a journal that you can dedicate entirely to this and try to write in it as frequently as possible. I started this “activity” back in April of 2020 and have written in my journal every morning, the minute I wake up. I find that starting the day off with journaling/gratitude helps set the day off on a positive note.
Treat everyONE and everyTHING with kindness.
Kindness is something that the world is so incredibly deprived of, especially in present day society. And from an individual standpoint, we have no idea what everyone deals with on a daily basis, what obstacles people are facing right now, and what goes on behind the curtains of everyone’s lives, which can be easily masked with a smile. With this in mind, any act of kindness can make a tremendous impact, and in ways we may never even understand. Acts of kindness can be demonstrated through a giving manner: complimenting a stranger, paying for the car behind you in the drive thru, or buying flowers for a friend or loved one. Kindness can also be found in much simpler, yet even more meaningful/impactful scenarios; being a good listener, respecting others’ opinions, and acting in a way that builds everyone up, rather than destroying. Though these simple behaviors seem so meaningless, they are hard to come by these days. “When you can’t find the light, be the light for others.”
Meditation, meditation, meditation.
I can not stress this enough. For my whole 19 years of being alive, I thought meditating was a big ole phony hunk of junk. Until I actually started educating myself on how to properly meditate and the benefits that follow. Thanks to the presence of smartphones, humans are constantly glued to this little device, which can honestly waste so much of our time if we accidentally let it. Between the smartphones taking over the world/the addiction that can ensue and the importance of keeping a job in order to make a living, it seems like life is just washed down the drain for everyone, right? Wrong! We have been conditioned to think that our individual health/well being is last on the list and that there is “never enough time” to do...anything I guess? Time is a construct that humans have developed and perfected over the 100’s of years of being alive. The thing is, time is relative, and we, as individuals can choose and change how we perceive this time. The benefits of meditation include: allows individuals the experience to escape the insignificant things plaguing our lives, give our brains a quick little restart, and so many more…
Positive thoughts, positive self talk, positive actions, positive mindset.
Whenever an individual comes across as the literal embodiment of positivity itself, the immediate reaction from others is, “wow you must have a perfect life”. The reality is, a positive mindset is the most effective and consistent factor in the equation. Once you rewire your subconscious thoughts internally, your external environment can begin to reform. Now I’m not saying that once you start thinking positively all your problems will fade away. I’m a 19 year old woman, not a genie. But I will say, our subconscious minds can be very impactful for better or worse.
I, and loads of other individuals, swear by this. Affirmations are a way to practice the previous tip. Affirmations can be put into effect by consistently writing them on paper, rehearsing them in your head, or verbally reciting them in front of the mirror (I find the last one quite entertaining because I feel like a personal hype woman). The key here; consistency. This isn’t something that you try one day and then forget about, because the effectiveness is then lost. Also be sure to say these sentences/phrases in the singular first person point of view so your mind understands it’s you we are talking about here. I will include a few examples that I use regularly, feel free to use them, or make some up for yourself! Ex: I am unconditionally loved, I am enough, I am confident, all I need is already within me, I choose to be kind to myself and others.