I hold the belief that while we can’t control all elements of life, we can co-create of our destiny. If 2020 taught us one thing, it was to make peace with what we can’t control, but to make better decisions about the things we can.
Decisions are the building blocks of life. Each day, you’re faced with choices that alter your health, relationships, family, and finances forever. That’s because no choice is without impact: every decision you make—small or large—will influence your future one way or another. Never underestimate the power of a single choice: one thing done differently and purposefully can bring you greater joy, stability, and peace of mind.
No matter what’s going on in the world, make these decisions throughout 2021 and watch your life transform for the better:
Choose to let go of what brings pain. Before you can create your future, you must make peace with your past. This entails forgiveness. No one can hurt you if you forgive them because forgiveness takes their power away and returns it to you. When you choose to forgive, you regain control of your decisions: you make choices based on love and acceptance instead of anger and resentment. By detaching yourself from what brings you pain, you can make progress. Know that no matter what happened, you always have the ability to make yourself whole again, and it starts by letting go. Forgiveness shifts the course of your life by disengaging you from harmful thoughts and behaviors. It sets you free from suffering and liberates you to new experiences and opportunities. Forgiveness is a decision that will help you live well not just in 2021, but every year to come.
Choose to create a bigger version of yourself. Often we reduce our potential without even realizing: we limit ourselves to fit a certain mold that other people have created for us. What would your life look like if you had no restrictions? Who would you be if you didn’t abide by the dictates of others? Write down the description of your bigger version. For example, you can write, “My bigger version is a business owner who just bought her first property.” or “My bigger version lost thirty pounds and is happily married to her soulmate.” Expand on this description little by little, filling in details that resonate with your higher self. Then, take small actions each day of the year that are in alignment with who you want to become.
Choose to keep things simple. Complications rob you of joy. Introspect on what is creating disorder in your life right now and what you can do to ease entanglements. If a relationship, friendship, or problem at work has become so convoluted that it drains you of energy, make the decision to step back and take a break from it. Then, notice how you feel once you’ve distanced yourself from a person or situation and simplified matters: have your emotions become healthier? Do you feel less frustration and more freedom? The best things in life are the simplest, and one of the best choices you can make is to keep them that way.
Choose to do good. Don’t hesitate to take any opportunity to do good. Doing good will keep your conscience clean and clear your predestined path of blockages. Don’t regret if you’ve been good to people who didn’t deserve it; that’s their karma, not yours. Performing acts of kindness and choosing to help others in small ways increases feel-good hormones in your brain and creates a sense of reward. It connects you to others more deeply and reinforces the common thread that runs throughout the human race: we’re all here to love and be loved.
Choose to invest in your health. Don’t wait until it’s too late to make healthy decisions. Eat well, move your body, surround yourself with supportive people, take care of your mental health, and do at least one thing each day that makes you smile. Make the choice to love yourself unconditionally. All external relationships are limited and temporary, but your relationship with yourself is infinite and everlasting. Choose to make it a healthy one. Remember that you are your single greatest investment and if you don’t invest in yourself, who will?
Choose to focus on the moment. The rates of anxiety and depression are soaring all over the globe as a result of our constant battle with time. Brooding over what could’ve been in the past and stressing about what might be in the future affects your mental and emotional wellbeing. Living outside of time disempowers you; it subtracts from the force you have right now—to create, influence, and elevate. When you feel yourself fretting about the past or future, reel yourself back to the present. Close your eyes and concentrate on your surroundings: what do you smell, hear, taste, and feel? Run your hands along an object and take note of its texture, size, etc. You exist here, you are powerful now, and you can choose to use the resources you have available to make the best of this moment, whatever it may be.
Choose to spend your time wisely. Time is one of the only elements of life you can’t regain: you can’t make up for lost time. From now on, choose your minutes, hours, and days more wisely and focus on making every moment count. This means spending less time in a virtual reality and more time in the physical one. Challenge yourself not to check social media for a day or two and to go on a walk with your family members instead of watching a movie. Choose to take an hour out of your day to meditate, visualize your future, and write down your deepest wishes. Such examples of self-reflection is time well spent.
Choose to have faith. Faith is the belief that something greater exists, that you are divinely protected and guided. The universe wants to work with you to help you meet your goals but you must first build a solid foundation of faith. You don’t have to practice a certain religion, you simply have to hold the conviction that Spirit is within you. Establish daily rituals that secure your faith, like saying short prayers throughout the day, lighting a candle for someone going through a hard time, and heeding the intuition that’s passed down from your higher self. Choosing to have faith can light up even the darkest moments and aid you in making more sound decisions.
Choose to take nothing for granted. We don’t realize how blessed we are until we lose something dear to us, whether it’s a person or possession. Only in hindsight can we comprehend just how fortunate we were. Starting today, adopt an attitude of gratitude; concern yourself less with what you don’t have and more with all that you do have. Focusing on your blessings opens the door for even more. That’s because when you shift your thoughts to appreciation instead of dissatisfaction, you carve new neural pathways in your brain. You train yourself to think more positive thoughts, which leads to more conscious, mindful decisions.
Choose to reinvent yourself. Each of us holds a unique set of beliefs that’s responsible for the way we process reality. Life requires constant revision, but of a much deeper kind than physical appearance: before anything else, it’s necessary to reevaluate our beliefs to make sure they’re still serving our purpose. Otherwise, we can become stagnant in our mindset and stuck in unfavorable situations. Ask yourself, “What do I think or do that I’m unhappy with? How can I change this?” Come up with new and different ways you can sustain yourself, express yourself, and improve yourself each day.
Choose to value community. In the Western world, we’re taught to value individuality over community. While individuality is necessary to increase personal power, community is vital to our overall progress. The year 2020 reminded us of the importance of community; it reiterated the truth that at the end of the day we are all one, and that what hurts one person hurts us all. Become involved in your community in any way you can, whether it’s checking up on your neighbors or volunteering at a local shelter. After all, our greatest accomplishments were never achieved alone.
Wise decisions help us improve the parts of life we can control. Make these choices on a daily basis and make 2021 a great year for yourself and others.
To your best decisions,
Dr. Carmen Harra