I can hardly believe that we are entering the final week of 2013; where did the year go? I know it’s cliche, but the older I get the faster each year seems to fly by.
Each year I like to reflect and take away some things (good or bad) that I have learned, so here goes…
1. Be Present. We spend so much time rushing around between work, kids, and family that we often find ourselves running on autopilot (present company included!) . We rarely take time to be in the moment. Life can pass us by if we’re not careful. Take time to embrace your surroundings. Being present helps me to feel grounded and reminds me of why I do what I do.
2. Breathe. At certain times of the month I have a very short fuse and have a tendency to fly off the handle (ladies, I know you can relate!). My therapist, yes folks I’m in therapy, keeps telling me to breathe. After months of eye rolling I finally took her up on it and shockingly I noticed a difference! The key is to consciously breathe before you feel overwhelmed. Deep breathing regulates your body and gives you pause. So go ahead, roll your eyes, but try it, you have nothing to lose.
3. Be Authentic. This is something I have always embraced, but so many people feel the need to be fake which I find exhausting. I wear my flaws like a badge of honor and I honestly believe if more people were honest with themselves about their limitations, shortcomings and insecurities the world would be a more forgiving place.
4. Be Grateful. There is a distinct difference between being a realist and being negative. The world is unfair, your boss may be a jerk, and your kids may talk back-that’s reality. At the end of the day if we have our health and can find happiness in small moments, consider yourself fortunate.
5. Exercise. Studies show that 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week significantly helps mind, body and spirit. In our over scheduled society it is often difficult to carve out even 30 min a day, but try. Put it on your calendar, sign up for a class or grab a friend to help motivate you. If you are held accountable for canceling, you are less likely to bail.
Like you, I’m a work in progress. Everyday I feel an obligation to be a good mom, a caring friend, an encouraging boss, and a supportive wife. That’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself, and I know I am not alone. If you’ve ever shared these insecurities I encourage you to forge into 2014 with a clean slate and a plan of action. Starting with these 5 steps helped me and I’m sure they can help you too.
Happy New Year!