At the beginning of each year, people the world over are struck by the need to make grand gestures about how the coming year will be different from the one that just ended. Lose weight, new career, less alcohol, more of this, less of that, and there is often an overwhelming need to make changes.New gym memberships are purchased, bold promises are made to ourselves and to others, and often abandoned by the end of January.
What if, this new year, we all made resolutions of a different kind. What if our solutions were less about causing a result like increasing the size of our bank accounts or reducing the size of our waistbands? What if our resolutions this year were about increasing the quality of our daily lives and experiences?
Here are some suggestions:
Get 1% Better Each Day
Many successful human beings have espoused the benefits of giving up our ideas of huge goals and grand gestures, and instead tell us to take small steps daily which will compound over time. It is interesting to calculate the numbers. 1% better each day, compounded, is 3800% better each year. 1% worse each day, compounded, means you lose 97% of your value each year. Look at the main areas of life: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual and identify ways in each that can improve by 1% a day. You will be astounded by the difference this may make by the end of the year.
Do the Illogical
WIthout getting into the nitty gritty of the neural science behind it all, (and I promise there is science to back this notion) consider that our brains, which act much like computers running programs, are set to default patterns, that have us getting the same if not similar results over and over again. What seems to us as the logical actions to take, may in fact be leading us down the same paths, somewhat like a hamster on a wheel. In order to cause new results, we must start to take actions that defy logic. First get clear about what you want and then take new actions. As the saying goes, the definition of insanity is to do the same things over and over again, and to expect a different result.
Create a Journey of Discovery for the Year
Each year since 2013, I have created a journey for myself, something I was taking on discovering more of in the coming year like gratitude, joy, happiness, faith, and wonder. Be prepared to be astounded as you explore the boundaries of what you believe to be true and know about these ideas, that often are taken for granted and go unexamined in our own lives. You may have experiences unlike those before. I caution you though, be careful what you wish for as often when we invite discovery, what we get is experiences which test us. Perhaps a journey into patience ought to be avoided?
Expand your Network
They say that we are not islands and in fact nothing of substance is ever created in isolation. This coming year perhaps take on growing and expanding your network or stepping out of your comfort zone. Find a new hobby, join online communities of people with similar or even different interests. By meeting new people or reconnecting with your existing networks, you will feel more connected and be able to create a more enjoyable life. Share what you are up to, and what you want to create in the coming year. You just never know where your next adventure or opportunity will come from.
Be of Greater Service Everyday
Human beings are never as satisfied and fulfilled as when we are contributing to others. Just examine your past experiences, and I am sure you will find this to be true. What if you got up every morning and asked yourself this simple question: How can I be of greater service today?
I guarantee you that in doing so, you will not only enjoy your life more, you will expand your results in every way. The law of compensation states that what is given must be returned to us. Give your service with a grateful heart and have faith that what you give will be returned to you, sometimes from unlikely sources.