Happy New Year! While you are busy making a list of all of the amazing things you plan to accomplish in 2014, here are 9 things that you should definitely NOT do this year.
1. Do not beat yourself up about what you have yet to accomplish.
Did you achieve all of the goals that you set last year? Neither did I. It’s easy to look at the long list of things you planned to accomplish in 2013 and feel kinda bummed that you weren’t able to do it all. So rather than create a long list of goals this year, I made a shorter, more focused list. I am creating an action plan for each goal with a timeline for specific tasks to be completed. Most importantly, I will remember that some goals may take longer than a year to achieve. And I will take time to celebrate my progress along the way.
2. Do not doubt the job you are doing as a parent.
While I am sure there are some things that we could do better as parents, this video is a reminder that we are doing a better job than we think. Watch it whenever you have doubts.
3. Do not let one day go by without finding something to be grateful for.
Take a few minutes each day to find something to be grateful for. It doesn’t have to be some life-changing event. Learn how to find joy in the little things—a roof over your head, a family that loves you, clean drinking water, the gift of your senses—are all things to be grateful for. There are so many in this world that don’t have those basic things. Every day of this year, I am going to write down one thing that I am grateful for. I am going to have my daughter do it as well. And next New Year’s Eve we will be able to look back at how blessed we are each day.
4. Do not underestimate the power of your words.
Always be mindful of the power of your words and use them wisely. Much like an email that has been sent, words spoken cannot be taken back. Taking a second to breath before you speak can help give you a moment to gather your thoughts and adjust your tone before you say something you might regret.
5. Do not forget to live in the moment.
While social media has brought us closer together, it has also driven us apart. Try to spend some time each day unplugged. Call someone who you were going to text. Be present in the moment before you post it. To quote one of my enlightened friends, “Enjoy the seconds.”
6. Do not make any more excuses for not exercising.
I won’t bore you with all of the benefits of exercising because I’m sure you’ve heard them all. Yet, I just can’t seem to make exercise a part of my lifestyle. But now that I have hit forty, my body is changing and I can’t put it off any longer. So I’m making a commitment to do some type of physical activity at least 3 times a week.
7. Do not spend time with people who emotionally, physically and/or financially drain you.
It’s time to let go! Stop actively participating in relationships that are one-sided. Surround yourself with people who fill your bucket just as much as they dip into it. Give yourself permission to love these people from a distance for the sake of your health and well-being.
8. Don’t let your spirit of giving end with the holiday season.
The holiday season is officially over, but that doesn’t mean our spirit of giving has to end. Kindness is one of the best habits to develop. Finding ways to help others throughout the year can go a long way to boost social skills, alleviate stress and increase confidence. Not to mention the great feeling you get by helping someone in need. Visit VolunteerMatch.org to find opportunities to work with organizations in your area. If your are not up to volunteering, make a donation to a cause that you are passionate about or shop for a cause at AmazonSmile, where Amazon donates 5% of eligible purchases to the charity of your choice.
9. Do not use your energy to worry, use your energy to believe.
One of the most annoying things my doctor asks me during every visit is, “Are you under any stress?” Duh! At this point, isn’t that a rhetorical question? Aren’t we all under stress? Most of my stress comes from worry—worrying about my business, worrying about money, worrying about my mortality, worrying about my daughter. Then I was watching an episode of Oprah’s Life Class with Joel Osteen. He said this—“It takes the same amount of energy to believe that it does to worry, so why not use it to believe?” So simple, yet so profound. Since that day whenever my mind starts to go down the path of worry, I repeat that phrase over and over until I change my negative thoughts to positive ones. Some days it takes longer than others, but it always works.
What else will you not be doing this year?