Many people have told me that they couldn’t wait for the past year to be over and that they hope the year to come will be better. While I understand that the prospect of a new year can give us hope for better things, we have to remember that the turn of a calendar page or a new number, 2018 of the Gregorian calendar, has no actual effect, unless we make some real changes and put into practice some new things.
You have to do something
If you continue to do the same things that you’ve been doing over the past months and years, it’s not realistic to expect that anything will be different.
I don’t say this to be discouraging but rather to give you genuine anticipation that things can change in the future.
Your future is based on how you live every moment of every day – and so you can take charge of how this goes
It’s a mistake to look at the outside world and to hope for improvement out there in order to feel better. If your future happiness and contentment is based on what other people do – and especially those who are ‘in charge’ – you’re likely to be disappointed.
It’s much more proactive and practical to take charge of your own life, despite what may be happening in the world around you.
Don’t waste your energy
If you’re not in a position to influence in a practical way what politicians, ‘leaders’ and other people are doing, it’s counterproductive to get too upset over some of their foolish, short-sighted and materialistic mistakes.
Yes, their actions and decisions can make a difference in the conditions that affect you, but it’s more effective, empowering and uplifting to focus on what you can actually do, right where you are now.
If you want this coming year to be different, try to focus on your own life and what you can do
You don’t necessarily need to do huge, grand things to make a difference. It’s the seemingly small changes that, slowly and systematically, add up to something a lot greater in the long-run.
None of the following suggestions will be new to you, but together they will contribute to the coming year being one where you’ve made steady, consistent and significant progress.
This will allow you, at the end of the year, to reflect back and see that your time has been used wisely.
Putting some – or all – of the following suggestions into practice will create the environment and attitudes that will support you to grow, develop, blossom, thrive and achieve.
Some suggestions to consider:
- Be aware that every day (and every hour of every day) is filled with opportunities, possibility and potential, so be awake and ready to take advantage of whatever is awaiting you
- Look for – and focus on – what’s good and lovely around you rather than on what’s negative, destructive and degrading
- Move towards anything that will bring more unity and move away from whatever contributes to disunity (in what you think, say or do)
- Resolve to let negativity stop with you. Don’t be the first to pass on the unfortunate, ill-advised and foolish things that others do (you never know, you too may do something unwise and then you’ll be grateful that others refrain from immediately broadcasting your mistake to everyone else :)!)
- Remember that we’re one human family, so treat every soul that crosses your path as you would a dearly loved member of your own family
- Look for opportunities to assist, support and serve those in need. There will always be sick, poor, lonely or discouraged people around you so look for authentic ways to help (and you could consider offering these services in the name of others)
- Take stock of the friends you have in your life. Work to enrich the good relationships you have, aim to improve less-than-satisfying ones and gradually let go of those that aren’t mutually fulfilling
- Start – or get back to – a daily practice of prayer and some form of quiet time to focus, relax, meditate and calm your spirit, your mind and the very cells of your body
- By this time next year, most of the cells in your body will have been replaced with new ones, so ensure that these new cells are formed from fresh, living nutrition as opposed to dead, processed ‘food’
- Make an effort to drink more clean water and fewer fizzy, sugary, energy and caffeinated drinks – your brain and your body will thank you
- Be disciplined about getting sufficient sleep so that you don’t begin every day over-tired (and desperate for coffee to get you going :))
- Try to find what’s funny in situations around you. There is plenty that is so ridiculous in the world that laughter is the only appropriate response for a sane and intelligent person!
- Learn to listen to your heart as much as you listen to your brain – you need input from both these vital organs to have a balanced approach to life
- Appreciate all the benefits of your smart phone, but look up from it every now and then to make personal contact with the real, interesting, living people around you
If you’d like the year ahead to be better than last year, build it day by day.
‘Let each morn be better than its eve and each morrow richer than its yesterday‘.
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