We’re already into the New Year and I just set my New Year’s resolutions. I know there are many who don’t even bother with resolutions because they feel defeated before they even begin. Maybe it’s time to nuance our resolutions and use them to actually guide us in real behaviors we want to incorporate in our lives.
Here are five daily resolutions I am endeavoring to experience every day:
1. Ground each day with God. For years I have begun each day with varying spiritual practices. The one practice that is essential and that I do daily is to take time to be quiet and listen to God in prayer. The operatives are quiet and listen. Study and reading are always edifying, but the discipline of being present with God with a quiet mind and listening heart is grounding and equips me for the day ahead. The Eternal Scheme Daily Word is designed as a daily spiritual practice to help you get grounded with God.
2. Expect an epiphany every day. Each day holds little treasures that are waiting for us to discover. I think of them as the little surprises or epiphanies – those ah-has – that are little gifts given to us at just the right time. Often we are so distracted or busy we don’t even notice. It might be something your read or heard; something your saw or noticed; something that just came to you. Think of it as your daily treasure hunt. What will you discover today?
3. Smile and make eye contact with a stranger. I may not be able to save the world, but I can show little acts of humanity by smiling and actually making eye contact with those I pass in the parking lot, see on the corner, or stand with in line. So many of our relationships are digital that we “forget” or don’t see the real people right in front of us. It’s also an opportunity for us to expand beyond ourselves, widening our circle of, “Who is my neighbor?”
4. Walk 30 minutes every day. I walked everyday for 30 minutes when I was recuperating from my shoulder replacement. It was a great way to explore my neighborhood which I had not even driven through since we moved here in January 2013! There’s a lot to say about getting fresh air and natural sunlight, not to mention counting down those 10,000 steps we all should be taking everyday. Since I’m in an aircast, I may not be able to walk a continuous 30 minutes, but I can break it up into manageable segments. The point: Just. Do. It. Not only will you feel better, you’ll probably be able to check off a few other daily resolutions in the process!
I love what Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thích Nhất Hạnh suggests, “Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.”
5. Disconnect digitally before going to bed. You may not be one of those people who sleep with your iPhone, but do you play games or check Facebook or Twitter just before crawling under those covers? I love reading books on my iPad, but have found that I have a harder time going to sleep if I’ve been reading digitally. Quality sleep is essential for our overall health and well-being. In fact, less digital and more what-we-used-to-do-before-digital (book instead of screen; letter instead of email; conversation instead of text) might not be a bad thing occasionally either.
What’s on your list of New Year’s resolutions?