ADOPT THESE 12 BEHAVIORS TO HAVE YOUR BEST YEAR EVER

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Many of us are starting the new year with lofty objectives and aspirations in mind. We contemplate all that seems to be missing in our lives and picture ourselves as being a great deal happier and more content on the other side of a significant life transition.

My research has shown that the behaviors we engage in on a daily basis are the most significant factor in determining our level of contentment in life. This is despite the fact that there is no doubt that some achievements may boost our level of life satisfaction.

You may have a career that fascinates you, the greatest physique of your life, and the right spouse for you, but none of it will truly fulfill you if you do not also focus on the daily habits that nourish your general well-being. This includes things like eating properly, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep.

If you want to have a positive outlook on both yourself and your life, you need to make it a habit to engage in activities that bring you feelings of serenity, pleasure, and a sense of being fully present.

In light of this, I recently posed the question to twelve people and asked them to share one practice that might be beneficial to embrace in the next year. This is what they had to say in response:

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1. GET YOUR DAY OFF TO A GOOD START BY THINKING HAPPY THOUGHTS.

“The instant I open my eyes, I remain perfectly still.” I stayed motionless for many minutes. I give some thought to the attributes I’d want to bring to the table for the day.

After that, I quietly confirmed the following statements to myself:

I want you to experience tranquility today.

I bring happiness to this day.

This day has my full and complete excitement.

I extend compassion to you on this day…

(or any other attributes that I could want to provide on that particular day).

And I keep going till I believe I am done.

There are some days that are more challenging than others, particularly when I have to get up extremely early, I’m still exhausted, and I have a long day ahead of me.

However, this brief and straightforward exercise establishes the appropriate mood. It not only makes me feel grateful, but it also reassures me that I am heading in the correct direction.

From that moment on, the rest of my day flows well, and everything falls into place in the most optimal and elevated manner that is even remotely imaginable, even if/as and when difficulties come.

Amanda Smith

2. MAKE A HABIT OF BEING AWARE.

“Being mindful in one’s daily life is the single most beneficial practice one can develop if they want to make positive changes in their lives, such as quitting a behavior that is harmful, beginning a behavior that is more beneficial to one’s health, becoming more self-assured, or becoming the version of themselves that they are aware they truly are.”

The practice of devoting full and undivided attention in the here and now, without judgment or criticism, is known as mindfulness. The first step toward transformation is to do this. It assists you in recognizing when you are engaging in the behavior that you want to alter. It enlightens you as to why you are unable to go on. It assists you in being aware of the true emotions and thoughts that you are experiencing.

It will provide you with the initial position on the map. You are able to see what is really taking place and say to yourself, “Oh see, I’ve gone to the worst-case situation again.” That made me feel frightened and uneasy inside. Because of this, I am now trying to think of a reason why I shouldn’t attend the party.

From this vantage point, you are in a position to remove yourself from the feelings of anxiety and unease that you are experiencing and take an objective look at the issue. You have the power to make changes from this vantage point. You are able to test the limits of your thoughts. You have the ability to reinterpret the scenario. You are able to refresh your memory of the destination you want. You are able to devise a strategy.

We are able to live our lives on autopilot so simply. That is not due to the fact that we are slothful. Simply put, this is the mode of operation that makes the most effective use of our brains.

If you make anything a habit, you won’t have to give much thought to what to do the next time a similar circumstance arises. This releases energy for your brain, allowing it to focus on other tasks. But efficiency does not equal greatness. This lifestyle of living on autopilot causes us to be oblivious to the events that are really taking place. Without the capacity for conscious awareness, we have a tendency to get mired in our emotions, to ruminate in an endless loop, and to repeat the same destructive behaviors and decisions over and over again.

Being mindful is a very basic ability that anybody can learn. However, there has not been a significant necessity for most of us to build this talent in order to live throughout our biological or evolutionary history, which is the reason why the majority of us do not have this skill natively. We need to put some effort into it. It’s going to take a lot of practice, but we have to keep doing it until it becomes second nature. But the rewards are well worth the effort.

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The alteration in your thinking is really rather slight, yet it has quite far-reaching implications. It is comparable to being at the base of a waterfall, taking a step backwards out of the water, and then turning around to face the cascade directly in front of you. “Small step, huge difference.”

Emma Johnson

3. ESTABLISH A REGULAR ROUTINE FOR MEDITATING.

Do you remember how it feels after you’ve been gone for a long time and then you finally get to go through the front door of your house? Is that how you want to feel? It is difficult to express in words, yet something opens up within your heart.

When we are at home, we are able to be vulnerable because we have a sense of security, warmth, and being held. It does not matter how long we have been gone; we are aware that we will always be able to return to this location. One gets the impression that they belong there.

Meditation feels very much like this to me. A trip back to the familiar. My heart reacts to the rising sensation of calm that comes forward as my mind starts to settle down and become more peaceful. A feeling of serenity, clarity, and stability, as well as a profound sensation of connection and being held, may be gained via stillness.

As we go through life, we all develop a strong need for the comforting atmosphere of home. A starting point is a feeling of being a part of something.

We often fabricate a feeling of belonging in the wider world, in a particular locality, in order to re-create what is, at its core, available via our hearts.

Coming back to a state of calm is like coming back home on the most fundamental level.

It’s easy to forget what it’s like to be at home when we live in a society where we’re always surrounded by things like diversions, stimulation, dramas, and conflicts. When we combine this with a mind that is always active, emotionally reactive, and critical of itself, it is easy to forget that a feeling of home, serenity, and warmth genuinely resides inside each of us.

That’s right!

Stillness is constantly there, at the periphery of our consciousness, ready and waiting to assist us. Nevertheless, our minds are often too busy to recognize that it is there. Stillness, on the other hand, provides a very secure place to relax if there is turmoil, chaos, or overwhelming circumstances in our lives. However, if we do not take the time to familiarize ourselves with quiet now, we will have a difficult time locating it once the chaos and excitement begin.

By guiding us away from our thoughts and into our hearts, meditation is a powerful tool for reinforcing our connection to silence as well as helping us to recall it. When we practice meditation regularly, we cultivate a state of inner calm that gradually penetrates our being. This makes it easier for us to access this state in our daily lives.

Therefore, while we are in a difficult circumstance, it is important to allow stillness to hold you and not move about.

Does this imply that it will be successful each and every time? Certainly not in every case. You have made the conscious decision to develop a new, more significant connection; but, with regular practice, you will alter your relationship to the things that trigger and deplete you because you have decided to create a different relationship—a connection to the absence of motion.

And the connection between us is your heart. “

Noah Williams

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4. RECITE AFFIRMATIONS IN THE FORM OF MANTRAS.

“I’m a huge believer in employing mantras as a kind of positive affirmation. Sometimes life might seem as if it is spinning out of control, and our thoughts can dream up frightening scenarios that raise our stress levels and add to the feeling of worry that we already have. A simple mantra may be a powerful tool for helping to cut through the clutter and bring our attention back to a single focus of concentration.

I like to use the phrase “I am safe” as one of my go-to mantras. I am adored. I am good enough.’ I must repeat this at least three times, each time reiterating and reinforcing the meaning of the words.

I suggest that you compose your own mantra by choosing phrases that have a calming and centering effect on you. Keep it brief; one or two sentences should do the trick. A healthy and powerful habit of self-awareness and self-care may be developed via the use of encouraging words, particularly when they are said aloud.

Liam Brown

5. GO OUTSIDE AND HAVE SOME FUN.

It’s up to you to decide how you want to spend your time outside. It may entail doing something as simple as sitting in your backyard, on a balcony, or simply next to an open window and allowing yourself to take pleasure in the tranquility of a tree or the song of a bird.

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It could mean going on an exciting journey to an unfamiliar part of the woods or simply taking a leisurely stroll along a path you’re already familiar with while paying attention to the myriad of minute details that we ordinarily overlook due to our haste or preoccupation, such as the velvety texture of the moss, the startling blue tail of a lizard that is half-hidden behind a rock, or the inquisitive expression of a wren that is watching you from a distance.

Not only can spending time outside help relieve stress and anxiety, but it also improves general health and has the potential to point us in the right direction, both physically and metaphorically.

According to a saying attributed to Rumi, “Everyone has been formed for some specific labor, and the desire for that work has been implanted in the heart of every person.”

However, since we are presented with so few opportunities to put our values into practice in our day-to-day lives, the majority of us have forgotten how to do so. We find the thrill of just taking the next step along our own unique route when we allow ourselves the freedom to wander freely beneath the open sky, following our curiosities and pursuing our desires. We learn how to let go of striving to reach anywhere when we do this.

When I started to get back in touch with the natural world, I couldn’t help but rediscover my own human nature; that is, my true self; the gifts I have to give the world; and where I fit into the ecosystem of life. When I got back in touch with nature, I couldn’t help but rediscover my own human nature.

When I was walking through the woods, I came to the realization that just like every other living being on this planet, I have an important contribution to make; that when my mind finally becomes quiet, I can hear a soft voice of wisdom telling me what that might be; and that if I listen to that voice, I too can, to borrow a phrase from Mary Oliver, “take my place in the family of things.”

Olivia Jones

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6. TRY LAYERING YOUR HABITS.

If you’re looking for a self-care practice, I strongly suggest what I term “habit stacking.” This involves combining a number of somewhat inconsequential routines into a single block of time, such as just after you get out of bed in the morning.

For instance, you may begin by engaging in a brief period of meditation, which would be followed by the consumption of a quart of water, then ten minutes of stretching, and finally, the preparation of a green beverage, if you so desire. Habits are maintained by the use of triggers, which means that each behavior incites a desire in your body for the following behavior.

After a few weeks of doing these things on a consistent basis at the same time, they will become ingrained. When you wish to establish your own self-care zone, you may put your habit stacks to work at any hour of the day or night.

Sophia Miller

7. CONNECT WITH YOUR BODY EVERY DAY.

One practice that might be beneficial to begin in the New Year is to begin devoting a little period of time each day to reconnecting with your physical self. Pay close attention to how it feels, both to you and to the situation. Think about how you want to feel and what you can do to close the gap, if there is one, between how you feel now and how you want to feel.

This is extremely potent because we have a tendency to get so preoccupied with the things that we believe we are “supposed” to be doing for our bodies (and usually end up not doing), that we never take the time to simply connect with and listen to our bodies in order to determine what they actually require.

This is beneficial to one’s mental health as well. Ask yourself, “What does my head/heart/soul require today?” If you wake up feeling unhappy, furious, anxious, overwhelmed, or any other emotion along those lines, you’ll often become aware of the fact that you just want a little pause. Allow yourself to have it. Or maybe you need to look for something that satisfies your spiritual hunger and invigorates your enthusiasm for anything in your life.

Too frequently, we find ourselves merely going through the motions of life and existing in a state of survival simply because we are so preoccupied with maintaining our busy schedules that we do not take the time to reflect on what it is that we require in order to experience a sense of vitality, joy, and fulfillment.

If you have trouble maintaining a healthy diet, take this concept one step further and apply it to the food you consume. Before you take a bite, give yourself a moment to pause and ask yourself, “How am I going to react after eating this?” Do I want to have that kind of sensation? Why? This is a very useful tool because it creates a buffer between an instinctive reaction and the action that follows, giving you the opportunity to make a deliberate decision based on what is most beneficial for your body at that precise time.

Another reason why it is such a potent tool is that it assists you in being more aware of whether or not you are purposefully torturing yourself with food.

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If you ask yourself those few quick questions and then make the decision to punish yourself with food by either eating something on purpose that you know is going to make you sick or continuing to eat when you are already full even though you know that eating more will make you sick (and you don’t care), then you are engaging in self-inflicted eating disorder behavior. The first step in learning how to alter anything is recognizing when it is occurring and then acting on that recognition.

Mason Wilson

8. ENGAGE IN SOME KIND OF BREATHWORK.

One practice that I believe may be beneficial to a large number of individuals is to include some sort of breathwork in their daily activities. Depending on your needs and preferences, this might take the form of simple mindfulness meditation, box breathing, or even some of the more sophisticated pranayama exercises in yoga. From what I’ve seen, even just a few minutes every day may have a significant effect on the amount of stress you feel and the quality of your life.

I can’t really think of any areas of life that aren’t improved by adopting a regular breathwork practice. Whether you’re looking to be a stronger athlete, to support your mental health, to be a more present partner or friend, or to be more productive at work, I can’t really think of any areas of life that can’t be improved.

Jacob Williams

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9. BE DISCERNING IN YOUR CHOICE OF NEWS OUTLETS TO WHICH YOU PAY ATTENTION.

It is commendable that you want to be educated about current events, particularly in an election year. However, it is important to choose news sources that you can trust, and even then, you should restrict your exposure to the news. There is no point in wasting a good portion of your day feeling outraged, engaging in debates on social media that you can never hope to win, or becoming furious about circumstances or with others over whom you have no influence. The only thing that will come of it is that you will pass your own authority to other people who will be more than pleased to accept it.

Ethan Taylor

10. INCLUDE AN EXPRESSION OF THANKS AFTER YOU’VE APOLOGIZED.

“I don’t simply say, ‘I’m sorry.’ I would also want to say “thank you.” As an example, I don’t only say, “I’m sorry I was late,” but I also add, “Thank you for waiting for me.” And although I could just say, “I’m sorry, I was kind of out of it the other day,” what I really want to say is, “Thank you for being there for me both during good moments and my not-so-good times.”

This nuanced adjustment helps me feel better about the flaws that come with being human. Additionally, it ends up boosting my relationships since I am expressing my thankfulness to other people, and gratitude is a fantastic heart connection.

Isabella Anderson

11. SPEAK TO STRANGERS.

“Talking to people you don’t know is a good practice to get into in the year 2020.” Since I began getting into this pattern in 2010, it has been the single most beneficial adjustment to my lifestyle that I’ve ever made.

After the state of our health, the quality of our interpersonal connections is most likely the second most significant factor that determines our level of happiness. The quality of all of your connections and encounters, even those with total strangers, have a significant bearing on the degree to which you take pleasure in each moment.

If you strike up a conversation with a complete stranger, you will develop your social skills, get better at interacting with others, and learn how to appreciate any moment with a random individual. Your quality of life will significantly increase when you are able to go to a bar, a book club, or a business conference by yourself and yet have a pleasant time in any of those places.

Alexander Martin

12. OBTAIN MORE RESTFUL SLEEP.

I have come to realize that the amount and quality of sleep we get every night is directly proportional to practically every aspect of our lives! It has an influence on our mental state, our physical health, our attitudes toward things, our relationships, and ultimately, our success in each and every aspect of our lives.

In the realm of healthy living, exercise and proper diet have taken center stage, while sleep has been relegated to a supporting role. However, there is an overwhelming body of research that suggests sleep is the cornerstone of our general health.

If we don’t get enough sleep, it’s also likely that our eating and exercise habits will suffer as a result. If we get enough quality sleep, we are able to improve our decision-making skills, make healthier food choices, increase the efficiency of our workouts, and ultimately lead lives that are more satisfying, influential, and successful. It may set off a chain reaction. “

James Thomas

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Do some of these routines already make up part of your routine? Do you think there are any more behaviors that should be included on this list?

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