It’s hard to believe that 2019 has come and gone. It was the year of political upheaval and the Popeyes fried chicken sandwich. For many of us, it’s time to set some New Year’s resolutions. But before you put pen to paper, buy that new gym membership, or overhaul your kitchen pantry, here are some tips for setting mindful New Year’s resolutions to help you have a happier, healthier 2020.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR PROGRESS
One of the critical mistakes people make when setting New Year’s resolutions is focusing on the end results instead of the process. When that happens, an initial bump in the road – the missed day at the gym or the broken new habit streak – can lead us to abandon our 2020 resolutions altogether. Instead, focus on the baby steps and the progress you’re making. This places your focus squarely on why you set the resolution in the first place and rewards gradual change instead of punishing failure.
FOCUS ON YOUR UNDERLYING MOTIVATIONS
When it comes to true, long-lasting health and happiness, intrinsic motivations lead to permanent results. Intrinsic motivations are deeply moving. They’re the ultimate why behind what you do. To see your children get married someday, to break the cycle of poverty, to build a stronger relationship with your partner – these are all intrinsic motivators. They can be incredibly inspiring and give you the power to overcome obstacles along the way. Losing 20 pounds, finally getting that six-pack, or buying that car you’ve always wanted are extrinsic motivators. If you base change on external factors, it becomes easier to fall back on old habits.
BE MORE PRESENT
Every year it seems like there’s more to distract us. More apps, notifications, responsibilities, video games, and a Netflix queue that never gets any shorter.
Celebrate the new year by making the decision to become more present – more aware of your surroundings, daily moments, and the relationships in your life. A daily mindfulness practice might help. Or instead of filling your commute time with another podcast, spend more time focusing on your breathing or surroundings. Even deciding to leave your phone in another room for an hour to focus on being fully present can help add more value to the moments of your life.
BE EASIER ON YOURSELF
The inner critic doesn’t sleep. It doesn’t even take a day off. And that’s bad news for anyone looking to change their life. It’s hard when there’s a constant voice of negativity that’s so quick to criticize always hanging around.
Make it your New Year’s resolution to cut yourself some slack. Allow yourself to enjoy some of the things in life that you’ve been neglecting. And give yourself room to make mistakes.
We’re all human, after all. The more you can silence the inner critic, the more room you’ll have to grow.
FIND DAILY INSPIRATION.
Creativity and productivity thrives on inspiration, but if we become too bogged down in the day-to-day busy-ness of life, it seems like inspiration is the first thing we cut out. Consider making inspiration a daily part of your routine this new year. Fortunately, you can find inspiration everywhere – even around your house. Create vision boards for your life, take up journaling, or even walk around your neighborhood to help you become inspired and make connections you never knew existed.
BECOME AN OBSERVER OF YOUR OWN LIFE
Instead of setting habits in a vacuum, decide to take a close look at your life to make sure if those goals line up with what makes you truly happy first. Often we feel like the changes we should be making aren’t necessarily the changes that we really need. Start by examining the different areas of your life – work, relationships, spirituality, etc. – and then zero in on the small changes you can make that would lead to the biggest impact.
As you get ready to tackle 2020, the best New Year’s resolution you can make is to do it mindfully. Goals are great, don’t get us wrong, but lasting happiness and health happen when we breathe a little more deeply and improve our lives deeply, right where it matters most.