And for those who still make New Year’s resolutions, it’s a good bet that many of those well-intentioned goals are now moldering away in a neglected corner of your subconscious. (If that’s not true in your life, please share your own tips for stick-to-itiveness!)
In that spirit, I offer six suggestions, some based on the latest findings of positive psychology. Try one for your own personal jump start.
1. Focus on the Positive: Give yourself credit by listing resolutions you made in the past and reflecting on those you actually kept. This can help you see the long slow pattern of change, and remind you that change is indeed possible. We tend to remember our failures, but we can learn to build up resiliency and upbeatness by seeking out the successes.
2. Simplify: Even cleaning out one junk drawer feels good. Or make a list (mine is called “The Big Declutter List”), going room to room in your imagination. Just putting on paper all the things you intend to do to simplify your environment feels refreshing, even if you only accomplish a tiny bit at a time. Taking the idea a giant step further, write down where your time goes. That’s the first step to cutting down on inessentials so you can focus better on what’s truly meaningful to you.
3. Get physical. Try out a new form of physical exercise, or do the same thing differently. There are so many ways to making walking around your neighborhood more fun, for example, whether you’re walking with a kid or a mate or a pal or by yourself. One I like is what I call a “What’s new” walk. Pay attention to details and notice every single thing that’s new or different to you, such as a new car in front of your neighbor’s house, or a cat on a roof, or a box in the trash that shows someone bought a new coffeemaker.
4. Change the music. Ask a friend to lend you a CD (or however you obtain your music) in some musical form you’re never listened to before: blues, jazz, opera, Renaissance music, rap. Give it a chance and try to grasp why some people are aficionados of that form. You can do the same with films or books. Some of my most fun reading experiences have been when I agree to read, for my blogs, a genre I hardly ever read.
5. Revamp your workspace. Does your workspace, at home or at work, reflect your current goals? Subtract something old, add something new.
6. Pick one small habit to change: Whether it’s checking your email constantly or leaving your pleasure reading until you’re too sleepy to enjoy it, or something related to your eating habits or some relationship issue, even working on changing one small habit is bound to shake up your awareness.
Copyright (2013) by Susan K. Perry