Whether you greet the New Year with a roar or with a meow, odds are that you've given more than passing thought to where your life stands now, and where you want it to lead.
But if you haven't taken a complete inventory of all aspects of your life and made a to-do list for the next year, no need to worry. We've asked an expert to suggest ways in which you can start or continue to put your house in order. After all, why let another year pass by before making changes that can improve your life right now?
A word of caution, though. As with any list of good intentions, some are easier than others. Set yourself up for success by choosing "resolutions" that are do-able for you right now and tackle them. Then pick some that you can visualize as long-term goals and work on them a bit at a time. Jot them down, tape them to your bathroom mirror, and keep them in your everyday consciousness. A year from now, take time to congratulate yourself on how much closer you are to living the life you want to live.
By Barbara Altman Bruno, Ph.D.
- Stand in front of a mirror. Starting with the part of your body that is most acceptable to you, let yourself and this body part know what you appreciate about its role in your life. (For example, appreciate your pinkie finger for its cute nail or for lifting up decoratively when you drink a cup of tea.)
- Who in your life loves and values you already? If nobody comes to mind, which public figure(s) (including your version of a Higher Power) do you think would be kind and supportive? Imagine them embracing you and letting you know you are valuable to all living things, even if you don't yet know how.
- What can you do today to eat in ways that nurture your body, move in ways that feel good, decorate yourself attractively? Do them. Then compliment yourself for looking and feeling so great!
- List whom in your life you feel good around. List whom in your life you feed badly around. Figure out how to spend more time around the feel-good folks and less time around the feel-bad ones. For some people, that may include changing jobs, setting boundaries around abusive relatives, or adopting people to become more nurturing than family members.
- Clean up the messes you have made. List those whom you have harmed, and do what you can to make amends to them. Resolve not to deliberately harm anyone else by your words or deeds.
- Surround yourself with visual and/or auditory praise. Find musical and visual art which plays up your inner and outer beauty, and keep it around you as often as possible. Regardless of any negative messages we may have received from society or our families, we can reprogram ourselves to agree with positive commentary about who we are.