New Year’s resolutions are typically goals that we set for the coming year, results we plan to achieve. For example: “This year I will exercise, meditate, or somehow succeed more… and I will stress, drink, and overeat less.” Optimistic and caught up in the spirit, 'New Year’s Eve You' makes promises on behalf of 'Future You', and Future You never have a chance, because goals set in the future often stay in the future, and we find ourselves making the same resolutions the following year.
There is only ever right now. That's why deciding what you will be in the future is never as powerful as making changes in the present moment. Start thinking about how you want to live your “nows.” The best way to make your intentions a reality is to re-conceptualize resolutions as daily commitments, more like a “New Day’s Resolution.”
Over the past 12 years, I have gone through an incredible journey of deepening my connection to my soul. I consciously wanted to feel more inner freedom, to be more at peace with my emotions, and I wanted the assurance of knowing I am fully on my path. From year to year, I have accumulated habits that have made this desire a reality. I’ll share a handful of them with you below - some of them might not be for you, but they all work minor miracles for me.
Before you read them, I invite you to ask yourself what it is you really want. How do you want to feel on a daily basis? Then, with love and intention, make small changes to your daily routine - and expect big, juicy results.
Here are 13 daily habits I want to share with you (arranged more-or-less chronologically).
As soon as you wake up take three deep and slow breaths. The first moments of the day are very sacred. You get the chance to set the tone for your day. A deepening of your breath will bring your attention to what really matters: your Being. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Reach for your in-breath from your lower abdomen, completely fill your belly and ribcage with air, then drop your jaw, soften the muscles around your mouth, throat, and neck, and breathe out through the mouth, softening your belly.
Feel the energy of gratitude in your heart first thing in the morning, after your 3 deep breaths. Say out loud, “thank you” three times and manifest feelings of joy and gratitude as you say the words.
Smile before you get out of bed: smile and allow even more of that joyfulness to come in. You don’t need a reason, you are simply training your being to attract and notice more situations that bring about joy, laughter, and contentment.
Ask: “How can I serve?” You came to this earth with gifts and you are meant to share them with the world. Beware of the question, “how can I get what I want?” which keeps you in strategy level thinking. Asking, “how can I serve?” will attract situations where you can use your gifts to inspire others and yourself. Being of service brings meaning, happiness, and a deepened connection to spirit.
Drink a glass of warm water before consuming anything else. It gives your organs a head start and aids digestion. When we support our digestive system, our body doesn't have to work as hard, and we have more energy for other systems in our body.
Drink your greens. After the water, head to the Vitamix. A green smoothie that includes more green than fruit will awaken your digestive system with all the benefits of organic leafy greens. I have found that a daily habit of drinking green smoothies has added to my energy and vitality.
Come back to the breath and the heart as often as you can. When stressed or confused, when sad or angry, when nervous, anxious, overwhelmed, fatigued, or frustrated, when you feel out of sorts, or uncomfortable, bring your attention back to your heart and breathe deeply. When in doubt of anything, bring your attention back to your heart and breathe deeply. Even when you are feeling great, bring your attention to your heart and breathe deeply, anchoring this feeling in your being. Your breath in your heart is where your soul lives. This habit brings you back home to you, helps you reset your compass, and you can do it dozens of times a day. In fact, you can spend most of your time in that space.
Meditate: I officially learned how to meditate in 2009 at the Chopra Centre. I have used the Primordial Sound Meditation and the Chakra Sutras on and off for the past seven years. More and more, I see meditation as a way of living, of being grounded and aware moment-to-moment, as opposed to being reserved for a specific time and place. Each moment can be an opportunity to meditate. Try to bring and keep your awareness within as you go about your day: when you are eating your meals, driving in your car, having a conversation with a family member or a friend, brushing your teeth.
Stay active: I try to sweat at last three times a week with pilates, TRX, kettlebell, basketball, jogging, or a power walk. I also have a stretching routine I do often throughout the week. I am Kapha so I sometimes find it difficult to get my body moving. I have found that getting my heart to race for even a couple of minutes every day really has an impact on my stamina, my overall energy, and my ability to be even more active. Don’t make a big deal out of it but try to raise your heart rate every day.
Hug the people you love and make sure they feel seen and loved. Family is at the heart of my life. When the four of us are at peace with each other and everybody feels seen, inspired, happy, and well, the heart is healthy. When the heart is healthy, there is nothing we can’t do together. We tell each other that we love each other every day and we hug a lot!
Don't eat after 7pm: Intermittent fasting is highly recommended by nutritionists and naturopaths. It gives your digestive system a rest so your body can focus its energy on other important functions. I have done a few 18 hour fasts but what I tend to do on a regular basis is to give my digestive system a full 12 hours of rest. All that is required is to resist the temptation to snack before bedtime.
Falling asleep with your desired feelings in your awareness. As Wayne used to say, you will stew for 8 hours in the state that you fall asleep in. Think about your desired feelings and allow those to be the last feelings you have before your conscious mind shuts down and your soul becomes even more active. Wayne had the habit of saying every night before going to bed: “Good things are going to happen.” He had a little sign made and it was hung on the wall beside his bed. If you fall asleep every night believing that good things are going to happen, they most certainly will.
Believe that you can have it all, then make a promise to yourself to not compromise or settle. You have a huge destiny to live out.
That’s it! These are things that over the years have become habitual for me. They are my antidote to New Year’s Resolutions. These practices accumulated in my life little by little over the years and I am so grateful for them. I’d be thrilled if even one or two could be helpful for you!