As we anticipate the start of a new year we begin to reflect on the year that was and wonder about the year that is to be. Having time off from work and celebrating with loved ones is a natural and common time for ongoing reflection. You think about where you are in your life and where you want your life to go. It is common among pop culture to come up with some New Year’s resolutions. Majority of resolutions involve eating better and exercising more to be healthy. Or people make it a goal to find a romantic partner or improve the relationships that they already have. Many make an effort to find another job or get a promotion. Overall, it is a way for us to reevaluate and accomplish our goals.
While it is a terrific exercise to reflect on the year and come up with resolutions, there are three simple steps you can take to guarantee a better start to 2020. If you take the time and effort to do the following three things you’ll start off the year better and will be happier. Thus, allowing you to make your resolutions come true.
As the end of the year approaches take a moment and list 12 things that you are grateful for. These items can include events that have happened this past year, your health, relationships, favorite experiences, or whatever else you wish to list. They can include big things that occurred or very minor things that occurred. Once you reflect on those 12 things, write them down on a piece of paper and place that list somewhere that you can regularly see them. Research has shown a correlation between reflecting on what you are grateful for and lower levels of depression.
Make an effort to express compassion and kindness to people. This can be a simple gesture to a stranger or a favor for a friend. Whoever it is make it a point to say a kind word, offer a friendly smile, or any other act of kindness/compassion. Research has also shown that expressing kindness make us feel better and reduces stress, anxiety, and depression.
Take a moment and remember that you live in a world with so many different kinds of people. Everyone has the opportunity to be unique to who they are. Learn to accept others and situations that you come across in 2020. Change what you can, accept what you can’t change and work to know the difference. If you learn to let go of the things you can’t change and make efforts to accept that you will be a happier person.
If you want to start out 2020 on the right foot remember the three words: gratitude, kindness, and acceptance. Give it a try and see how it goes. Happy New Year!