Why You Need To Prioritize Getting Zen In 2023

It’s a new year and already I feel the anxious energy starting to build. If you’re feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, it might be time to try meditation. No, it’s not just for hippies, yogis, and some millennial influencers on TikTok – meditation is a practice that involves focusing the mind on a specific object, thought, or activity to train attention and awareness. It’s been around for centuries and is a key part of many different cultures and spiritual traditions.

So why should you bother with meditation? Here are some benefits to consider:

Reduced stress: Meditation can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by calming the mind and body. Imagine being able to let go of all that stress and just chill out for a bit. Sounds pretty great, right?

Improved focus and concentration: Regular meditation can help improve focus and concentration, making it easier to complete tasks and make decisions. No more getting sidetracked or forgetting what you were doing – bring on the productivity!

Better sleep: If you’re having trouble sleeping, meditation might be able to help with that too. It can improve sleep quality by calming the mind and body, leading to a deeper and more restful sleep. So if you’re tossing and turning all night, try adding some meditation to your bedtime routine.

Increased self-awareness: Meditation can help increase self-awareness and personal growth. It’s like having a therapy session with yourself – without the awkward small talk and high price tag.

Physical health benefits: Meditation has been linked to a number of physical health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, improving heart health, and boosting the immune system. Who knew just sitting still and breathing could be so good for you?

There are lots of different ways to meditate, so you can find what works best for you. Some people prefer to meditate in a quiet space, while others find it helpful to use guided meditations or listen to calming music. The most important thing is to make it a regular part of your routine. Whether you have just a few minutes or an hour to spare, meditation can be a powerful tool for improving your mental and physical well-being. So put that phone down, step away from your laptop, give it a try and see how it works for you – you might just find yourself feeling a little more zen.

It’s a new year, and nobody has time to be stressed.

How To Be Bold In The Face Of The Unknown

I can promise you the page will always turn. Each chapter will roll into the next one, with words still undiscovered lying ahead. The implication for us is that our story always promises change.  

The routines that strap us into security will always untie, freeing us into a new space. The idea of freedom is one so many of us crave. But sometimes, once it arrives, we can feel freighted by the sheer scale of it. It’s like being launched into the great unknown, ejected from our warm little spaceship to float in an unmapped abyss. Seemingly untethered. Completely suspended from the familiarity of what we once knew. Though that can feel exciting, this chance to do the things you’ve always wanted, it can equally be overwhelming. What if you don’t know what move is next? What if the next star you really shoot for, you miss? What if nothing ever feels as safe, as known, as what you’re leaving behind? 

As we move forward, we can experience growing pains. These almost muscular aches stem from a fear of letting go, met with the fear of what’s lying ahead. Tied together, they knot in our stomachs. The instinctive reply is to press our heels deeper in the ground. To lock ourselves in where we are. Elbows in and chin tucked, we hook back into the known, never to discover all the wonders just a page-turn away. 

Suspended in the in-between, the space between those two worlds of the old and the new, there’s an opportunity to be bold. To see those uncharted corners of your life as a realm of unbelievable sights, the likes of which you’ve never seen. Rekindle the curiosity that once led us to run between tall grass and towering trees just to see more. Scraped knees long forgotten as we’d find a stick fit for a sword or flowers perfect for a crown. 

With any change, the thing that roots you and makes sure you never feel lost is that even in the vastness of space, you are surrounded by stars. Scattered lights, some near and some far, that lift the darkness as you go. We aren’t anchored to things or places. Even if you feel it, you will never be completely untethered. Because our true ties go much deeper. We’re connected to the ones we love, the ones who love us. We hold onto the hands that have held us. We lean on every past version of ourselves who did so well to get us here. 

The path behind you can serve as a reminder, a promise, that you’ve done this before. You can do it again. True reassurance emerges from looking at yourself, your strengths, your values, the places you’ve walked before. True comfort comes from knowing that if there is love, you will be okay. No path will lead you astray; no turn will take you too far. You will always be found. 

So, lean into the spaces undiscovered. Wade through waters untouched, wander through landscapes unseen. Notice how the sun rises differently here, how the light catches in new ways. Feel life flesh out its texture, becoming richer in the discovery of all its potential. 

Be bold and turn the page. 

This Year, I Hope You Remember That You Matter

A new year is a right time for making wishes because it’s like the very first page of a new book. So, I won’t wish for you to find love or to make more money. I won’t wish for you to find a new job, pursue your master’s degree, or get married, because maybe those things won’t make you feel fulfilled. I won’t wish you all the happiness in the world either, because sadness can be beautiful too. 

For this next year and years ahead, I wish for you to feel alive. 

I hope this year, you will start to see yourself as a gift. I hope you will stop blaming yourself for the way you feel things deeply. I hope you will welcome every emotion that comes along instead of denying it. You were born to feel, to grow empathy and love from within, and to be the example of someone who was born with a big heart and humility. You are not a burden. You are not a set of mistakes. You are not broken. You are a collection of stories, lessons, and limitless wisdom. You are always a work of art even when you see yourself as a work in progress. You are not flawless, but you are still worthy of receiving genuine love from others. Allow yourself to let go of the perfection that you seek. You are allowed to try and fail. To fall and to rise again. To start and end things as you wish. To grieve and to live with the pain. To outgrow people and build new connections. To outgrow yourself and build the new you.

I hope you will start to live your life based on what you want and need. Instead of seeking people’s approval and validation, try to seek new experiences that you will cherish forever. Stop saying “yes” to the things you don’t want to do because you are allowed to reject and disagree. You are allowed to speak your mind and to believe in what you say. You are allowed to be heard. You are allowed to be bold and to go against the mainstream. Allow yourself to learn beyond what you’ve been taught in school. Discuss the taboo things and listen to countless opinions from the people around you. Enrich your mind with different people’s backgrounds and values. Remember your core beliefs, yet understand that you are allowed to change your mind and shift your perspective anytime. Don’t ever settle for just one way of seeing things. You are allowed to explore as many ideas as you possibly can.  

This year, allow yourself to put down that heavy burden of people’s expectations from your shoulders. Allow yourself to live. Allow yourself to breathe deeply. To surrender and trust whatever life has to offer. I hope you will understand that there will be many things that are beyond your control and believe that it’s okay if things fall apart sometimes. You’re not supposed to figure out everything overnight. Life is supposed to be confusing, and it’s not a puzzle to solve. It’s okay if you can’t understand everything, because sometimes things just don’t make sense. I hope this year, you allow yourself to let things be. I hope you’ll understand and always know the right time to start or to stop. To stay or to leave. To make efforts or to let go. I hope that this year, you’ll understand how to set boundaries with people and things. 

And most of all, I hope that this year, you’ll allow yourself to live. To sing like nobody’s listening. To dance in the middle of the crowd shamelessly. To ask questions and seek help courageously. To heal and to start understanding yourself deeply. To feel every emotion and to cry out of joy and sorrow. To be confused and have mixed feelings. To take new chances and to let yourself learn new things. To rest your body and mind without guilt. To chase your dream no matter how impossible it is. I hope that this year, you’ll understand what truly matters to you. I hope you won’t waste your time loving someone who doesn’t understand how to love you properly. I hope you won’t feel small in front of anyone. I hope you won’t stay in a place where you don’t feel like you belong. I hope you’ll find the courage to move on. To start anew. Stop defining your future by your past. To fully embrace your potential and to set an intention that you’ll take care of yourself properly this time. I hope that this year, you’ll understand what it feels like to be fully human. 

For the next years ahead, please always remember that you are allowed to be here. You are allowed to love and be loved. You are here to connect, exchange stories, support, and leave a legacy of your kindness behind. Never see yourself as someone useless. You are here for a reason because, after all this time, your existence matters. You matter.

My wish is that this year, you will always find hope no matter how dark the world will be. 

The Lies That Depression Tells Your Brain

It tells you that you are nothing, you have no one, and it will never get better. 

Never-ending negatives play constantly in your brain until you give in and let the demons of depression run the show.

It tells you to go back to sleep. Don’t leave the bed. Neglect yourself and everyone around you. Withdraw, retreat, and repeat. 

It feeds the brain nothing but despair, clouding your mind with its lies.

No matter how much you surround yourself with people, you will still feel lonely. 

No matter how much makeup you wear, you will not be able to conceal the pain inside of yourself. 

You can contour, paint a fresh face, and cover up imperfections on the outside, but inside there will be no fix for your misery. 

As much as you post in abundance and portray a fake, fulfilled life, you will still be empty. 

You will feel all of your mistakes and misfortunes seeping through each of your pores, drowning you in a sea of self-pity and destruction. 

All the guilt will build in your belly, creating a gut that taunts you in the mirror.

Inside you will feel ugly. You are hollow; your mind is a black hole that swirls and swallows your happiness alive. 

The lies depression tells your brain are extraordinarily unpleasant, but remember they are also untrue. 

Even if a friend feels like a distant concept lately and loneliness surrounds you, you are not alone.

It may feel unattainable to allow human attachment and allow people to go past the walls of your mind. 

Others do not see the turmoil hidden inside of you. You can try to escape but depression will follow you. 

A broken person on the east coast is still a broken, depressed person on the west coast, and they will still be broken in another country.

You can change the environment, but no matter how much you run, you will always be stuck with what is lingering in your core.

You cannot run from yourself or your mind. 

The mind is a complex thing that takes what you feed it, stores it, loops it, and runs with it.

So feed it positivity and beauty.

Recovery is an inside job. Temporary fixes help you for a little, but the real road to happiness is deep-rooted within you. 

You cannot run; you must stop and breathe. Love and care for yourself. Do the work you know is inside of you.

 You can only ignore the lies depression tells your brain.

You matter. You are someone special. You are loved.

It may not feel good at this very moment, but moments are fleeting and it will be okay. 

You are a survivor and depression is not the winner of your battles.

How To Let Go Of Your Need For Control And Find Freedom Instead

We all have a natural desire for control. It’s a way of feeling safe and secure in an uncertain world. However, our need for control can sometimes be detrimental, causing stress, anxiety, and resentment. But it’s not all doom and gloom. There are benefits of letting go of control and, would you believe, there are some tips and strategies for surrendering it in different areas of our lives.

Understanding Our Need for Control

Our desire for control is often a response to uncertainty and fear. We want to be able to predict and influence the outcomes of situations and feel a sense of stability and security as a result. However, the reality is that we can’t control everything, no matter how hard we try (trust me, I’ve tried). And the more we try to control things that are beyond our control, the more we may feel frustrated and overwhelmed. In fact, trying to control everything can be a little like trying to herd cats.

Ways to Let Go of Control

So, how can we let go of our need for control and find freedom instead? Here are some tips and strategies to consider:

Practice mindfulness: Being present in the moment can help us let go of our need to control the future. By focusing on what we can control in the present, such as our thoughts and actions, we can let go of our attachment to outcomes. Plus, mindfulness can help us appreciate the little things in life, like the smell of fresh coffee or the feel of a warm sunbeam on our skin… or what’s happening in our favorite television show.

Set boundaries: Setting clear boundaries for ourselves and others can help us feel more in control of our lives. This can involve saying no to unreasonable requests, setting limits on our time and energy, and taking breaks when we need them. Just think of it as a way of telling the world, “Hey, I’m not a doormat! Can we not today, thanks!”

Seek support: It can be helpful to have a supportive network of friends, family, or professionals to lean on when we’re feeling overwhelmed. Sharing our struggles and receiving guidance and encouragement can help us let go of the burden of trying to control everything on our own. And who knows, you might even make a few new friends in the process.

Letting Go of Control in Different Areas of Life

Now that we’ve discussed some general strategies for letting go of control, let’s explore how to apply them in different areas of life:

Relationships: In relationships, it’s important to recognize that we can’t control others’ thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. By letting go of the need to control our partners or friends, we can create healthier, more authentic connections. Plus, it’s way more fun to be with someone who is their own person, rather than a carbon copy of ourselves. (For example: someone who knows what they want to eat when you ask them. “I don’t know, what do you feel like?” is not an answer, nor is it helpful. But in the spirit of this article, I’ll let this one go.)

Work: In the workplace, it’s natural to want to have control over our tasks and responsibilities. However, we can’t control everything that happens in the office. By letting go of our need to control every aspect of our work, we can become more adaptable and resilient in the face of change. And who knows, you might even surprise yourself by tackling new challenges and coming up with creative solutions. (This one was hard for me for many years. Then I learned that sharing the workload has its benefits, like less work, less stress, and more you time.)

Personal growth: Letting go of control can also be beneficial for our personal growth and development. By surrendering our need to control every aspect of our lives, we can be open to new experiences and opportunities for growth. Plus, it’s way more fun to try new things and take risks than to play it safe all the time. (I mean, every superhero does it in every movie and the world seems to turn out okay, so let’s try it.)

To wrap this up, letting go of control can be challenging but ultimately rewarding. By surrendering our need to control every aspect of our lives, we can find greater freedom, flexibility, and resilience. Plus, we might even have a little fun along the way. If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of letting go of control, consider seeking out additional resources or support. Who knows, you might discover a whole new side of yourself in the process… hopefully it’s that you’re a superhero.

In the words of Frozen, “Let it go.”

How To Mend The Adult Problems That Were Caused by Your Childhood Trauma

Trauma is like an earthquake to our nervous system, an intense rumble in our core that shakes us with anguish for years. Our emotional wellbeing can be one of many casualties, along with our sense of confidence, trust, and our ability to feel safe. Every time we experience trauma, we risk irrevocable ruin. Sometimes, we hear the echoes of that ruin late at night, when sleep is too distant to reach. Sometimes it tugs at our gut when we least expect it, when we swear we were fully healed.

Childhood trauma can be the most detrimental of all, and can stem from any sort of caregiver neglect, emotional, physical or sexual abuse, or household challenges such as death or divorce. It doesn’t discriminate and can take a significant physical toll on the body as an adult. The trauma inflicted in our developmental years can impact so much of how we live, such as the way we cope with stress, regulate our emotions, and connect with others. It chisels from the inside out, manifesting in the form of drug addiction, sleep disorders, memory loss, learning difficulties, aggression, abusive relationships, OCD, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, depression, self-harm, and harrowing PTSD flashbacks.

If you’re a victim of childhood trauma, that doesn’t mean you need to keep reliving toxic cycles or driving away good things and good people. There’s an old quote by American educator Randy Pausch that goes, “It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand.” What this means is that just because you were born into abuse, poverty, or absolute mayhem, that doesn’t mean you can’t rise above it. The challenges will be there, but that just means the victories will be even more fulfilling. Here’s how you can break the cycle once and for all:

Feel your feelings

There’s nothing more disruptive to the healing process than resisting our emotions. It is always healthiest to process our feelings (sadness, remorse, fear, resentment, anger, humiliation) when they first happen to avoid them getting trapped in our body and then saluting us again years later. Unfortunately, societal pressures can block this flow of emotions and cause us to repress what we are feeling until long after we should be moved on from the initial trauma. Remember, not every stab wound needs to scar. 

Face your demons

This one is perhaps the most brutal, but also the most necessary. And if you’ve been wounded by trauma, you most certainly have demons. If you can’t face the darkest parts of yourself, then healing is nothing but a pipe dream. We’ve all experienced shame throughout our tender histories, but that doesn’t mean we need to possess that shame forever. Acknowledge your traumas rather than try to deny their existence or minimize their impact. They are an important part of who you are today, and though they may be painful in their remembrance, they are there to help prepare you for what’s next. You are not responsible for your childhood trauma, but you are responsible for accepting it for what it is and using it as fuel to let it transform you into the best you can be.

Forgive, forgive, forgive

Never underestimate the power of forgiveness. Forgiveness has very little to do with the individuals we are forgiving, and everything to do with ourselves and letting go of stale, toxic energy that is holding us back from becoming the person we’re meant to become. Grudges are not only cumbersome cargo, they also wreak havoc on our physical wellbeing over time. Don’t forget to forgive yourself while you’re at it.

Accept help from others

One of the worst impacts that trauma can have on us in the long-term is our relationships with others. It can cause us to throw emotional barriers in front of those we love. It can cause us to spill poison from our mouths whenever someone tries to lend a helping hand. Speaking to a therapist or even just a willing friend can offer perspectives that differ from our own. It can allow us to be heard without judgment rearing its ugly head. It is through this empathetic exchange that we may be offered an ideal solution or, at the very least, be given permission to talk through the debacle so that we don’t feel so hopelessly alone. Sometimes all a heart needs to heal is the company of another.

Access the mind-body connection

Since trauma leaves its remnants in our mind and body, tapping into our mind-body connection can prove extremely effective. This includes everything from yoga and meditation to cognitive behavioral therapy or somatic therapies like EFT and EMDR. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of talk-therapy that focuses on rewiring the brain’s thought patterns and false beliefs instilled by trauma, whereas EFT and EMDR are body-based therapies that focus on releasing trauma through movement and other forms of nonverbal expression. There are also plenty of experiential therapies to explore, such as music, drama, art, wilderness, or animal-assisted therapy. No two people will respond the same way to therapy, so it’s worth trialing a variety of approaches. Remember, if you give your mind and body love, they will love you back.

The healing journey is never linear. It’s messy. Confusing. It backtracks. It hurts. But in the end, it’s always worth the trouble of opening the floodgates of your emotions, of dismantling old beliefs, of letting people in, of forgiving those who hurt you most, of locating the sad inner-child within you and loving him or her anyway. Because if you do, you will not reverse your history, but you will rehabilitate your present and your future. If you do, you will not eliminate your pain, but you will forever strengthen your ability to manage pain, until eventually turning it into progress. Trauma doesn’t always start with us, but its effects can most certainly end with us.

How To Upgrade Yourself In 2023

2023 is the year! The year to level up and to work on yourself. But before you get sucked into the next health craze your aunt tried for three days or that yoga retreat you’ve never had any interest in till now, let’s break down how you can personally develop without losing yourself or the savings in your bank account.

Personal development, also known as self-improvement, is the process of continuously working to become the best version of yourself. It involves setting goals, reflecting on your strengths and weaknesses, and taking action to make positive changes in your life. All of which you can do yourself, for free, with your own life changing results, if you want it.

Here are some steps you can take to start your personal development journey:

Identify your values: Understanding your values is crucial to personal development because it helps you determine what is most important to you and how you want to live your life. Take some time to reflect on what matters most to you and write down your top values.

Set goals: Once you have identified your values, you can start setting goals that align with them. Make sure your goals are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound).

Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses: Take stock of your skills and areas for improvement. Make a list of your strengths and areas you would like to work on, and consider how you can use your strengths to overcome your weaknesses.

Learn new skills: Personal development often involves learning new skills to improve yourself in some way. This could be learning a new language, improving your communication skills, or taking a course to advance your career.

Practice self-care: Taking care of yourself is important for your overall well-being. This could include things like getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and finding ways to manage stress.

Seek support: Personal development can be challenging, and it can be helpful to have support from others. Consider finding a mentor or joining a support group to help you stay motivated and on track.

I wish it was all fun and games but if you really want to take yourself to your next level, it does involve you putting the investment, time, and work into yourself.

Remember, personal development is a continuous process (aka lifelong!) and it’s okay to take small steps. By setting goals and taking action, you can continue to grow and improve throughout your life. And never forget, you will always be your best and most valuable asset.

Have fun discovering more for who you can be.

How To Set Goals For A Better New Year

To control and manage time, humans invented a calendar and broke it down into periods. One of those periods was a year. 8,766 hours. Sounds like a lot of time, and yet always not enough.

Quantity is not always quality. That’s why it is a fantastic habit to analyze, summarize, and arrive at conclusions at the end of a period (a year in our case).

Human psyche requires a hard stop—we are always looking for a finite action. We analyze events and move on. And the best, most effective way to move on is to plan.

If you are intentional about your life, 8,766 hours are more than enough time to completely change your life.

Here are effective ways to analyze your year:

Give importance to this goal-setting task.

Find comfortable space away from distractions.

Write everything down – the brain thinks differently when we do.

Prepare for an amazing adventure – your life is so interesting with so many twists and turns, better than any Hollywood blockbuster.

Pick 7 areas (for example, career, money, friends, family, wellness, mountaineering, hobbies) etc, and think what you have accomplished in each area this year. Think of yourself as an A-list actor in that Hollywood movie. Your life is unique, you were both an actor and a director and a producer in that movie. What did you create? What happened? Do you like what you have created?

Break it down by month—it’s easier to track progress. Your successes? What are you grateful for? What did you learn? Any failed attempts? Are you planning to try again next year? What do you have to let go of?

Give your movie a title and describe your year in one sentence.

Be grateful for everything you have experienced this year. Let go of the mistakes. It was what it was. It’s not the events that matter but the feelings we have about them, the stories we choose to tell ourselves. We shouldn’t let the past drag us back. It’s like setting the sail and forgetting to lift the anchor!

If you go through this process periodically, you’ll learn a lot about yourself. You’ll see how you have changed over the years and you’ll appreciate the new person you have become because your growth will be so apparent to you.

We analyze events and move on. Statistically, only 5% of people plan their future on paper. Big mistake! Living a life without a goal is like getting into a taxi cab and instructing the driver, ‘Don’t take me to the airport.’ No clear direction – no result. 

So, effective goal-setting:

Write everything down (already explained that part, see above).

Take the same 7 areas and write down your wishes in each area. Paying off your mortgage or wishing for the kids to get into college are not your goals! Be brave in setting your goal. If you already know you can easily reach your goal, most likely this goal is not big enough,

Approximate months when you plan to achieve those goals.

Can you set more concrete dates? When you start thinking from a position of results, you start seeing solutions all around you.

If you have a life partner, share your list to check if you are on the same page! After all, you’ll be spending the next 8,766 hours with that person.

Now, congratulate yourself for setting up this plan. Good job! You just allowed yourself to grow into a new reality.

The only thing you need for goal-setting is intention. The remaining – action – is easy.

Planning for your future is an art. It is a great pleasure to live your life from a position of a creator, director of your own movie, when life is not happening to you but when you make things happen.

Dream, be bold, plan, act, stay focused, summit, enjoy the view from the summit.

Keep climbing.

How To Fall In Love With Your Own Company

Spending time alone can be a wonderful thing. It can be an opportunity to recharge your batteries, to reconnect with yourself, and to do the things you love without distractions. But for many people, being alone can also be a source of anxiety and discomfort. If you struggle to enjoy your own company, here are some tips for falling in love with your own company:

Embrace solitude.

Solitude is not the same thing as loneliness. It’s about being alone by choice rather than being alone because you have no other option. Embrace solitude as an opportunity to enjoy your own company and to do the things you love without distractions. Think of it like a solo vacation—you get to be the boss, and you don’t have to compromise on anything (except maybe the remote control).

Find activities you enjoy.

Whether it’s reading, painting, writing, or listening to music, find activities that you enjoy doing on your own. These activities can provide a sense of fulfillment and purpose, and they can help you to enjoy your own company. Plus, you get to be the star of the show—no need to share the spotlight with anyone else (unless you’re singing along to your favorite tunes, in which case, the whole world gets to be your audience).

Practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment without judgment. When you’re alone, try to be fully present in the moment and notice your thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them. This can help you to feel more connected to yourself and to enjoy your own company. Plus, you get to be the only one in your head, so you don’t have to deal with anyone else’s drama (except for that little voice that tells you to eat another cookie—we all have one of those).

Connect with others.

Being alone doesn’t mean being isolated. Connect with others through social media, phone calls, or in-person meetups. Social connections can provide support and companionship, and they can help you to feel less alone. Plus, you get to choose who you spend your time with, so you can surround yourself with people who make you happy (and avoid the ones who make you want to hide under a blanket and eat a whole box of cookies).

Take care of yourself.

Self-care is important for enjoying your own company. Take care of your physical and mental health by getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising. This can help you to feel better about yourself and to enjoy your own company. Plus, when you take care of yourself, you’re not just doing yourself a favor, you’re also taking care of the person you spend the most time with: yourself! So go ahead and pamper yourself—you deserve it (and so does your inner cookie monster).

Overall, falling in love with your own company is about embracing solitude, finding activities you enjoy, practicing mindfulness, connecting with others, and taking care of yourself.

23 Things To Bring Into 2023

23 things to bring with you into 2023:

  1. Compassion. Both for others and yourself. The world can often be an unkind, unfair place. Don’t add to that. Be compassionate.
  2. Boundaries. Boundaries make your relationships stronger, including the relationship you have with yourself. Understand your limits and be willing to kindly communicate them to your loved ones.
  3. More presence. Put the phone down when you’re watching TV or with friends. Instagram can wait. This moment cannot.
  4. A functional sleep schedule. Sleep is everything. Do your best to go to bed and wake up at the same time daily. Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake prior to bedtime. Find little ways to wind down at the end of each day to signal to your body and mind that it’s time for sleep. When you’re properly rested, life gets a little easier. Not to mention, it’s hugely beneficial for your overall health and wellness.
  5. More reading. Whatever you like to read, not what you think you should be reading. Make sure you read more in 2023.
  6. Sincere effort. Give a shit about the things you give a shit about, and don’t be afraid to show it. Care about your work, your relationships, your values, yourself, your dog, your home.
  7. Curiosity. In 2023, chase your curiosity with reckless abandon. Get lost in a YouTube rabbit hole about physics. Read up on British history. Learn about the psychology of dogs. Dabble in the elements of screenwriting. Basically, chase whatever makes you curious and then pursue it.
  8. Opening up your heart (instead of shutting it down). Feel your feelings. Let love in. Allow room for aching when necessary. Get hella pissed when the occasion calls for it. Cry it out. And then? Let it go.
  9. Afternoon walks. When the weather allows for it, take an afternoon stroll. Walking has tons of health benefits including but not limited to improved immune function, more energy, and an enhanced mood.
  10. Phone calls over texting. Whenever you can, picking up the phone and having even a 10-minute phone call with a loved one can do wonders.
  11. Mistakes. Don’t be afraid to mess up in 2023. Take risks. Screw up. Learn from it all.
  12. More time outdoors. Fresh air is great for the soul. Spend more time outdoors, even if it’s simply sitting outside during your lunch break on a particularly sunny and beautiful day.
  13. Mental wellness, in whatever way that looks like for you.
  14. Finding new experiences that bring you joy. In addition to doing the things you know will make you happy, find new ways to experience joy in 2023. Become more curious about the world around you and inside your heart by seeking out novelty whenever you can. You never know what will stir delight until you try it. So try everything that makes you do a double take and don’t look back.
  15. Telling people you love them. Especially during moments when you’re noticing how much you really do love someone. Tell them. Always.
  16. Organization. Get your life in order in 2023. Get an agenda and keep track of your meetings, appointments, deadlines, and coffee dates. Make your junk drawer functional. Declutter your wardrobe. Streamline your budget. Get it together.
  17. Radical acceptance. Radical acceptance is a concept with roots in Buddhism that posits that suffering is rooted in attachment to one’s pain, not necessarily the pain itself. There is so much in life that is out of your control, sometimes things that really fucking suck. Radical acceptance helps ease these events by accepting what already is so you can focus on what you can control. One way to practice radical acceptance is reciting coping statements such as, It is what it is or I can get through this, even though it’s incredibly difficult. To be clear, radical acceptance isn’t about condoning or celebrating negative things. It’s simply about allowing these things to exist as they are. In turn, this allows you to move forward.
  18. Delayed gratification. Delayed gratification is basically putting off something that is satisfying and rewarding. The reason delayed gratification is important is that research has shown that people who are able to practice it are more successful. Not to mention, it makes the positive event that much sweeter. Finding little ways to practice delayed gratification in your everyday life such as delaying your morning cup of coffee by 30 minutes can improve your patience and emotional regulation skills.
  19. Chats with strangers. Strike up a conversation with your barista. Chat with the person waiting in line at the grocery store. Say hi to someone passing by on your morning walk. Talking with strangers is linked to a number of positive outcomes including lessened loneliness, boosted happiness, and an improved sense of belonging.
  20. Proving yourself wrong. Do the things that you’re afraid you can’t. Challenge yourself. Do the hard things because you believe you’ll figure it out. And even if you don’t succeed, the experience of doing something difficult and giving it your all is worthwhile.
  21. Gratitude. Find little things to be grateful for each day. Expressing gratitude has a host of benefits including stronger relationships, improved physical and mental health, lessened aggression, and greater empathy.
  22. Pockets of peace. Find little ways to bring gentleness into your everyday. Make your morning shower a spa-like experience by hanging eucalyptus on your shower head. Light a candle at the end of your work day. Take five minutes in the afternoon to deep breathe or meditate. When life gets busy, know there are moments of stillness to look forward to.
  23. The belief something amazing is just around the corner. And if you can’t believe that, hope that something might be.