5 Things to Start Doing in 2017 to be Happier and More Fulfilled
1.Start surrounding yourself with people who inspire and motivate you. When someone has what you want, or looks like they have a life you would like, ask them how they are doing it. So many people look at others and make excuses for why they can’t have what others have. They let the seemingly perfect lives of others discourage them. Whatever kind of life you want, you can have. No one is meant to be an untouchable idol in this life- so don’t glorify anyone. Just learn from them and let them inspire you.
2.Start simplifying your life. This last couple of decades has brought so much technology, social media, and excess in general into our lives. It’s hard to keep up and it messes with our ability to feel calm. All the “stuff” is ruining our ability to be happy with less. Parents are enrolling their young kids in so many activities there is no time to just enjoy being a family. And then everyone complains how busy they are. We leave our families every day to go to jobs we hate to pay for things we don’t need. Our homes are overflowing with needless gadgets. If you’re like me (born in the mid 70s)-you are that perfect age of remembering simpler times but living through unbelievably fast paced change. I have seen how happy you can be with less stuff. I have also seen how much unhappier people are today. Study after study shows that kids need less STUFF and just more time to free play. We all do. We are drowning in ALL THE THINGS. There is nothing wrong with spending money on things-(I’ll be the first to admit I like nice stuff)- but the problem is when there are too many.
3.Start paying attention to what’s going on around you. Like REALLY paying attention. I hate to get political but the fact that people are shocked that Donald Trump is now the POTUS tells me that people are not paying attention. Does it surprise no one that mainstream media completely missed the boat on this one? ALOT of people voted for this man and he won fair and square. SOMEONE you know voted for him. It’s because we don’t communicate openly as a society anymore that people are surprised. If we paid more attention to EACH OTHER, we would have seen this coming. We have stopped talking to each other and spend our days scrolling social media to get our information, and people are too scared to express their honest opinions for fear they might offend someone. Start talking and communicating with people and teach your children to think for themselves and do the same. Teach them to question everything and be open minded to hearing others. Want to make a difference in the world? Take back the control that you have as a human, a citizen, and an adult with the power to implement change. WE have the power if we just pay attention and think for ourselves. My biggest wish for humanity in 2017, is that the world wakes up. We are sleeping.
4.Start making more memories with your family. My dad passed away recently and we were lucky to have time between when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and when he actually died. Over and over I hear stories about terminally ill people who fondly recall things they’ve done and trips they’ve taken. My dad was no exception. He spoke fondly of our 13 hour drives from Edmonton to Vancouver in the summers. No one ever remembers the STUFF. We made a vow when our kids were born to give memories (via trips) and not presents for their birthdays, and it is the best decision we have ever made. At only 4 years old- they already talk fondly of the trips we have taken. After my dad passed we have been even more inclined to do more things together as a family- in 2017 we will take more trips and DO more. Not to mention, experts in childhood development and family attachments confirm over and over that the best way to keep your kids close to you and on the right path even as they hit the teen years is to plan an abundance of experiences that keep them physically close to you. If you don’t play a large physical role in their lives, someone else (typically their peers) will take your place. THIS is a great book to read on that topic.
5.Start being selfish. Take care of yourself. Find your passions. Live your dream. If you’re a parent, of course that is a very important job in and of itself. But, every human being has unique talents that only they can offer the world. There is MORE to life than being a mom. Moms are extraordinary creatures in that they are capable of mothering- in addition to dealing with everything else life throws at them. We have an innate ability to multitask and REALLY make shit happen. There is an unlimited amount of info at our fingertips now on how to monetize our passions. Career coaches are lining up around the corner to help. Online business in every category is booming. If you are not interested in making money then maybe you are on a quest to find more purpose in another way. There IS something out there for you and life is too short not to go for it. You’ll never know if you don’t try and the added bonus is you will be showing your kids what it means to follow your dreams. If you need inspiration, this podcast is a great place to start.
If you haven’t already, check out THIS post on things to STOP doing in 2017.