New Year’s Eve undoubtedly brings two things to mind. The first is the fond memory of meeting my husband, and the second is the considerable anxiety of the new year ahead of me. I tell myself this year will be different. I will take care of my body, my mind, my soul, my dear children, and my loving husband. The year begins I go to work, come home, help with homework, drive my kids around, go to bed, and instantly start the same day all over again. All my honorable intentions merely go out the window.
This year when someone asks, “What are your New Year’s Resolutions?” My response will be, “I don’t have any,” because this year will be different. I will purge the parts of myself that bring me unhappiness and nurture personal qualities that enhance my life. To be clear, I do not have an overwhelming need to be a different person. Yet, I do want to be the best version of myself.
Below are five ways to discover your best self.
1.) Lose your ego, and really examine yourself. Accept the fact that you are a flawed and complicated human being.
2.) Begin with the positives. Identify personal qualities that bring joy and happiness in your life. Make a list of those qualities and begin practicing them more often. Be intentional, but not fake. Through intentional practice, natural habits are formed.
3.) Identify personal attributes that bring unhappiness or considerable pain in your life. Some personal attributes are beneficial in your work life or personal life, but not your whole life. If this is the case, learn how to compartmentalize these attributes and only use them when necessary. Purge any attributes that do not benefit you or your loved ones.
4.) Embrace the “4 Locks, 4 Keys” taught in the Sutras. They are straightforward and make interacting with people simple. The four locks symbolize happiness, unhappiness, the virtuous, and the wicked. The four keys symbolize friendliness, compassion, delight, and disregard.
Greet those who are happy with friendliness.
Greet those who are unhappy with compassion.
Greet those who are virtuous with delight.
Greet those who are wicked with disregard.
5.) Intentionally keep a written list of positive qualities in an accessible spot. When you are feeling low or need a gentle reminder of the better you, read the list aloud so you can hear it. Keep in mind some days will be better than others and that old habits die hard. Forgive yourself when undesirable qualities surface and learn from the possible experiences they may bring.
Ring in the new year practicing self-love, treating yourself with kindness and boundless compassion. Discover and celebrate the best parts of you and live your truth! Ditch resolutions and focus on the extraordinary gifts you have been given. Let your gifts shine and feel the positive energy you naturally have flowing inside you.