One recurring theme in all of the challenges I have faced this year is mental strength. Living alone, the trap of being connected all the time, problems back home — all of them have tested my mental capacity to the point that I experienced “China Days” in midsummer.
Just recently when another series of challenges came to my way, I held back, meditated, and followed the advice of a very good friend: “Every morning when you wake up, you have a choice to be happy or otherwise.” This mantra has helped me find my way out of those dark days. It isn’t easy, but what she said makes sense. It is always up to you whether you choose to live a happy and stress-free life.
Isn’t that something that we always want? For some who make new life goals to ring in another year, doing anything related to being happy and stress-free always top their New Year’s lists. But sadly, not everybody achieves those resolutions past the first week of the year, or even succeeds at all by the year-end.
New Year’s resolutions are special because the start of another year symbolizes another chance to renew ourselves or reach what we’ve always dreamed of. And as we begin to think about our goals for 2019, we also need to take time to reflect and focus on what’s important. Practicing mindfulness is definitely a start to a great journey ahead. But how can you do it?
Know your intentions
It’s easy to list down goals, but ask yourself why you want to achieve them. Even if your reasons might be anchored to your way of life or habits, go deeper and look further. It will take time and experience to know the “why” of your intentions, but that’s OK – we are all a work in progress!
Enjoy the journey, but don’t get distracted
Don’t let stumbling blocks on the way stop you from achieving your goal. There will be ways to get past these blocks. So if your goal is to lose weight, you have to identify the possible blocks – perhaps an exercise schedule, dietary changes, and the like – and try to focus on how you can achieve the same result without spending too much effort and instead enjoying the process even more.
Revisit your behaviors
It’s been said that doing something for 21 consecutive days make it a habit. Is it a good habit, though? Or perhaps we have set daily routines which may not be beneficial in the long run. Take a look at these apparently ingrained behaviors, because they affect the actions that you want to change or improve in the upcoming year.
Be kind to yourself
As stated above, we are a work in progress. Life is unpredictable and stress is a normal part of it. It’s OK if we don’t live up to our expectations. So always be kind to yourself, and slowly learn to be aware of yourself through mindfulness practices. When we bring our attention to our awareness, we let our minds wander and recognize our intentions or aspirations.
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