Waking up New Year’s morning, I was glad to put 2017 in the rear-view mirror. No, it is not the time to make a list and anguish over past negative events. I had an epiphany and it is my intention to set the table for a positive 2018 and beyond.
Recently while driving across town, there was an interview on the radio with someone with the musical Hamilton. In this interview he stated that his favorite words in the play are “Look around, look around at how lucky we are; to be alive right now”. I was focused on driving and only paying partial attention to this interview when suddenly; BAM! These words jumped out from the radio and slammed into my thought processes. What an unexpected message! What a way to live life!
Too often it is easy to slip into a depressed state by the negative events happening in the world. Or the miserable feelings when I dwell on “what is not right in my life. This is not the path to a happy life. So, I have decided to make a proactive choice and use these lines from Hamilton to base my intentions going forward. As a result, I created this list of eleven habits to create a positive life in 2018 and beyond. I hope these will help you on your path to living a rewarding life.
Live in the Now – practice mindfulness and live in the now. If you are enjoying life (like time with family or watching a sunset), don’t think about past events, or worry about the future; be alive right now. This moment won’t return. Live it.
Giving – I have used this quote by Pam Grout previously, but it is worth repeating. “Serving a purpose bigger than the face you see in the mirror every morning”. Take time to volunteer, or give of your time. Find a place that resonates with you and give your time, talents, or money. I have found that giving to others is very rewarding. Look for non-profits or at your place of worship. They need you.
Spiritual – Find a spiritual home and make it part of your daily life – positive options include taking time to meditate, pray, read the Bible, Torah, Koran, or other spiritual material. A strong spiritual practice can bring peace to your life.
Exercise – make this a habit. Exercise has a very positive impact for me; both mentally and physically. Find something you enjoy that gets the blood flowing. This can be accomplished by walking, running, yoga, playing sports, going to the gym or whatever works for you. Exercise is also good for your self-esteem. Our body is our temple, taking care of it makes living life a much better proposition.
Family and Friends – Spend time with family and friends who have a positive impact on your life. Don’t get distracted; family and friends are a major factor in a fulfilling life.
Love and Be Loved – Don’t hesitate to let people know you love them. Giving unconditional love can bring back lots of love to you.
Passion – Make time to spend time with your passion – This can be through travel, writing, painting, cooking, hiking, kayaking, gardening fishing, building or repair projects. Make time to spend doing what speaks to your heart. What is your passion?
Take Care of Yourself – life can be demanding taking care of work and other people in your life. Remember if you don’t take care of yourself, no one will. I have learned that I cannot be effective in life, if I don’t take time for myself. Take care of others, but don’t forget about yourself.
Get outside in Nature – watch sunrises and sunsets, or go outside and listen to the birds or other nature sounds. We live on a great big beautiful planet; go out and enjoy it. I find this to good for the soul.
Peace – Make time every day to turn off the 24-hour news and talking heads – Find positive subjects through reading, watching TED talks or listening to music. Peace on earth starts from within. This may sound too simple, but it is true and one step forward.
Self-esteem – No matter how big your talents or education; it does not matter if you do not believe in yourself. I tend to be very critical of myself and this can be constructive to a point. Learn from the past but don’t constantly beat yourself up. Believe; and you can achieve most anything in life.
I am certain that by practicing these habits, I can keep my attitude in sync with the Hamilton quotes, “Look around, look around at how lucky we are; to be alive right now”. Oh, what a feeling! Yes, you can be proactive in this journey called life. Try these steps, it just might make a big difference. To quote Jerry Osteryoung “You can do this!
So, I urge you to grab a friend or family member; get outside, or go for a walk. Talk about what makes you feel lucky to be alive; right now. Pledge to be proactive and not reactive with your life.
Are you in?