Wednesday, January 4, 2017

How to Live a More Conscious, Purposeful 2017

Book cover for Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond FearThere’s hardly ever anything new on my New Year’s resolution lists. Do you feel the same? Each of my resolutions include the word “more” and none included “start” or “begin.” This made me realize that since we all seemingly know what we’d like to change or improve upon each year, maybe there’s a broader goal we should aim towards – slowing down and living a more conscious and purposeful life. Here are ways in which I hope to accomplish this goal in 2017:

1. Live more creatively. I recently listened to the audiobook Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Gilbert makes plenty of valid points about living a creative life and escaping fear in the process. One huge takeaway I got from this book was that creative living can be small and not intimidating. Creative living doesn’t mean quitting your day job to pursue dreams of becoming a novelist. Living more creatively can mean joining a writing group, attending a makerspace program or refurbishing a piece of furniture. These are small, attainable creative pursuits that can have a huge impact on how we feel and deal with stress. Gilbert reminds us that creative expression has been a part of the human experience for thousands of years. We are not machines.

2. Do more yoga & meditation. I once read that when you feel like you don’t have the time to meditate, that’s precisely when you need to mediate. Before my young daughter was born, I practiced yoga several times a week but after she was born, that stopped completely due to lack of time and motivation. Recently I’ve decided to try doing yoga with my daughter. The book Itsy Bitsy Yoga for Toddlers and Preschoolers: 8-minute Routines to Help Your Child Grow Smarter, Be Happier, and Behave Better by Helen Garabedian is a wonderful guide to practice yoga with your toddler. I find that simply breathing and looking into my daughter’s eyes is a way of centering and bonding with her. My body & mind feels so much better after our mini-yoga sessions and my daughter seems calmer and happier too! For those who want to practice yoga in a group setting without children, there’s also free yoga and meditation classes for adults at the library.

3. Be more original. Did you know great innovators procrastinate, feel fear and have bad ideas? This is just one of the surprising (and oddly comforting) findings that Adam Grant describes in Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World. This book challenged me to think differently and remember the revitalizing energy that comes with nonconformity and originality. It inspired me to take more chances at work and at home, overcome fear and not to be too hard on myself if things don’t work out.

Here’s to a more centered and successful 2017!

Are you all about changing and improving? Follow us on social media. On Mondays, we feature articles, tips & tricks to help you improve your life on social media with the hashtag #makeachangemonday.

Adrienne M.H.

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