Start Your New Year With Gratitude
It’s that time of the year where you come up with a whole lot of resolutions for the new year. Nothing wrong with that except three months down the line many of the resolutions are broken and six months into the year, most of them are a distant memory!
The thing about starting the new year with a set of resolutions is that you focus your attention on the things that you want in your life and the things that you want to change in your life. So, essentially your focus is on whatever it is that is missing from your life or not adequate!
When you focus on wants you tend to fuel a sense of dissatisfaction. Although this may drive you to work towards achieving what you want and don’t have currently, it is not always the best way forward.
So, this year why not try something different? Why not start the year with a sense of gratitude? Why not focus on the all the things that are going right in your life and then build your resolutions on that?
1. Make a list of the top ten things in your life that you are very grateful for
It could be your job that you love, your fantastic career, it could be your partner who is your soul mate, your health and fitness that make you proud or anything else that really matters to you.
Add to this list whenever you come across something nice in your life or an event that gives you happiness. If you have difficulty creating this list, just think of what other people have said about you. Just reading your list can be a very uplifting experience for you and is guaranteed to lift up your spirits every time you read it. Besides it brings into focus all the good things in your life that make your life what it is!
More importantly, it brings about a complete change in your mindset from one of want and negativity to a feeling of fulfilment and positivity.
2. Give 2017 a theme
What is that one thing you dreamt about all your life? Is it to start something on your own or make a mark in your field or anything else that you dream about? Whatever it is, this year do something about it. Let it be your central theme this year!
You owe it to yourself to fulfil your dream. If there is something that you yearn for deeply, then go after it by all means. You could end up surprising yourself and achieving what means the most to you.
Remember when you do this, be sure to have one theme for your professional life and another one for your personal life. If you achieve spectacular results in your professional domain and fail in your personal life or vice-versa, it may not give you lasting happiness.
3. Immerse yourself into something bigger than yourself
Many of us tend to operate in our own comfort zone. Even the targets that we set for ourselves seldom stretch us or are big enough to make us completely forget ourselves.
Try taking on a goal in your area of passion so big, that you don’t have the time or energy to bother about things that have bothered you until now. You could end up enjoying yourself and at the same time completely letting go of things that would bother you otherwise because your focus is now on something else. What it could do for your career could be incredible.
Remember if you are flying through a hurricane you won’t have time to browse through the weather report!
4. Identify five of your biggest worries and do something about it
Some of us have a lot to worry about in our daily lives. To some extent worrying about something could result in positive action to deal with whatever it is that is troubling you. However, when you worry about something continuously but do nothing about it, then it may sap your energy level and affect the quality of your life negatively.
Success in your career calls for attention and focus. If you are constantly preoccupied with your worries, your focus could be an issue.
For a change, this year list out five of your biggest worries and then come up with what you will do about it. The reason for restricting the list to five is to bring in some focus and only select what really troubles you.
Once you have dealt with your top five worries, come up with the next five and eliminate that also from your life. Very soon you may have to search hard to come up with any worry at all!
5. Identify one thing that makes you really happy doing and bring it into your life
As a child, you didn’t have to really think about doing what made you happy. It came naturally to you and you would end up doing it.
Somehow as adults, we lose touch with activities that make us really happy. So, what is it that you like to do whenever you have some time? Do you really get around to doing it? For most people answering the first question itself is somewhat difficult and if you ask them the second the answer is invariably- rarely.
My daughter loves to sketch and she continues to do it in her spare time even as a medical student. She finds it very relaxing and creative and tells me that it just puts her in a happy frame of mind even in the midst of a lot of pressure.
If you think carefully you may come across small things that could really make you happy. If that is so, why not make it a part of your daily life?
6. Be Nice To People
This year, take the trouble to be nice to people you meet on a daily basis or even randomly. Wish your colleagues when you meet them. Complement your team on a job well done. Acknowledge the efforts of people who do a lot of work for you that you sometimes take for granted.
Take a little time out to mentor someone who looks up to you. Strike a conversation with a fellow traveller on a flight. Listen to people who have been vying to get your attention and more. See the impact on your career. Touch some lives and see how that brightens your own life as well!
7. Carve some time out for people who care about you
Corporate life is very busy with all the pressures, deadlines and travels. In the midst of all this, we sometimes take the most meaningful relationships in our lives for granted.
When you have only pressures and deadlines to drive you, you won’t go very far. Somewhere along the way, you could experience a burn out. You could also end up very frustrated.
If instead, you made it a point to spend some quality time regularly with people you really care about and who care about you the same way, you could enrich your life immensely. In the process, you could also find yourself energised, motivated and perform much better at work.
8. Invest some time in keeping yourself healthy
When it comes to prioritising, we seldom give time to anything important which is not urgent. Instead, we spend our time on things that are urgent but may not necessarily be important.
For a change this year, take some time out to get some exercise regularly, get adequate rest and ensure that your health is perfect. If you can watch what you eat as well, then there is nothing like it!
At the end of the year, you will thank yourself for it!
About the Author:
Srinivasan is an independent consultant working in the area of strategy and technology interventions in the public sector domain. He has worked in companies like IBM and TCS and has over 30 years of experience spanning 24 countries.