In place of resolutions
New Year's Day is a great time to start anew. It is a great chance to improve our lives and start new habits. The problem with resolutions is that to some they seem overwhelming. One little slip and often we feel that we have failed.
It is possible to initiate great change without resolutions. Instead of great goals or lofty plans, why not put some productive procedures in place - daily routines that are known to produce desired results? Instead of a resolution to lose 25 pounds, why not commit to eating healthier and going to the gym on a regular basis? Research your diet, keep healthy eating in mind, go to the gym regularly, and you will lose will lose weight. Do these things until they become habit. Your life will change.
Although goals can be inspiring, they can be limiting as well. This quote from Leo Babauta explains it well:
" ...you have to open your mind to going places you never expected to go. If you live without goals, you’ll explore new territory. You’ll learn some unexpected things. You’ll end up in surprising places. That’s the beauty of this philosophy..." ~Leo Babauta. (Read the entire post here on Zenhabits.)
Below are examples of routines that I have put into my life. They have worked well for me.
1. Five minutes of silent meditation and contemplation.
2. Read something positive - The Optimist Manifesto, The Happiness Pledge.
3. Write out a list of things that I am grateful for.
4. 15 minutes of meditation designed to clarify my intentions for the day.
5. Three mornings a week I go to the gym. On the days that I do not work out, I read something inspiring.
1. Consciously perform at least three acts of kindness.
2. Be mindful of my diet and eat healthy foods. No processed foods except for rare occasions. Simply eliminating fast food and prepared foods goes a long way towards eliminating unhealthy chemicals, additives, and excess calories.
3. Spend a few minutes of time towards spirituality. This is in addition to my morning routine. It varies - sometimes I read something spiritual and ponder it, sometimes I just clear my head and try to see the beauty in the Universe.
4. Dedicate time to building stronger relationships. At work, at home, or long distance - I try to remember to stay connected and bring deeper meaning to my relationships.
These are just examples. I have found that by following these routines my life expands every day. It allows me to focus on doing the right thing without attachment to outcome. I do have goals, but what matters most is that my life is constantly improving and I am constantly developing. In place of lofty resolutions try implementing a few good practices into your life. You'll be surprised at the results.
Watch this video where Leo debates his philosophy with Tim Ferris.
Tim Ferriss vs. Leo Babauta on Goals from Leo Babauta on Vimeo.
Since so many people are concerned with their health at the beginning of the year, I'd like to link to a book that will revolutionize your views on a healthy diet. I'm warning you it is NOTHING like the food pyramid. I've been on this diet for a while and have lost weight, blood pressure is down, and cholesterol numbers are down as well.
ZenPresence - Ideas for meaningful living.
Posted by Dan Garner