New Year’s is a time for fresh beginnings and new goals.  Typical resolutions focus on weight loss or healthier eating – which are wonderful self-care goals, but I would like to invite you to consider including these additional 5 resolutions for better living this year…….

  1. Live Brave!  I made a very conscious decision last year to show up brave.  It was a fabulous experiment that required constant nurturing, reassurance and inner strength.  But the outcomes were beyond my imagination!  My brave living model ranged from big brave moves like pitching talks on large stages to small ones like jumping off diving boards without feeling the water temperature first.  I kept a brave log that you can read more about in my blog post about it here:  http://www.megangunnell.com/2017/08/14/the-brave-log/   I don’t know if I suddenly realized my age or what exactly provoked me, but I simply decided to harness bravery like I never had before.  Doubts and fears would show up as they always do, but I chose to bypass them and push forward with bravery and courage anyway.  Living brave is something that keeps growing exponentially!  The more brave acts you embark on, the less fear and doubt you have moving forward.  Start small with little brave steps and let the momentum build over time.  Living brave makes you feel like you’re not wasting any time.  It makes you feel like you’re not taking life for granted!  The more you decide to show up brave, the less you have to fear.
  2. Be Present.  Bring your whole self to the moment before you.  This is the crux of mindful living.  Be in front of what you’re in front of.  Set aside your distractions and allow yourself to really engage your senses in the moment.  Being present is not only one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves, but it’s a beautiful gift we give to others too.  We live in such a over-extended state, constantly distracted by our phones, notifications and overstimulation.  Many feel pressured to do more, be more, engage more.  I say let this year be the year you strip that away.  Be more selective on what you engage in and find great satisfaction in being fully present in what you do choose to do and who you choose to spend time with.  Be mindfully awake and aware of the moments before you.  Don’t live too far in your past or too far in your future.  You’ll find that your quality of life will significantly improve when you bring yourself back to the now.
  3. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable.  Be willing to be uncomfortable from time to time.  Know that discomfort is typically a temporary experience.  When we learn how to radically accept discomfort, we stop trying to escape it!  Escaping discomfort can range from numbing to addiction and doesn’t ever erase the pain or suffering we’re trying to avoid.  Be willing to be uncertain, uncomfortable and in a state of the unknown.  It’s inevitable to the human experience and something we all go through.  The better we get at compassionately witnessing our discomfort, pain or suffering, the more it moves through us with ease and fluidity.
  4. Make time for fun.  Life is sweet and it’s also so very short!  We can get so caught up in our to do lists, projects and goals we miss all the fun!  When my husband and I lived in Munich, Germany for 18 months, we recognized how focused we are on work in America.  Germans build recreation and leisure into their lives and make time to rest and play way more than we do here in the U.S.  We often saw adults playing games in the parks, lingering in cafes and making space for fun adventures big and small.  What kind of fun can you bring into your life this year?  What hobby or activity would you like to return to or learn how to do this year?  A couple years ago I decided to start painting.  I had no previous experience, but it just sounded like fun to me!   I took a short online course – one instructional video at a time and bought some supplies, set up a desk where I could get messy and dove in without any real attachment to the outcome.  I allowed myself to get lost in the process, make big mistakes, let go and be creative and it was FUN!  I became so interested in it – I started offering workshops on art making and creativity to help others find their way to the joy and confidence building of trying something new while accepting our imperfections and flaws in the process.  Making time for fun expands joy and opens us up to taking little healthy risks which in turn increase our self-esteem and our bravery!  See how we come full circle here?
  5. Do it now.  We delay so many things in our lives.  We put everything off from doing the dishes to planning a dream vacation!  None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.  All we have is this moment now!  And all the power is in the now.  So why not make 2018 the year of action?  If a thought about something floats by you, grab it, evaluate it and if it’s a yes – do it now!  My grandma always said “never put off to tomorrow what you can do today!”  And this is how the wheel keeps turning.  Harness the power of the now this year – if the moment strikes you – take action!

I would love to hear what your New Year’s resolutions and goals are for 2018!  It is my hope that these 5 tips help bring you a year of bravery, presence, willingness, fun and productivity.  Many blessings for a healthy and happy new year!