Remember like 4 weeks ago when everyone was all pumped for the New Year? #NewMe, #2016, #GotThis and more. Yeah, me too. The excitement, enthusiasm and hope of a new year fade quicker than tan lines. Surveys show that 92% of all resolutions do not succeed. With grim statistics like that, a new approach might be in order.
The year is still young! Instead of looking at yourself under a microscope where every flaw and imperfection is magnified times ten, try to take stock in all the great things you have and amplify that!
Focus on the key areas in your life. Think about what really matters, what makes you happy and how you want your days to play out. Carve out some time each and everyday to nourish your priorities. Here are 5 daily focus areas for optimal living all year long! (Feel free to tweak!)
- Self. We have all heard from our flight attendants to put our own oxygen mask on first before helping others. By taking care of ourselves, we ensure that we can give our best effort to those around us. In order to truly connect with others, we must first connect with ourselves. Spend some time each day practicing self care. Even if you only carve out 5 minutes to meditate or watch the sunset – do it! The point is, make time for you. Prepare a healthy recipe, enjoy a great workout, practice yoga, read or take a nap. Express gratitude for yourself in some way each day. You are important! Listen to what your soul needs and nurture it!
- Others. Relationships can be easy and relationships can be challenging. Either way, they still need attention. Call your mom. Stay in touch with your friends. Make others feel special. Meet new people! Give more. Volunteer. Smile often, make eye contact and listen when someone is talking to you. Chances are they have no one else to talk to, they really look up to you and appreciate the opportunity to share. They could even teach you something you didn’t know. Either way, we all need to be loved and accepted. Take time to connect with people!
- Education. When we stop learning, we stop living. Education is always at our finger tips. It’s never been easier, in fact. The days of walking to school in the snow, uphill both ways are long gone. We don’t even have to leave the comfort of our homes or pajamas to learn these days. Online courses, blogs and videos about any topic are available at a click. Explore. Get outside and take in one of our greatest teachers: nature. Be curious. Ask questions (this can count towards section 2, as well!) It’s never to late to start!
- Career. Work is work. If it wasn’t work, it would be called something else. Some say if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. But even those immersed in their passions will tell you that they have had to hustle at some point or another stay inspired. If you are fortunate enough to love your job, think of ways you can help others find the same happiness. If you don’t love your job, see #3. Take action everyday to be better than you were the day before. Set realistic boundaries. When it’s time for work, work. When it’s time for other things, unplug! You will be more productive in the long run.
- Hobbies. It’s important to make time each day for your interests. Maybe it’s music, golf, reading, exercise or dancing. If you can’t get out on the golf course for a round, you might be able to go hit balls, or plan a golf vacation or read about how you can improve your game. The point is that you have interests unrelated to work or others; a passion for something that you get lost in. If you love to travel, research places and look for creative ways to get there, maybe a mission trip? Spend time having some fun each and everyday!
If you get creative you will start to see some of your interests overlapping. You will create more abundance and satisfaction by simply bringing energy to key areas in your life that matter. It’s never too late to make a change, to re-write your story or open a new chapter.
Jenn Bodnar is co-founder of Yoga Digest Magazine and has a genuine belief that yoga can benefit everyone. She is 200ERYT having attended multiple teacher trainings, facilitating yoga teacher trainings and studying and practicing yoga since 1999. Jenn is an avid fitness professional, who has taught and managed group fitness for many years. As a former competitive triathlete, gymnast and dancer Jenn loves the balance of strength, flexibility, perseverance and freedom that a yoga practice provides. She loves being active and outdoors with her family and friends. Jenn is a self proclaimed health food chef who hopes to leave a positive footprint by inspiring others to always choose happiness. “Watching people grow through yoga is one of the most amazing miracles to witness.”