Choose Mindfulness for 2021
With the arrival of another new year, countless people committed (or recommitted) to New Year’s resolutions.
The ancient Romans began each year by making promises to Janus, their two-faced god for whom the month of January is named, swearing they would be better in the new year than they had been in the past.
According to the Pew Research Center, every year, between one-third and one-half of Americans continue this tradition by making their own New Year’s resolutions. The most common are saving more money or paying down debt (51 percent in 2019), eating healthier (51 percent), exercising more (50 percent) and losing weight (42 percent).
Invariably, though, resolutions flag as the year progresses—or fail completely.
Maybe we should ask what we are really trying to improve. Failed resolutions are often attempts to gain happiness indirectly—like losing weight or exercising to become more attractive and, hopefully, happier. Instead, maybe we should look to resolutions that are likely to bring happiness directly.
- Stop gossiping. Don’t be that person. Spread positivity.
- Give one compliment a day. You never know—it just might make that person feel a whole lot better.
- Go a whole day without checking your email. Nobody’s going to die. It can wait until tomorrow.
- Do random acts of kindness. Anyone can be kind, and it costs you nothing.
- Read a book a month. Reading is good for your brain, it can reduce stress, and it can improve your memory and concentration. Find out what our Village Library can offer. Check out page 18 of the December 2020/January 2021 Village Breeze for more information.
- Reduce your waste. Some research says that the average American produces over 2,000 pounds of trash every year. Reduce your waste by ditching paper towels in favor of rags you cut up from old towels and clothes. Another easy switch is reusable grocery bags. It makes a difference!
- Write down one thing you’re grateful for every night. End the night with gratitude and you’ll feel better when you lay your head down on your pillow.
- Talk to yourself with kindness. We aim to be nice to others but then criticize ourselves relentlessly. Stop! Think nicer things about yourself.
- Let go of grudges. Wouldn’t it be nice to start 2021 with a clean slate? Leave bitterness behind. Anger is so 2020.
- Avoid people who complain a lot. It doesn’t matter how positive a person you are. Negativity spreads, and it will impact you.
- Remove negativity or anything that makes you feel lousy. Even things like super sad movies or news sources that just upset you.
- Talk less, listen more. Good things happen and you learn and notice so much when you spend more time listening.
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