A Kinder New Year’s Resolution

We’ve seen it all before. We’ve heard it all before – New Year’s resolutions for “a better you”. Exercise, eat healthy foods, drink alcohol in moderation (or not at all), and quit smoking. These are all physical things we can do to improve our health.

Become a lover of fresh starts. So, for 2019, let’s try a different New Year’s Resolution approach. Consider it a mental health resolution. Make a list. Get a fresh new notebook or journal, use your computer or put it in your Notes on your cell phone. Take this time as an opportunity to reflect. Let your resolution come from a place of loving ourselves rather than trying to “fix” ourselves. So many resolutions imply that we need to fix something negative – let’s stick with the positive. Come up with 5-10 things you want to do over the next year to better your life.

Maybe one or more of these things may inspire you. Or, use your imagination to come up with your own list. Here is a sample of a list to get you started:

  1. Be grateful. Begin each day with at least three things you are grateful for and end your day as your head hits the pillow with at least three things for which you are grateful. This is such an easy way to put life into perspective and your mind in a place, where positive awareness is your first and last thought of the day.
  2. Enjoy nature. Consider an early morning sunrise, watch the snow fall, look for a rainbow during a spring rain shower, the palette of red, orange and yellow hues of falling leaves. Heighten your awareness of the sights, sounds and smells around you.
  3. Grow a small garden. Begin with something simple like a tomato plant in a flower pot. Or, if you do not have a green thumb, get a book on local plants and trees. Learn their growth patterns such as when they flower and the fruits they produce. Become a novice horticulturist!
  4. Learn a new craft. Join a club to learn to knit, scrapbook, or learn to cook. These are all projects where you can create something and share your masterpieces with a friend or find a charity that collects items to donate to those in need.
  5. Take care of yourself. Get enough sleep. It reduces stress, improves memory, keeps your heart healthy and helps the body repair itself. According to the National Sleep Foundation, you should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
  6. Call a friend. Losing communication with others is easy to do so stop putting off that phone call. You say you need to reach out, but then a month, two months, six months go by and you still haven’t made that call. Pick up the phone and dial that number.
  7. Don’t punish yourself for having a bad day. It’s okay. We all have bad days and we all wish at one point in time there was something we hadn’t said or done. Apologize to yourself or others and move on. Do not dwell too long on the past and be kind to yourself.
  8. Be kind to others. Kindness is contagious. You are kind to someone and then they are kind to someone and before you know it, your world is a kinder place.
  9. Use your shiny new journal – to journal. Writing down your thoughts can help ease anxiety. It can make the many thoughts swirling in your head more manageable. Many times, just making a list can help!

Over the next year, continue to review your list and check off your accomplishments. If you feel adventurous, add new items to your list. Remember, the list is yours. Make your choices – simple or complex and for the next year, treat yourself to a better you!