It’s that time of year in which we make and then break a list of New Year’s resolutions. Here is my list of ten holistic resolutions. There’s ten because not all of them will be relevant to all readers. I think you should only have one or two resolutions anyway.
- Don’t be nice – be kind
There’s a big difference. Nice people are polite, smile and are friendly. Kind people actually care. Last year I received a random act of kindness. I pulled up to the drive through window and was informed that the car in front of me had paid for my meal. That was nice and who doesn’t want a free lunch? But we should match our kindness to need. Be aware of people you know who have suffered a lose or are otherwise hurting. If you go to a funeral follow up about a month later with a call or a visit. We all know people who have been through divorce or bad break ups. Keep them on your radar and make it a point to reach out. Your opening can be as simple as “I was thinking about you. Can I buy you a drink?”
2. Change from Within
Instead of focusing on weight or appearance change from within. Seek and appreciate solitude every day. For one friend who is a single mom it’s the 15 minute very hot shower in the morning. I’ve tried driving to work as a moment of solitude but that doesn’t work for me. Try meditating. There are lot’s of YouTube videos with guided meditations. If you belong to a religious congregation seek out the more spiritual aspects of your beliefs and worship.
3. Eat Better Food
Did I say I was at a drive through window? I’m working on this. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says I should be eating 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables per day based on my age and level of activity. I’m not even close. You can find out what they recommend for you. One has to shop, clean and chop those veggies. But once you do that roasting, steaming, boiling or sauteing them is pretty easy. And they taste pretty good too.
4. Spend Less Than you Earn
This is financial equivalent of burn more calories than you consume. Keep track of your spending. It’s surprising how many people don’t especially when using credit cards. For $39.95 you can get Quicken’s Money Management software. You can automatically link your bank accounts and credit cards to down load and categorize all of your expenses. A free on-line version is available at Mint.com. I’m not comfortable with all of my financial data and passwords on the cloud but I’m no expert on this either. Make monthly contributions to your retirement as important a payment as your rent or car note.
5. Be a Mentor
Parents with children at home can skip this one. Reach out to a niece or a nephew, a kid in the neighborhood or someone at work. Give them the gift of your time and your wisdom.
You know how to do this. Do it.
7. Be Creative
Former President George W. Bush took up oil painting. The critics have not been kind but who cares? I’m going to try to edit video…and be a bit more faithful to this Blog.
8. Get Rid of Toxic People in Your Life.
This may sound unkind but it’s really not. You know who toxic people are. They contribute nothing to your personal growth, talk about themselves way too much, whine but do nothing and are constantly critical about everyone and every thing. I remember one such person criticizing mutual acquaintances to me and it made me wonder what he said about me to others. Life it too short and we have choices about who to include and who to exclude in our personal environment.
9. Learn a New Skill
If it’s a creative skill you’ve got a twofer (see no. 7).
10. Be Mindful of Your Life’s Purpose
Indulge me as I get a bit “New Agey” here. I do not believe we are accidents of evolution. We all have a purpose. Most of us are fulfilling our purpose without realizing it. Being mindful of ones purpose makes it’s fulfillment all the more satisfying. One’s purpose includes each of these three characteristics.
a. You are very good at it. Be it writing, teaching, cooking, writing code or painting houses – you are better at it than just about everyone else.
b. You enjoy it. My father used to say they don’t spell work “f-u-n”. To an extent he is right. Work is work. But when we are engaged in our life’s purpose we are most likely to get into the “zone” in which all of our concentration and attention is focused and time loses its meaning.
c. You Make the World is A Better Place. When it comes to saving the world few of us can do more than baby steps. But all of those baby steps accumulate. And they are very important to those around us that experience and benefit from our life’s purpose.
Happy New Year everyone. I’m hoping it’s joyful, healthy and prosperous.
Look at what our friends at Google think about the Year in Search 2014