Tag Archives: new year

New Year’s Letter

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While visiting friends during Christmas, I was shown a letter written to them. It had been sent by a family who had been living next door to them, but had moved away several years ago. They have the habit of writing a letter to their friends once a year around Christmastime, telling all the things that had happened to them during the year.

 

The events themselves weren’t the thing that caught my attention. It was the tone of the letter. All the things that had happened, even the challenging ones were written with a positive angle. Take for example unemployment of the father – the family found a positive take on it in the fact that he knows his way around the kitchen and now they have delicious meals waiting for them when they come home.

 

I know people who find this kind of attitude extremely irritating. They don’t find it “realistic” – surely you’d need to face the fact that life sucks and a Pollyannaish attitude is plain stupid.

 

But is it? The fact that someone is actively trying to find positive things in life tells me that is a person who is not giving up. Who falls and rises up again. And who can spread a little positivity around them as well (well, the irritable people won’t accept the positivity, but that’s their problem).

 

What if you tried this? Sit down and write a list of the main events in your life this year. Then write a few sentences what was good about the events. From your perspective alone, no need to please anyone else. What made you stronger? What made you happy? Remember that if you met with a circumstance you did not like, even that had a good aspect up its sleeve – it made it clearer to you what you DO like. After that it is your job to steer your life towards the wanted thing.

 

Obviously you cannot bring back a job you lost. Or a person who died. But you may decide to build up a self esteem that doesn’t depend on your title. You can concentrate on taking care of your remaining personal relationships, and building new ones.

 

So write that New Year’s letter. If you don’t want to send it to anyone, put it away in an envelope and read it a year from now when you are writing your next letter. See how things developed in a year’s time. Think about how you have been changed in the process.

 

Happy New Year, everyone! Embed from Getty Images

New Year’s Resolutions

And so it is time again to say goodbye to the old year, and greet the new.

I wonder how many people make New Year’s resolutions, and how many actually manage to keep them. You know how it goes: this year I will make it. Lose weight, learn a new skill, be more productive…

So many have become disillusioned with such promises that they make only one promise: no New Year’s resolutions this year! (Well, it is a resolution also, and probably one of the easiest ones to keep.)

But how about making one resolution that might actually make your life more fun? No jogging on treadmill with gritted teeth, no joyless diets, no spending your every waking moment trying to achieve more material gains.

Instead: how about finding joy?

What if this year you live a little just for yourself? Do things that you love, no matter what others think of them?

We have forgotten the important language of emotions. Teach yourself to listen to your feelings. And in any given situation, whenever possible, think of the options and which one would give you the greatest feeling of joy. And then choose it. Little things – not every choice gives great joy, but you might feel more content, more peaceful, less stressed out. That’s the way to go. Search for the emotion that gives you greatest relief in any given situation.

Don’t talk of this process to anyone who might doubt it. Do it quietly, in your own mind. You might be surprised it is not easy at first – we have been taught to live so much according to other’s expectations that we have forgotten what quiet joy feels like. And no need to analyse your every moment – that would become stressful. It is enough to remember to consider this every now and again, when you remember to do so.

Try this for a month and see what happens – your life may begin to feel a little easier, more flowing.

There’s just one catch – this may turn into a good habit…

I wish you a Joyful New Year!

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(if you wish to have a closer look at the picture, click here)