THE ONLY RESOLUTION YOU WILL EVER NEED TO SET FOR A NEW YEAR

Resolution: Improve my self-awareness.

I strongly believe this is the SOLE and ULTIMATE resolution to be set in replace of all those in the past and future New Year’s.

By committing to a journey towards improving self-awareness, all other life improvements will come as a byproduct. We all set new goals in the New Year to try to improve our self-esteem and make our lives feel richer, right? We begin to think about all that we are not doing, what we do not have and what we want, and formulate these goals based on all of these components. Some of the most popular New Year’s goals are eating healthier, getting more exercise, saving more money, getting more sleep, reading more, getting a new job, etc.

But, what if I told you that we really only needed to set one goal that would lead to the accomplishments of all those proceeding? Sounds good, right? It is easier said than done, but by committing to a journey toward improving self-awareness, we will develop the discipline to lose the weight we wanted because of our improvement in decision making and understanding ourselves, and will also be able to save more money as we become more aware of our priorities and what is truly important.

Perhaps defining self-awareness will assist you as you craft this single goal for the New Year. Self-awareness can be explained as recognizing our thoughts, feelings, emotions and desires, which will in turn allow us to make more reasoned decisions and choices. The constant improvement in this understanding will empower us to lead healthier and happier lives as we make more quality decisions and choices as a result. There are various ways to embark on the journey towards self-awareness. Please see below for four simple practices you can incorporate into everyday that will start you on this path, and take over the New Year!

  1. Meditation
    Through meditation, we allow ourselves a moment of silence, away from the noise in our everyday life. Here, we are able to observe what thoughts have been floating through our mind, and any emotion we are experiencing, prompted from those thoughts. In performing this practice, we are more aware of the various things that may trigger us in a negative or positive way. From here, we have the power to change our reactions to these thoughts and create a new association to them. As we routinely meditate throughout the week, we begin to discover the root of our emotions and are given the power to change them as we see fit. Such awareness will then become part of our everyday encounters, allowing us to manage various challenges and obstacles.
  2. Journaling
    Journaling is another amazing way to reflect on our thoughts and emotions. By putting this into practice, we can visually observe what we are thinking in our minds, and begin to analyze our reactions. Our thoughts are now real and live on paper, as if they have a life of their own. In our journal entry, we can ask ourselves questions like, “What did I do great today?” and “What can I improve on today?” These sort of questions will allow us to reflect on the whole day and revisit when we felt positive, uncomfortable, dissatisfied and/or proud. We can then understand the moments which had been associated with these emotions, and strive to improve our reactions in the more challenging or disappointing moments going forward.
  3. Reading
    Books allow for us to gain more insight into the lives and experiences of others, which we cannot experience ourselves. Reading expands our perspective beyond, assisting us in understanding others and even learning from them. As a result, we begin to empathize with stories, experiences and people who we did not even know existed. We become aware of other’s emotions and the events that lead to these emotions to rationally determine if we wish to be in a similar situation or not. Now, these books have influenced our own decision making and our ability to understand humanity and even a bit about our place in it. We can read specifically about self-awareness and other’s experiences on their own self-awareness journeys. Please visit Books to check out the novels under “Self-Improvement” for suggestions.
  4. Feedback
    This last step is most definitely the most daunting and vulnerable of all previous steps, and quite honestly, something I need to do more of, which is asking for feedback. Who is a better observe of you, you or other people? Of course, other people because otherwise people who chew gum loudly, talk with their mouth full and make conversation with you at the gym while you’re mid-set WOULD NOT BOTHER YOU if THEY knew it was annoying. So, if this is the case, this presents us with a new opportunity to better understand ourselves from other person’s perspective. Maybe we can do this after a big presentation at work, or during a mid-year appraisal review, or maybe more personally, opening ourselves up for feedback from our partner or friend about how we are doing in following through on commitments or listening to them when they tell us about their day. Outside feedback is necessary for us to make a change, because otherwise we may never be aware enough to change it. For example, my partner has pointed out my increase in volume while telling a story in restaurants, which I had not previously been aware of. Now, I look out for it and make the effort to catch myself if I feel the volume may be on the rise (Working on it).

In incorporating these four simple steps into our everyday lives this New Year, we are sure to be on our way to improving self-awareness and making us an overall better person this 2019!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!

 

 

 

 

Quality > Quantity Workouts

In college, have you ever had that friend who claimed to be at the library for 8 hours, pulled an all-nighter and still questioned why he or she failed their exam? I’m sure you have. Though it is puzzling to them, you knew they spent at least 6 of those 8 hours distracted by Facebook, Instragram and Snapchat. What was missing here? The quality of the time spent at the library. As a result, poor results.

Similarly with working out, some may assume the longer we stay in the gym, the better results we will achieve. However, what is the reality of human nature at the gym? We spend a lot of our time looking for the right song, taking a Snapchat of us on the treadmill to prove we were working out, talking to our gym partner, and watching the clock. At the end of the day, how much time was spent actually working out?

Alternatively, you can get just as good a workout in a focused 30 minutes as you can in a half-distracted 1 hour. A focused 30 minutes is quick and pushes you to up the intensity to get your minutes worth of sweat in. Maybe you only have 30 minutes to get a workout in but choose to skip because you believe it is too short a time and it would just be a waste. Not true! Quality > quantity.

Next time you get up to go to the gym, try this quick interval 30 minute full-body workout!

 

1 Minute Sprint

50 Jump ropes

12 Bicep curls

12 Shoulder press

12 Chest press

12 Lunges

12 Squats

12 Stiff-legged deadlifts

Repeat X2

Quick Morning 10 Rep Stretch/ Strength Workout

If I cannot make it to the gym in the morning, I do my best to at least get one set of this quick and easy stretch and strengthening workout in (No weights required).

10 second hold- Quad Stretch (each leg)

10 seconds hold- Cross- body stretch

10 seconds hold- Arm-behind-the-head stretch

10 reps- Squats

10 reps- Straight-legged hamstring stretch

10 reps- Army crunches

10 reps- Shoulder raises

10 reps- Lunges

X 1 rep

Hopefully this gets you feeling energized for the day! Enjoy!