The definitive toolkit for self-improvement
2017 has been a weird year. It gave me immense joy, both personally and professionally. At the same time it handed me some downright sour grapes. More importantly, its finale was anticlimactic, and nowhere near what I had in mind. Because life happens.
But this is old news now. New Year’s Day inspires me. It feels like the counter is resetting and I can start a new session in the ultimate sporting game: Life.
My favorite tools are already in place. Let me walk you through them.
WEAPON #1: The 101 List
The most powerful -and fun- tool of them all. The annual list of 101 things to accomplish serves as a guide for the year ahead, highlighting my intentions and pointing towards the direction I wish to go. It doesn’t even matter how many of the things get done in the end; every single tick is a morale-boosting win!
My focus spans the following 8 categories:
Personal, Business, Health & Fitness, Beauty, Financial, Material, Growth and Responsibility (social and general).
Sample entries include:
- Improve my sleeping patterns
- Try something out of character
- Mentor a young artist
- Buy a DVF wrap dress
- Write to the blog more often or create a new lifestyle blog
WEAPON #2: NUTRITION
Nutrition will play a paramount, dual role. Aspect #1 is obvious: Get rid of unwanted (holiday & otherwise) weight. Aspect #2 has to do with the deeper benefits of a balanced diet: Clarity of mind, sealing the organism against unwanted stuff (disease, aging), energy building & reservation, discipline and the list goes on. Also time to put some nasty habits in check (drinking, vaping) by introducing more responsible ways of approaching vice. Not downright eliminating but, rather, putting it in context. I am thinking a minimum of 70% awesome, with 1 completely free day per week.
To get rid of holiday fat, I will be kick-starting the year with this.
WEAPON #3: EXERCISE
The 101 list -obviously- includes some serious fitness goals. Equally with nutrition, exercise is an essential, multi-purpose tool, potent towards the solution of many problems. Aside from helping me get the body I want (duh!) I will employ exercise for: Mental fitness, detoxing, grit and habit-building, anchoring my day.
If you are sort of time, here is an ultra powerful 5 minute workout.
WEAPON #4: MINDFULNESS
Being present. I know, it is hyped beyond acceptable levels but there is a reason for it. Contrary to meditation (a tool of the same family) practicing mindfulness is easy and requires literally no effort. There is nothing complex to master: just relax and feel the moment. Its soothing dynamic coupled with the easy implementation makes it the go-to practice, whenever.
Here’s how to put it to work.
WEAPON #5: AFFIRMATIONS
Moving on even deeper in hipsterdom, affirmations are in order. Yes, the somewhat embarrassing kind (“Love is floating towards me” / “The universe is looking after me”). I have been considering implementing this tactic forever but never got down to actually doing it. Conversation with myself in front of the mirror, stating “You are beautiful” is not exactly my idea of a “plan”. BUT; Partly for the sake of “try anything once” and partly because I know of a few people who swear by it (and have something to show for it) I will be giving it a shot. At worst, it will be a fun thing to do.
Here’s an article to inspire you create your own.
WEAPON #6: SELF-PAMPERING
What an essential tool of well-being! An absolute must to offset the more demanding aspects of daily life. No need to wait for somebody else to do it. I can take care of it on my own (external agents are always welcome to chip in though).
WEAPON #7: LOVE
Speaking of pampering, nothing feels better than a bit of love. I plan to look more actively for it from now on. Granted, love doesn’t work this way, you cannot find it upon request, but it doesn’t hurt to keep an open eye and an open heart. Moreover, it doesn’t need to be the “erotic” kind. Love is love and a healthy dose of it is already abundantly accessible through our family and friends network. Tap into it.
Here is one of the greatest pieces ever written on love.
Goodbye 2017 – 2018 bring it on.
Happy New Year to all.
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