Rather than just vague resolutions, try and pick mind-based goals this year. There’s nothing wrong with setting goals like buying a new car or losing weight, but a more holistic approach will feed the whole person, mind, body, and soul.
Some examples of mind-based goals could include:
* Take a day just for yourself once every week.
* Establish better sleep habits.
* Go for a walk every night after dinner.
* Stop drinking sugary drinks.
* Reading at least 20 pages a week of some book you like.
The idea is that you should make your goals personal and attainable that apply to things you enjoy. Fulfilling them will give you a sense of peace and joy.
2. Think about what brings you joy
If your resolution doesn’t excite you, then it’s more than likely that you will give it up within a few days. So, there’s no rule that your resolutions should include stuff like losing weight, pursuing a new hobby, or managing your finances better. This year, look for things that bring you joy and try to focus more on them. They could be something as simple as:
- Devoting one hour daily to your pet
- Listening to music at a particular time of the day just by yourself
- Looking at beautiful art
- Watching the sunrise
If these things make you feel relaxed and happy and keep your mind focused on the present, then resolve to do them more often in the new year.
3. Write down the things that worked for you in 2021
2021 may not have been the best year for you, but there must have been a few things that did work. Reflect on those 'wins', as small as they may seem before you begin the process of setting resolutions for the coming year. That’s because celebrating your ‘wins’ will provide you with a much stronger foundation for pursuing your future goals. Keep in mind that those ‘wins’ need not be life-changing or monumental – even remembering small simple things that worked for you this year can make a huge difference.
To begin with, write down a list of your “Top 5 Things I am Most Proud of in 2021.” That’s it. For example:
* I am proud of being calmer.
* I am proud of taking care of my dog’s health.
* I am proud of finishing that huge book.
* I am proud of adding to my savings.
* I am proud of completing my painting.
4. Develop a daily meditation practice, even if it's only five minutes a day
Meditation helps us become more aware of others and ourselves. Practicing it daily allows us to focus and redirect our thoughts. Research also suggests that the practice can reduce your stress levels, improve your focus, memory, emotional intelligence, and productivity.
While you may be aware of the many wonderful benefits of meditation, not all of us are able to take time out for it every day. Many of us try and set an unsustainable daily goal and then fail to follow it. Instead, start with just 5 minutes of meditation every day. It can be at any time of the day that’s comfortable for you – in the morning, after dinner, or during your evening break. Keep this going for 30 days and then increase it by 2-3 minutes from the next month. Don’t think too far ahead. Keep focusing on each day as it comes. By the end of the year, you might well be up to around 30 minutes.
5. Decide what to let go
We all have them. Those things, habits, relationships, or patterns that we know are not good for us and are letting us down. If it was easy to just ‘let go’ of these things, we would have done so a long time ago.
However, just as it is important to celebrate our ‘wins’ and bring them into our conscious awareness, it’s equally essential to focus on those parts of our lives where we would rather not look.
So, take a moment of pause and reflect on these questions:
* Where do I feel “stuck” in my life?
* What behavior(s) do I engage in that I know are harming me?
* What people or relationships are creating a negative effect on my life?
* What patterns are causing me mental discomfort?
* What am I hoping will end so that I can finally feel free or peaceful?
Now, take a moment to ponder on these questions and make a list of 5 things you would like to let go of from your life in the coming year. While simply writing these things is not likely to guarantee change, being aware of them will be the first step on the path to truly letting them go.
Great Mindful Resolutions That Work For Everyone
Now that we have covered the tips that will help you pick a mindful resolution for 2022, let’s shift our focus to some practical examples of mindful resolutions that can work for anyone.
* Favoring process over perfection
As you are setting your resolutions, please keep in mind that achieving them will not suddenly lead to happiness. Yes, you will feel a sense of contentment but there will always be more goals in your life to accomplish. So whatever goal you choose, favor the process rather than perfection.
For example, your goal is to walk for 10 minutes post-dinner every night. Don’t count the minutes or think about just finishing the task. Instead, focus on every step you take and try and enjoy those 10 minutes as much as you can. Think of it as your me-time. Listen to some music or divert your mind to happy thoughts during that time. Slowly, those 10 minutes will become your favorite part of the day and you will simply enjoy the process of walking rather than thinking of it as a goal to accomplish.
* Don’t break out of your comfort zone. Expand it
We are often told to break out of our comfort zone. Because, apparently, following the same patterns, behaviors, and habits stagnates you and it’s important to break out of them and explore areas where you feel most alive and creative.
However, some psychologists say that instead of getting rid of our comfort zones, we should try and expand it - because the larger it is, the better chance we will have of feeling authoritative in more areas of our life. You see, our comfort zone is our safe place. While some people might call it a rut, the things that are predictable and cause no mental or emotional strain and stress should be savored, says fear expert Rhonda Britten, founder of the Fearless Living Institute.
In an ever-changing world, our comfort zone helps us recharge and relax. When you're in your comfort zone, you experience low levels of stress and anxiety. Here, you don’t have to constantly worry about figuring everything out. So, this coming year, instead of feeling guilty about your comfort zones, try and expand them a little. Think of the things you’ve always wished you could do, like learning a new musical instrument or cooking and try it. Who knows, the new activity might turn out to be your favorite and become a new addition to your comfort zone!
* Resolving to enjoy simple pleasures more
This new year, resolve to enjoy the simple pleasures of life a little more. Be mindful of every minute of savoring that first sip of coffee in the morning, enjoying your workout, or reading alone in your favorite corner. As American author Laura Ingalls Wilder had said “It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.” So resolve to enjoy the simple pleasures in life more in 2022 and you might just be surprised at how often you come across those pleasures once you open yourself up to them.
Related: 10 Useful Tips to Derive Pleasure from Everyday Things
* Not letting anger get the best of you
Learning to regulate our emotions and keeping our anger in check is no easy task. When we are confronted, disrespected, or opposed, we often let anger sweep over us. That eventually makes things worse. To avoid this, it’s important to catch ourselves at the moment we are about to lose our cool. It’s easier said than done, of course, and requires a lot of practice. But if you keep reminding yourself about it, you can surely get a grip on it. It’s a challenge you can certainly take next year for your own betterment.
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