The new year is a time to regroup, reenergize, and resolve to make a change. You may have one major goal in mind or a series of smaller ones. There may be new ideas to adopt or old habits to toss out. The truth is, if you’re craving more zen in your daily life, here are a few things to try.
4 Resolutions That Will Calm the Crazy This Year
1. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.
To quote Henry David Thoreau, the writer and philosopher who left his life behind and went to the woods to get back to simple living:
“Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail.”
Today, many of our affairs are a hundred or a thousand. We say yes to every favor, responsibility, and extra-curricular activity, skyrocketing our stress level and taking time away from the people and things that matter most.
This year, live by the mantra, simplicity, simplicity, simplicity. If this means saying no more than you say yes, do it. If it means missing spring soccer tryouts, that’s fine. You will be happier when your accounts fit on your thumb nail than on a mile-long to-do list.
2. Get rid of a bunch of stuff.
This year I am purging my home and my life of all the things that have accumulated over the years. I’ve found that “stuff” does not bring happiness, and on the contrary, too much of it invites turmoil.
When I can’t take two steps into my kids’ rooms because of excess toys scattered around, I get cranky. Cluttered closets and bursting junk drawers make me feel just as disorderly on the inside as things are on the outside. This year I’m tackling every room in my house, picking up every item, and asking myself:
- Does someone need this to live?
- Does this bring true joy?
- Would I be okay if this was gone from my life?
3. Meditate every day.
Cartoons may depict meditation as sitting cross-legged, arms outstretched chanting “Hmm, hmm,” but there’s nothing loony about it. Meditation has been around since around 1500 BCE and everyone from Buddhist monks to modern-day moms can use it to de-stress and live each day with more focus and intention.
Meditation takes many forms. Beginners can meditate for a few minutes, then work up to greater lengths of time; some pros can meditate for hours!
For me, I’m striving for ten minutes of meditation daily, mid-day while the baby naps.
4. Positive affirmations…because you can.
Affirmations are positive statements that silence the inner critic that says, “You’re not good enough. That’s too scary to try. Someone else could do it better than you.”
It’s self-talk that can get you out of a slump, get you to try something out of your comfort zone, and realize that you have a ton to offer. This year, incorporate positive affirmations into your daily life. Replace I can’t statements with things like:
- I have the creativity it takes to do this.
- This is hard, but I can get through it.
- I am really good at what I do.
- Here’s what I bring to the table.
Allow room for simplicity and positivity this year and you’ll notice a huge difference.