It’s that time of the year. Resolutions, resolutions and more resolutions. For 2018, I’d like to chat with you about a focus on what I call “Practicing Abundance”.
Resolutions, and all that goes with, often involve lofty goal setting and/or emotional based wishing, which tends to focus on all that you don’t have. Often we set resolutions that are so far out of our reach and range that we fail in trying to achieve.
So instead of focusing on what you don’t have in this moment in time, I’d like to encourage you to focus on what you do have and what’s right in front of you. These are the things that you could be missing or not fully aware of and you can regroup to foster and develop into being the best it can be. It could be just one thing instead of a list of 20, for example. It’s a focus on wanting & appreciating more of what you already have, instead of the unknown and all that you don’t have. It’s a focus on the moment and known to really make the most of what you have.
Now this doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t set any new goals in the new year. It just means we are going to let them simmer for a bit and learn to cook up a new technique and apply it to our lives. But think about how your life might change, if for one year, you didn’t focus on all things new and unknown with lofty goals and instead really hunkered down with what you already have and discovered everything is pretty amazing in WhatisKnownLand.
I’m a high achiever type. Around my birthday, which is in late September, I tend to set my goals for the next year. Some of these goals in the past have included becoming a traditionally published author, writing a children’s book, reaching to interview a prominent figure, losing weight after pregnancies and so forth. I usually set 1-3 goals that are completely out of my comfort zone, current reach, stretch, price range and so forth. Then, like a person trying to solve a hard puzzle, I go for it. I have at times, nearly baffled myself and for sure stressed myself out completely, trying to figure out how achieve whatever it was I was trying to achieve. It’s a cool practice. It takes you to new levels and heights and all of that fun stuff. But doing this constantly can be exhausting. It’s a recipe for shorting out. I don’t mean in the over-tired, over-worked sense either. I mean constantly stretching yourself to crazy new levels with probable health effects that you don’t even feel for years down the road. You may have “leaned in” (either male or female) so far that you missed out, for example on important events in your child or spouse’s lives. There is a cost. What is the real benefit?
So when I say “Practice Abundance” I’m really twisting it around to mean find more deep appreciation for what you already have. Practicing my version of abundance takes thought, mindfulness, awareness and, well, practice. Here are some of my thoughts, ideas, current things I practice, we practice as a family and more.
1. Think Satisfied.
Look around and do you have your basic necessities met? Is it a true need or a want? Seriously look around and take inventory of your lifestyle, your home, your belongings, your activities and yes, your bills, and have an honest conversation about need vs. want. Change your focus to appreciate what is in front of you and develop deeper relationships with what you already have. Move into mode of operation that allows you to deeply cherish the who, what, where, when, why and how’s of life.
2. Develop Moment to Moment Gratitude.
Go beyond waking up in the morning and being thankful and push into being grateful in each and every nanosecond of the day. Step back from the rush and into the moments. Do not waste time. It’s precious.
3. Donate Your time & Get Some Perspective
Think you have it rough? Think there is something you super duper need? Want? Volunteer your time at a shelter, hospital, Veteran’s home or someplace where you perceive people are having a more difficult time than you are. Writing a check is great, but I’m saying show up in person with compassion and take in the atmosphere.
4. Shift Your Energy.
Do you even know where your energy is being placed and are you in control of it? It’s your energy. Are you mindlessly giving it away to others and not respecting yourself, time and energy? Get out of the drama zone and pull your energy back and place it so your energy in abundant and in you have a reserve supply.
5. Pause for Appreciation.
Do you focus on what matters most? Are you stopping and intentionally slowing yourself down ever? I don’t mean you slowed yourself down so much that you slept until 9am. I mean in the waking moments, do you ever slow yourself down? Do you ever do nothing. Is every second of your life accounted for and spoken for with some activity? Slow down. Pause and look around. Listen. Look around you very carefully and say thank you. You are not entitled. Remember when social meant more than media. What’s around you is generally earned, so appreciate it and don’t take it for granted. Take it to another level of appreciation.
6. Get Solid Control of Your Well-Being.
To your highest power of you, get control of your well-being. Do you feel abundant in your health or do you feel a steady or sudden decline? Aging doesn’t mean that you have to slowly decline. Aging doesn’t guarantee illness so you should just accept the fate and fact that you will one day be sick and dying. Do what you can with your moments to eat better, exercise more, sleep more, and get all aspects of your well-being under as much control as you can. Your wellbeing means you take steps to make a commitment to yourself to become healthy in all ways – physically, mentally, spiritually, financially and emotionally.
7. Say Yes to Something New.
You know that feeling you get when something graces your life in an unexpected way. Either something happened you did ask for, someone did you a favor or act of kindness, a stroke of luck, etc… Whatever the case, something new came your way for the better. Say Yes to something new whether for you or another person. It just might change your life in amazing ways. Trust your gut.
8. Say No and Shut Down the Brick Wall.
You also know that feeling when you are beating your head against the brick wall. No matter how many times you do, try, wish, wonder and hope, it’s just not happening. Let it go. The timing might not be right or it just is something that just isn’t going to happen in this lifetime. Say No to things not working or when your gut instinct says so. Trust your instincts. You won’t make room for new when all the old thoughts, actions, things, and so forth are cluttering it all up and blocking abundance.
9. Surround Yourself with Love.
You want to have abundance, make a change, you are making a change and whammo – at every twist and turn – you are surrounded by old ways, people stuck, naysayers or just people who aren’t like you anymore. It’s all ok and then again it’s not. What is important is that you are aware of the situation and you know when and when you are not surrounded by love and support. It’s like trying to swim against a strong current that you don’t want to drown. Find the life raft and preservers and know where they are at all times. Preserve yourself.
10. Think Old Ways of Doing Things
Yes. This means pick up the phone, find some stationary (It still exists!) and handwrite a note or thank you note. Send out written invitations, take days off from technology, open doors for others. Yes, I know it might not be the most efficient. It may even fall into the category of slowing down and finding time and finding a new meaning. Yes. Do things the old way. Play a board game. Play cards. Talk to each other instead of texting. Pretend the power is out.
S-l-o-w …. D-o-w-n!!!
When you do this, you will appreciate all you have the powers up and plugs in just a little more.
Here are some ideas on how to put these 10 suggestions into practice:
1. Keep your gas tank in your car or truck and either 1/2 full or full in 2018. So if it falls below a certain level, fill it back up. Do not run on empty.
2. Do the same thing for your wallet and bank account. Decide, for example, to at all times carry $20 in your wallet and put a minimum of $50 – $100 – $350 – $500, etc… depending on what you can start with and keep it in your checking or savings account untouched.
3. Teach younger people to keep change in a change jar or piggy bank.
4. Donate your time and/or 2-5 belongings each month in 2018.
5. Resolve to use less of things. Less energy, less time, less activities, less food, less products, less money, etc..
6. Do one random act of kindness each week in 2018. Do not tell anyone about it and do not post it in social media – it’s random and unknown.
7. When you feel yourself getting impatient with someone or something, take a deep breath, smile and regroup. Reground yourself in gratitude and compassion rather than reacting.
8. Always be 5-10 minutes early.
Happy 2018! Be Your Best You!