Have you thought about your New Year's resolution yet? Each year I sit down and make a list of bigger picture "resolutions" and smaller things I hope to accomplish within the year. Last year, becoming a certified yoga teacher and holistic health coach, launching a new business and going to a Taylor Swift concert all make the list – Done. Done. Done. And done. All of these things were easy to cross off the list once finished, but some "resolutions" were bigger, self improvement challenges that I needed a strategy for. So here it is. I hope it helps you, too.
Becoming a better listener was on the list and that's the one resolution I had to make an effort to do every minute of every day. Thanks to my anxiety, my "listening" isn't always mindful. Mindfulness, the act of paying complete attention to one thing at a time, is easier for me to do when I'm eating or in a yoga class, but outside of that, forget it. Even though I'm in conversation with people, I'm often occupied with something else as well – thinking about what I have to do next or sending a text message. This year, I practiced becoming a better listener. Practice is the key word.
What helped, wasn't that I set a goal to become a better listener, but that I set daily intentions to be more mindful when it comes to my in person conversations. With this intention each day, I set up my mornings with the reminder, went throughout the day, and came back to my intention at night to evaluate how I did. Of course, some days were better than others.
Taking the idea of a New Year's resolution, (which adds a ton of pressure and rarely ever gets accomplished), and breaking it down into smaller goals or intentions was what helped me accomplish what I set out to do. I continue to practice being mindful in all of my daily activities, but taking it day by day, not year by year has been the key to my success.
I'm sure you know many people looking to lose weight in 2017, which can be a great resolution towards a healthier lifestyle, but if broken down into daily intentions, it doesn't seem as dramatic. Instead of saying you're going to lose 30 pounds in 2017, make daily intentions to eat healthy foods, exercise daily and keep a journal of your actions. Holding yourself accountable daily will help the weight melt away.