Accept that everything is exactly the way it’s supposed to be. This isn’t the same thing as fate, which predetermines the course of events in your life. It is simply the acknowledgement of what exists, right here, right now. Expending all your energy fighting against reality is never a recipe for happiness. Try taking a realistic view of what is happening in your life then decide what you want to do about it.
Realize that problems do not exist as separate entities from the self. Only you can decide to make an event a problem by allowing it to enter your mind and cause you distress. Remember, what seems particularly upsetting to you may have no effect on others. Try looking at events in your life with more objectivity and realize that you alone create the effect they will have on you.
Treat yourself with the same kindness you treat your family, friends and pets. This seems like a given, but many of us place our own emotional and physical wellbeing far behind all the others we love in our lives. Caring for your own self is as important as caring for others, plus it has the added advantage of giving those you love more of you to care about.
Take a walk outside, at least once this year, in every type of weather. Winter offers us abundant opportunities for engaging in this experience. Why do we label certain types of weather “bad?” Challenge your conditioning and personal likes/dislikes, throw on the appropriate clothing, and venture outside your comfort zone. Discover the essential beauty of all kinds of weather.
Read a book on a subject you have no interest in. Our reading preferences invariably block us from expanding our horizons. How can we possibly know our thoughts on every subject matter? Choose a new reading category, open your mind and discover something new.
Accept others as they are. Decide not to internalize other peoples’ negative behaviors and make them your own. Instead, watch the action like you would a movie, choose to like or dislike what you see, nothing more. A sense of humor helps a lot with this resolution.
Look deeply into the eyes of someone you don’t know. Ever notice how catching a stranger’s eyes instantly establishes a line of communication? It feels good to be actively seen. It means that person matters. Give someone the gift of your attention. It will change your day.
Listen with kindness. Instead of jumping to respond, pause a moment and truly listen to what is being said. Wait for the other side of the conversation to end, then take a breath. You’ll be amazed to discover what you might otherwise not have heard.
Chop something slowly. Next time you make a meal, slow down the preparation. Choose one food to chop slowly, appreciating the feel of it in your hand and the flavors that are released as you slice. This simple act will give you a whole new appreciation for the foods we eat and the important gifts they bring us.
Decide to be happy. Happiness is a decision. Vow not to have any more “good” or “bad” days. Realize that all days are made up of both. Greet each morning with a positive attitude. The New Year is waiting.