2018 has been a hell of a ride! I had lots of intentions, plans and actions set up in a whole lot of life domains. I have tried to be very conscious of what I was thinking, feeling and doing in my professional life, my family and friends circles, my partner relationship, my health, my personal development and my overall practical life situation.
As it turned out, 2018 was a year packed with uncertainties and continuous change. So definitely a year with some discomfort and learning. But that’s the way I like it. How else are we supposed to grow?
Here are some things I observed and learned in 2018 that can contribute to experiencing more happiness in 2019. Maybe they can be of use to you.
1.Get sufficient sleep
I try to catch 7.5 hours of sleep per day. My Fitbit sleep tracker reminds me how difficult that is for me. You might even need more hours. Staying up long nights might seem productive in the short run, but you will pay the price in the future. Good sleep will provide you with the right amount of energy to act and respond to everyday situations.
2. Accept what is
It is never a situation that causes suffering, it is your response to this particular situation. Although I try to live by that adagio, I had to learn the hard way again in a few cases this year. Resisting a situation never provides a solution. Although our ego is convinced that we should fight, struggle and suffer. But do you really want to?
3. Forgive every day
Forgive on an daily basis. Everyone who ‘has done you wrong’. Try to imagine their life struggle and be empathetic to how they have come to behave in a certain way. Be it your parents who carry the history of their parents, your overly grumpy boss or colleague, or the desk clerk at the bank not quite cooperating the way you would like it. Forgive everyone, including yourself.
4. Act with love
It’s not always easy, but like Lenny Kravitz says “You gotta let love rule”. Silently saying “I love you” before addressing a person with whom you are having a difficult relation or conversation can radically shift the way you communicate. Try it! Also, love yourself. If you don’t find that easy, repeat it to yourself. A thousand times a day: “I love myself”. Things will change in your life.
5. Realize you are here to serve
If you are looking for the meaning of life, look no further. You are here to serve others. Your family, your partner, your co-workers, your boss, your neighbors, your community, total strangers, nature, the planet… Doing good for others will obviously help them, but you will benefit the most. If you bring joy to other people’s live, joy will come to yours.
6. Be grateful
This is a no-brainer: being grateful brings you happiness. We tend to believe that happiness leads to gratefulness. But it’s exactly the other way around: the more grateful you are for everything you have in your life, the less you will find the need to complain, to compare and to feel like you are missing something in life.
7. You are number one
Know that you need to care of yourself first if you want to help others. This means protecting your boundaries from intrusions by negative thoughts, people and situations. Know that they are there, but keep them in a specific place. Don’t let them guide your life. You are in charge. You are number one. You come first. Everyone else: get in line.
8. Set goals but don’t obsess
If you want things to change, you need to define some goals and come up with a plan to attain them. That’s not an easy task. You will need to really dive into what you want, why you want it and how you are going to get results. Of course you will encounter difficulties and you might not reach some of your goals. That’s okay. Link your goals to who you want to become not to what you want to do or have.
9. Be true to who you are
Your values are at the core of what you find important in life. Look for people in the world you look up to. They can be famous characters, dead or alive, or someone in your family. Find great examples that inspire you. Figure out what their values are. Make them yours. Anchor them into your life. Use them as the guiding principles for all your actions and interactions.
10. Declutter your life
You don’t need a lot of things in your life. Seriously, you don’t. Kick things out that are not aligned with your personal vision. Stop collecting stuff that doesn’t serve your core purpose. Don’t mix with people that don’t support your dreams and appreciate you for who you are. And get rid of disempowering beliefs that are not even your own.
Which one of these resonates the most with you? I’m curious! Let me know via Instagram.