As we begin a New Year, take time to congratulate yourself on steps you took in 2016 to fulfill your dreams; or time you spent to renew a friendship; enjoy your family, perhaps take a special vacation.
Insights from others – As the new year begins, it’s time for new year’s resolutions. What if you always had a resolution, but are still at the same place as a year ago? Making another one might not be too useful. Perhaps the resolution lacked emotional connection. The best place to gain some internal motivation is from the people who have lived rich lives, that is, seniors, grandmas and grandpas. Talk to them and volunteer at your local senior centre. Hear what they have to say about regrets.
One palliative nurse, Bronnie Ware, wrote a book about it. The book lists the most heard regrets residents have shared with her when they look back on their lives. We hope that the top five on her list inspires each of you as we start the New Year. It’s probably the best advice we can all give each other!
LIVING YOUR DREAM – It doesn’t have to be a big dream, but too many people end up feeling like they’ve spent too much time doing what they think others wanted them to do rather than taking steps to fulfill their own dreams. If you have an idea of what you’d love to do next, this is the year to take a few steps toward making it happen.
WORK-LIFE BALANCE — Even though working around the clock felt important at the time. It’s important to have a job that you enjoy doing. But everyone needs to take time for other aspects of life, give yourself some time for a break, a vacation, a hobby, or just some quiet time each day.
EXPRESSING FEELINGS TO OTHERS – Just saying “I love you” or “I’m sorry” is so important. We all know this is true, so say it more to one another. The great thing about expressing feelings is that it makes you feel as good as the other person. As well as saying the words, feelings can be expressed through spontaneous acts of kindness, a card sent in the mail, or a visit.
STAYING IN TOUCH WITH FRIENDS – Friends help us keep life in perspective. They give us a reason to think beyond ourselves, care, listen, laugh and learn. As long as we have a friend, we have someone to share our adventures with, as well as our joys and sorrows. And who else but a friend understands and appreciates us – just as we are!
SIMPLY CHOOSE TO BE HAPPIER – Although we can’t control life around us, many don’t realize until they are older that the choice of whether to be happy or not is mostly up to them. Deciding to be happy, and nurturing gratitude goes a long way in keeping us smiling.
Now only look forward to 2017, with no regrets! – If you do have a dream, think about 5 first steps you can take toward getting there. Now think of what might take to bring more happiness into your life. For many, the simple act of volunteering, taking a course or learning a new skill can make such a big difference in your life. Is there a friendship that needs some extra attention? Someone who needs to hear “I love you”?
Write your intentions down, post the note on your desk or somewhere where you can see it, and think of the New Year as the best year ever!