January isn’t over yet so as far as resolutions go, there’s still time to formulate yours!
I’m not sure how many of you reading this, like me, have often thought about whether to even make resolutions at all. We make resolutions, sometimes grand ones – losing weight, going vegan, pursuing a different hobby or learning a new skill, getting a passport, travelling the world (you get the drift) – only to break them or worse still not even give them a go before giving up all together. And that’s ok.
This year, I told myself, I’d take my time formulating resolutions. Instead of a time bound, tangible resolution (like the ones mentioned above), I’d concentrate on improving my mindset, daily – as means to an end – which will assist me in achieving those time bound, tangible, resolutions. Here are some of my practical New Year 2020 Daily Resolutions:
Patience & Perseverance
In this generation of instant gratification, having patience is a rare commodity. As a mother, wife & professional I get impatient & frustrated easily & on a daily basis when things don’t go my way or when tasks are not completed in the time, I consider appropriate. My anxiety doesn’t help either. So, I’ve decided to be more patient with myself for starters. I’ve decided to do my best, be less judgmental of people & situations and persevere.
Obedience, Without Question or Grumbling
Someone asks you to do something that you know sounds like a good idea. But you don’t think too hard about it, you don’t obsess over what could potentially go wrong or how you’d look doing it. You just say ‘Yes’ (with a smile). Oh! How liberating to not worry for once & just go with the flow. For me, it’s so far helped saved time, precious time I am no using to focus on creativity & execution.
Generosity of Time, Words & Actions
Easy to understand, difficult to execute. Being generous with my deeds & an attitude of service to others has always come naturally to me. It’s the generosity of my words & time that I have a tough time with. I’m naturally feisty & sarcastic. And as for time, it’s the one thing none of us have control over, so I am very stingy with mine. But though we can never control – shorten or lengthen – real time, we can also choose how & who to spend time with it and therein lies the generosity. I’ve been more generous with my time lately & it’s brough blessings on my family, friends & me!
Acedia, often linked to sloth and the 7 Deadly Sins is “a state of (mental) restlessness and inability either to work or to pray”. Whereas Sloth is physical laziness, Acedia is more of a metal indifference, intrusive thinking & purposefully distracting yourself with other thoughts or actions, to avoid dealing with a priority. Controlling the mind is harder than controller the body. I’ve been guilty of this several times, knowingly or unknowingly, throughout the day. But now that I know what Acedia is, I’m more aware & guarded in my thoughts. It’s given me more clarity to prioritize my tasks throughout the day & directly helped me complete the right kind of work in the right time.
Withdraw from Social Media
I cringe at this one as I’m sure most of us do. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube & the rest have taken over our lives! Wrong. We’ve let them. Locking up phones, temporarily deactivating Social media accounts & taking technology detox breaks are good ways to break the habit. Recently however, someone suggested another solution & probably the best one I’ve heard so far. Every time I think of reaching for my phone, I look at the person next to me instead & engage with that person, instead of a lifeless phone!
An Attitude of Gratitude
Toughie! Many scientific studies have show than being more grateful has a physical impact on a person’s brain and is directly linked to increased calm and a sense of happiness. That said most of us are ungrateful throughout the day, when we complain about our jobs, problems with co-workers, the never-ending chores at home, even simple things like not enjoying our meals, or the way we spend our relaxation time. Complaining & being dissatisfied are symptoms of an ungrateful attitude. But everyday is a new day and an opportunity for me to be more grateful!
Simply put, this involves being receptive to a wide variety of ideas, arguments, and information. For me being open minded means, giving up the impulse to react immediately and instead listen & assess a person or situation. It was hard at first, because my natural habit to interject kicked in. But I realized open-mindedness is a necessary ability in order to think critically and rationally. It’s a habit that needs to be cultivated and we’re never too old to develop good habits 😊
Daily examination of Conscience
This practice is common as a spiritual exercise among Christians and Catholics and involves a ‘review of one’s past thoughts, words, actions, and omissions for the purpose of ascertaining their conformity with, or deviation from, the moral law’. I don’t see why this practice cannot be applied to our secular, everyday lives. It would be similar to a year end job review – what are the things we did well, how can we improve on our weaknesses and what would the outcome look like? I believe a daily examination of conscience will eventually make me a better version of myself. This doesn’t only have to be for adults, so I’ve also begun to help my kids adopt this positive practice.
If you enjoyed reading this or agree that some of these are areas of concern for you that could use a bit of improvement, feel free to adopt some or all of my New Year 2020 Daily Resolutions for yourself. Remember to be kind to yourself. I for one, am rooting for you. Good Luck!