Make these New Year’s “DONT’S” among your top priorities in 2017.
- Stop feeling obligated to say “YES” all the time. It’s alright to say “NO!” Sometimes we feel obligated to do things for other people when we don’t have the energy or resources to make it happen. This can lead to feeling like you have nothing left for yourself, drained. Check in with yourself before committing to something. Ask yourself, “Do I feel obligated? Do I have the resources to commit to this?” If the answer is No, say No.
- Stop letting your passion die. As life will have it we get sidetracked by various events both pleasant and unpleasant- the birth of a child, a career, or marriage for example. During the course of these events, it becomes easy to say, “I’ll get to it later.” At the time later, may have been intended to be 2-6 months which has now turned into 5 years. Make a commitment to yourself to carve out a few moments of time towards your passion. Small steps lead to big changes. Remember the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Rediscover your passion.
- Stop focusing on the small stuff. Times have changed and technology is king. We are connected in ways that other generations have never imagined. Connectivity has its perks but there is a downside. Unlike generations of the past we do not work 9-5. Our bosses and assignments travel with us. A quick touch on the phone and all emails and text populate within seconds. We can take a page from the past….try to leave work at work. Everything does not fall in the Urgent and Important category and as such can wait until the next day.
- Stop letting the days of your life pass you by. Get up and do something. Make a commitment to go out and enjoy nature. Eat lunch outside or take a quick walk through the park. There are studies that suggest that nature can reduce stress by simply letting the environment surround you. Truly allowing your senses to envelope you, taking account of what you hear, see, and feel on your walk is a sure recipe for calmness and serenity.
- Stop letting other people determine your happiness. How many times have you heard yourself or someone else say,“ He makes me so mad.” Or, “ I wish that she would just listen to me.” No matter how badly we want to change the behaviors and habits of others, we cannot. We can only control our thoughts and behaviors towards the situation. The next time you feel yourself getting frustrated by someone else’s actions remember you cannot control what they will say or how they will behave. You CAN control your reactions, by simply not choosing to engage them.
Remember to be kind to yourself in 2017.
By Priscilla Wright, M.Ed,LPC,NCC
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