After spending a lot of energy and focus in 2015 in reading books, listening to podcasts, perusing articles, creating trainings and thinking about writing something each week, I’ve got a list. I don’t know about you, but I love end-of-year lists, such as the 10 best books, the 10 best movies, etc.
- Rejection therapy
Think about it: What do you want, little and big, and what’s keeping you from getting it? This year, I’ve seen over and over that the largest barrier to us getting what we want is that, somewhere in our lives, we decided to stop wanting. Start wanting and, most importantly, start asking. Notice how often you won’t go for something you want. Every time I commit to asking, in delightful engaged ways, my life is much more alive regardless of the outcome. The extraordinary thing here is being vibrant and curious, and understanding that people love helping you get what you want. It makes them feel valued and purposeful. It’s remarkable: asking for what you want improves lives, much more than just your own.
A practice of quieting yourself has huge benefits; you put a delay between your thoughts and your actions. Period. And this is a habit you want to form. Any delay we can have to pause, take in our experiences, and choose our responses makes us much more powerful. You can start with only a few minutes a day, and just see what happens.
- The Five Minute Journal (Gratitude)
You can buy this journal at the website with the same name. While it’s worth getting the book, you can also do it with a simple journal. Each morning, write down three things you are grateful for, what would make today great, and a personal affirmation. Then at the end of the day, write down three amazing things that happened, and what you might have done differently. Forming this habit of being grateful for small things creates a focus of appreciating all the commonplace miracles around you—and there are a lot. These small moments are life: holding a little person’s hand, laughing with an old friend, tasting a wonderful morsel of food, having a comfortable bed.
- A Complaint Free World (Website)
They have a mission: “We see a day when people focus on and speak about what they desire things to be rather than complaining about how things are.” They even sell a bracelet to help you pay attention to how many days you can go without complaining. Once you become cognizant of this concept, you may be astounded how frequent and self-limiting complaining is.
- Thank one person each day
Reach out to them. Send an email. Make a call. I once heard someone say, if you do not know how to make yourself happy, make someone else happy. I believe this is the path to our own happiness.
- 10 deep breaths
When you are anxious, upset or projecting into the future, simply breathing in and out through your nose is profound. It’s a pattern interrupt, adrenaline suppressant and an anxiety-reducing technique available to you—always.
- What is your one thing?
What is the most important thing you can do today so that by doing it, everything else is less important or even unnecessary? Know it, do it. What will you be willing to say no to so that you can say yes to this?.
- Go first
When you meet someone, engage with them authentically: be the first to smile, make eye contact, say something compelling. Someone has to go first, or, worse, not at all. Let it be you. It’s crazy effective; smile and others smile with you.
- Manufacture time
Okay, you cannot do this, but if you are looking for several extra hours a day to boost your productivity, consider not watching TV or staying off of social media. The average American spends more than five hours watching TV and 1.7 hours on social media a day—it’s like having a second full-time job.
Move your body. If exercise were a drug, it would be one of our most valuable substances. But exercise is free and requires self-motivation, so we easily devalue it. Exercise controls weight, improves mood, increases energy, makes sleep better and prevents all sorts of diseases. Funny when we were little, exercise was called play, and our playgrounds were our gyms. Perhaps we can get back to seeing it that way.