Five Steps for a Happier New Year

Happynewyear

Do you ever think that it isn’t quite fair that we face a new year immediately after the chaos of Christmas?  We all have had different ways of preparing as well as different circumstances in our life.  Some of us may have joyously entered the Christmas season, embraced  all the frantic days of shopping, baking, decorating and visiting while others may not even have wanted to face it.  Some of us may have felt slightly harassed by all the relatives vying for our time while still others may have felt extremely alone.  Christmas can often be a reminder of what we have and what we don’t.  We may not have had enough money for all the presents we wanted to buy.  We may not have had enough free time for all the planning.  We may have had no one in our life to buy presents for.

Then along comes the 31st of December.  A day where I am guessing hardly anyone spends being in the present moment.  We look ahead and we look behind.  Thoughts and questions run through our minds. So much has happened.  We may feel we had a great year…or not.  Do we want things to stay the same or are we desperate for a change?  This past year may have brought new life.  This past year may have brought the loss of a life of one we hold dear.  We may have had financial gain or loss or accrued debts.  We may be looking ahead in a various of ways.  We may look at it in despair.  We may wonder where the time has even gone.  New Year’s Eve could be one of the saddest days of the year…if we allow it.

Life can often be difficult but life is also fluid.  It constantly changes from one moment to the next. Even when something awful happens, it isn’t usually the case that the awful moment is a year long.  Before the awful moment, you were probably having lots of pretty good moments.  Yet, we often forget the small bright spots which occur in our lives.  The whole past year may not have been as bad as it seems but there may have been some pivotal bad moments which over-whelmed us.  The good news is, that there are some tangible ways to take hold of the reins and make 2016 a much better year.

  1. Begin taking notes of the happy day to day occurrences in your life. This is a serious game changer.  Keep a diary by your bed at night and jot down as many as five happy moments or things you are thankful for.  Did someone make you laugh or smile today?  Right it down! Did you find something in the sale that was perfect or enjoyed a really lush dessert?  Jot that down too! Do not use this diary for writing down disappointments.  It is strictly for all the happy moments in your life.  Then on the night of New Year’s Eve 2016, go through your journal and read all the happy moments that 2016 brought.
  2. Make a plan to change one thing you are unhappy about. First be sensible and acknowledge your limitations before acknowledging your potential.  You are not going to become rich, famous or successful overnight unless you are totally brilliant or lucky.  You can however plan to take one step forward.  Don’t look at a far off goal which can only take luck or years of hard work.  Just look around at what is already available around you and in you and move forward even if it is just an inch.  Begin the hard work now if necessary but enjoy every step you take.  If you are suddenly presented with a step sideways which looks more interesting.  Stay present, think about it and take THAT step if you think it is the better one.  You may think you have plans which will make you happy but life is full of surprises and opportunities that may not even have occurred to you.  You may find happiness lies somewhere else.
  3. Take a loving interest in other people. I know this may not sound easy.  For our own sake, we need to be surrounded by a support network of friends and family.  However, we don’t get there by looking to be supported but by genuinely and actively loving others.  Take time to really look at someone and actively try to understand them.  Practice non-judgment when you do.  It is a practice which you can get better and better at.
  4. Ask for Guidance along the way. Pray for guidance and you will get it.  If you are not the praying kind, ask for help or advice from those around you then take some time to consider and reflect before making your decision.
  5. Meditate. Seriously, I know this may turn a lot of you off.  Meditation can seem like a waste of time where you are literally doing nothing.  It is not always the case that you feel different while you are meditating.  However, you become different through regular practice of meditation.  It actually helps increase your loving nature.  So if you find step 3 a challenge, then may I suggest more of step 4?

Wishing you all a happy, productive and peaceful New Year!

 

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