I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. Why? Because I think we should be working on self-improvement and overall life satisfaction on a regular basis, rather than on some arbitrary date.
Having said that—in re-thinking my anti-resolution stance—I recently realized that I practice mini-resolutions every single day.
Here is a list of 10 of those things.
1. Open your heart.
Don’t let life make you cold and callous. Remember that to truly enjoy life you have to be open to the reality that sometimes it hurts too. Keep opening your heart to love.
2. Give sincere compliments.
I’ve blogged before about how our society is so critical that people often don’t even know how to receive compliments. I’m not suggesting you go around throwing out so many compliments that they become meaningless, but sometimes letting someone know that you notice them in a positive way is exactly what that person needed—and that positivity will come back to you.
3. Put effort into life.
My husband often says that people have a sense of entitlement, that they think they’re owed success or happiness. Guess what? You’re not. The reality is that life isn’t fair; happiness often takes working at having a positive outlook and mindset and worthwhile success comes from effort. However, I truly believe that God, the universe, or whatever you believe in, helps people that help themselves.
4. Be honest, but not hurtful.
Honesty should be your only policy, but not when this honesty serves to make you feel better while hurting someone else. Learn when to be open and forthright—and when to keep your yapper shut.
Yes, sing. Singing clears our energy and brings lightness to our hearts. It really doesn’t matter if you’re a good singer. Just close the door, turn on your favorite song and belt out a tune—I promise you’ll feel invigorated.
Every single day you should be doing something fun. Even if you have the craziest day at work or your kids are sick, there’s always one minute to joke and laugh with your spouse, to read a few pages of an inspiring book or to simply play along with your children (trust me, kids know how to have fun). Even making dinner can be enjoyable—if you have the right attitude.
7. Drink water.
I love water—a lot. If you don’t like water, too bad, drink it anyway.
8. Quit reading the news.
All right, I’m certainly not saying that we should become uneducated drones, but how often do you read unnecessarily damaging headlines—about depressing things that you can’t change or that don’t really affect you—and you feel like crap afterwards? So stop. Put down your phone or the TV remote and, I don’t know, sing a song instead.
Hugging is so underrated. Hugs help you become happy and relaxed almost instantly. Too often the people that we love become ordinary faces that we don’t spend enough time loving in basic human ways, like hugging.
Almost every day presents us with challenging people or situations. These people and opportunities are put in our way because they serve to make us better people—if we allow it. So stop carrying old baggage around, and open yourself to the notion that every minute provides you the chance to start again—regardless of the date. Let yourself move forward—without the weight of burdens that don’t serve your best self.
While I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, I definitely do believe that every day can bring us closer to our highest, happiest selves; so consider trying these 10 small things on a regular basis—because it’s these little steps that get you where you want to be.
If you like this article, check out:
Photo: John Templeton/Flickr.
This article was first published on elephant journal.