It’s the perfect time of year to reflect on your life and set new inspiring intentions and goals for the year ahead. Here are 21 habits of happy people you can adopt.
1. Forgive more.
The Buddha once said, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
Remember that everyone is fighting their own battle, and everyone is trying their best. Learn to forgive other people and set yourself free.
2. Meditate daily.
Meditation is a beautiful way to still your mind — giving you a break from circling thoughts, worries and anxieties. Start with two minutes a day and build your way up to longer sittings.
3. See the world as awe-inspiring.
Imagine if you woke up this morning and saw the world around you for the first time. You would be absolutely amazed, fascinated and excited. Start seeing the world through fresh eyes and notice all the magic and beauty you may be missing.
4. Let go of things you can’t control.
When the bus is late, the queue is long or the café runs out of your favorite salad, take a deep breath and let it wash over you. Don’t allow external events to steal your inner peace and joy. Master the art of letting go.
5. Experience the flow of things you love.
When you’re completely focused on doing something you truly love, you lose your sense of ego and time. It may be through dancing, cooking, writing, running, building, painting or something unique to you. Make this experience of ‘flow’ a part of your weekly schedule.
6. Be more present.
When you worry about things going wrong in advance of them happening, you’re creating your own private hell in an otherwise peaceful and beautiful present moment.
Try bringing yourself back to the present moment throughout the day by noticing the sense of your body in your chair, the touch of the fabric against your skin or the gentle sensation of air on your face.
7. Spend time in nature.
Nature can have a calming effect and reminds us to slow down, take deep breaths and soak up the present moment. So make time for more bush walks, beach trips, picnics in the park and reading by the river.
8. Take up yoga.
Yoga is a beautiful way to align your body and soul — this in turn can increase your sense of wholeness and inner peace. It’s also the kind of exercise you can do anywhere, without equipment, once you’ve learned a few simple moves.
9. Spend time alone with yourself.
You need time alone to catch up on updates from the person you really need to stay in touch with — yourself. Spend time alone unpacking your worries and anxieties, and getting back in touch with your deepest desires and dreams. Schedule weekly or monthly solo dates in your yearly planner.
10. Keep an inspiration file.
Some days, you wake up feeling incredibly motivated and inspired to achieve your dreams. Other days, you wake up and the motivation has completely vanished.
That’s why it’s so useful to keep an inspiration file filled with your favorite quotes, stories and words of wisdom when your soul needs a boost. You can use a physical scrapbook or an album on your phone.
11. Establish a morning ritual.
Morning rituals can be beautifully soothing and set the tone for your day. It can be anything from a few minutes or a whole hour. Drink a warm lemon juice, read a few pages of an inspiring book, meditate, write a gratitude diary or goals list, or sit in peaceful silence as the world begins to stir.
12. Practice gratitude.
There is a reason gratitude is being promoted everywhere lately — it’s one of life’s sweet shortcuts to happiness. By focusing your attention on all of the beautiful things and simple joys in life, you will notice and attract more and more of them.
13. Give without strings attached.
Giving and receiving are one in truth. When you give to someone with no strings attached — whether it be a physical gift, a compliment or your time — you are nourished as well as the receiver.
14. Embrace uncertainty.
Uncertainty is a natural part of life and an inevitable factor in making big life changes. Learn to embrace it, and know that you will always be okay at every moment in your journey, even if you can’t quite see the road to the finish line yet.
15. Write a soul journal.
Writing a soul journal is a bit like keeping a traditional journal, except you ask your soul tough questions and seek guidance on the things you’re struggling with. The key is to write your stream-of-consciousness without self-censoring. You may be amazed by the wisdom residing deep within you.
16. Replenish your well.
Life can feel so busy and fast-paced — before you know it, you’re running on empty. You don’t serve the world by burning yourself out. Take breaks. Schedule a day off for fun and laughter. Book a holiday. Don’t always cut short your lunch break.
17. Compare less.
Mark Twain once said, “Comparison is the death of joy”. Life would be pretty boring if every restaurant was the same, every romantic partner was the same, or every day was the same. Accept when things are not as you expected and appreciate that it makes life interesting.
18. Make time for friendship.
One of the top five regrets of the dying is not spending enough time with friends. Create a weekly or monthly ritual with your friends, like dinner at a local restaurant, trivia night or morning yoga session.
19. Trust yourself.
So often we make mistakes and bad decisions in life because we’ve ignored the inner voice of guidance inside of us. Trust your intuition. Your soul knows exactly what is needed for you to blossom into your best, brightest self.
20. Commit to living a life true to you.
When you live, work, date, play, eat, drink, create, dance, travel and dream in ways that feel right with your soul, you come alive, and the whole world benefits.
21. Be gentle on yourself.
You are perfect and complete exactly as you are. Even when you are striving to improve and grow, you are complete and worthy of self-love. As the Buddhist saying goes, “We are all perfect as we are, and we could all use a little work.”
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