The moment a new page turns on a calendar wheel, the self-reflection begins. It doesn't matter what your stance on resolutions are, the new year forces everyone to remember where they were 365 days ago. What has changed? What has remained the same? What is better? What is worse? While I've listed my resolutions here in the past, this year I want to provide some insight on 6 things that I feel are important to focus on, no matter what time of year it is.
1. Mind - Your mind can be your best friend or worst enemy. I believe that you can change your entire world (as in, how you perceive it) through your thoughts. If you "feed your brain" with junk - negativity, gossip, fear - you will always have a case of the Charlie Brown cloud. Instead, train your mind to return to the present moment. Take 5 minutes before you go to bed to sit and breathe. Read everything and anything that gives you a new perspective on life.
2. Body - Stay active. If there is one thing to invest in this year, it's your limbs. I was recently telling someone over lunch that I've been neglectful in this department (due to work and a busy schedule) but I vow to get back on track. Find an activity that keeps you motivated and take small steps. Just keep moving. Remember, it's not just about vanity, it's about health.
3. Soul - Indulge in activities that make you deliriously happy. I'm talking about the hobbies that really immerse you in the present moment. You don't just do them passively - you feel them. For me, it's writing. However, when I think back to other activities that "fed my soul," I also remember painting in high school and taking dance classes as a teen (despite my poor coordination). Remember what you loved as a kid and start from there.
4. Heart - Choose to value people above everything. Your friends and family are the most important support system to get you through another year. Don't take them for granted. Also, welcome new people into your life. Open your heart. Surround yourself with those who challenge and stimulate you. The best relationships and friendships are the ones that make you a better person. Don't waste energy on people who drain you.
5. Risk - Do something this year that you've always wanted to do. Try something new. For me, it involves travel, writing and taking more chances. For writing, I want to finish a screenplay that I've been "working" on for 2 years (I currently have a meager 6 pages written and a notebook full of scene scraps). I'd also like to get published in a print publication. Sometimes the risk is simply putting yourself in a situation that may set you up for rejection or ridicule. Do it anyway.
6. Gratitude - No matter where you are at this very moment, be thankful. Be grateful for another year. Believe that there is good in every single day. Write it down. Some days, you may have to look really hard, but you will always find something.
I'm supposed to be on a plane to New York City right now, but my flight was cancelled due to weather. I hope tomorrow goes as planned and I'm celebrating 2012 with my favourite people in Brooklyn.
Until then, Happy 2012!