Last year, just before I entered 2007, I told myself it was going to be a wonderful year. I remember us sitting down and writing wishes for the year to come, dreaming in written words. Some of us dreamed in colours and cut out pictures from magazines. What do you know? 2007 was a wonderful year. My conclusion: we need to make the choice every year to make the next one a wonderful year.
Pump yourself up in the next two weeks and say it again and again, “2008 is going to be a great year for me” . The decision to make it a great year is going to be inspiring, give you great motivation and charge your batteries for the year to come.
In 2005, I wrote about happiness. In 2006, I wrote about hugging and this year, I think I am going to talk about the holiday blues and give some tips to handle them.
Holiday season is not an easy time for most people. I remember myself trapped in that feeling of pressure – to look good, to buy presents, to complete a task in order to mark another success in my yearly score card. Yes, I agree, it is easy to talk about something when you are no longer trapped in it, but wherever you are, if you feel stressed about the holidays, keep reading. It may give you some ideas on how to find peace within.
We have many hopes for the holidays – we hope that something special will happen at midnight between when the year changes. We have hopes for the new year (even though in different places in the world, that moment happens at different times). The more frustrated we are with our current situation, the more hopes we have for magic to happen to us, just like that.
Unfortunately, hopes without action only highlight to us how far we are from our desires and create a gap that, for many people, brings despair. During the holidays, many people realise they are lonely just by looking around and seeing others travel to another country to be with their loved ones. Many people realise they are broke just looking around at the shops full of people buying like crazy. Many people realise they are still frustrated with their work, hearing about others getting bonuses for the holidays. Some people find out how troubled their relationships are just trying to decide where to celebrate the holidays.
So the holiday season only highlights the difficulties many people have throughout the year. Hospitals are full during the holidays. There are more accidents during the holidays and more family conflicts. Instead of being a happy, wonderful beginning for a new and wonderful year, many people start it on the left foot. If you want 2008 be different, you will need to do something different. Take action to move closer to your dream life, help yourself turn hopes and dreams into reality by doing things differently, by understanding that the magic lies in you and not in the midnight kiss.
Here are some tips that will help you find joy in the next year. Remember, the name of the game is being different. If you are not happy with something, approach it differently.
1. Give yourself a gift
If every year you are busy buying other people presents, this year, buy yourself a gift. After all, you are the most important person in your life this holiday. We, at Be Happy in LIFE, would like to give you a gift too, my book In the Outback with Jasmine Banks, which you are welcome to download for free with many wishes for a Happy Year and a Happy Journey to Freedom.
2. Make a wish list for the following year
The year 2008 requires 2008 wishes. What?! Yes, I know. It seems like a lot, but dedicate your life to 2008 wishes. Take the next 365 days to come up with 2008 things you want to do in your life time.
Your wishes can be a list of things that make you happy, people you want to see, places you want to visit, books you want to read, goals you want to achieve, food you want to eat, restaurants you want to enjoy, friends you want to reunite with, celebrations you want to dance at and feelings you want to experience.
Imagine yourself at the end of your life, going over that list, and ask yourself “What are the things I would have want to do, feel, have or experience throughout my life? Bare in mind that this list is evolving and changing, much like we do. Some things we achieve, some we no longer wish for and new desires come to life every day, week or month.
Next year, when you add more things to your 2008 wish list, all you have to do is read the list, tick the ones you have achieved and add new ones to make it 2009. “A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step”, so take the first step.
3. Connect with people
To really connect with people around you, fill in the Get to Know Me Better questionnaire and send it to your family and friends. Ask them to do the same and send theirs back to you. It is amazing how close we can be and not know many things about our closest friends and family. We assume they are the same people but in fact every experience changes them. Send your list of answers to people you have not contact for a while to renew your relationship.
4. Travel light
Our life is a journey we take, carrying with us our beliefs, feelings, values and needs. Travel light! – Ronit Baras
Every year, we carry frustrations from the previous years. If we could erase them every year and start from scratch, it would be the best start for the New Year. Forgetting, letting go and moving on is our greatest challenge. To help you travel next year, make sure to travel light.
Get rid of old baggage. Cleaning physical things and emotional baggage is very helpful to start fresh. Go over your house and get rid of old things you do not really use or need. Go over your closet and if you have not used something for over two years, donate it. Go over your cupboards and get rid of old containers and dishes. Make sure you get rid of clutter.
In the same way, go over old feelings you do not like anymore. If you have experienced them for over a year, get rid of them (no need to donate them :) ). To help yourself get rid of such a feeling, find the opposite feeling and look for opportunities to feel it more often. If you are feeling lonely and you do not like it, find ideas to feel surrounded with friends and aim to take action and make it happen.
Remember, it is your choice to carry heavy weight with you. No one can put this weight on you. You have to choose to carry it. Every day in life you make a choice to travel heavy or travel light. Special occasions, like birthdays and holidays, especially the start of a New Year, can give you the motivation to make such choices. Choose well.
It is not a coincidence that charity organisations are very active during the holidays. During the holidays, more people are in need. Unfortunately, some of them are in need of basic things. Giving is an action that produces a feeling of abundance and security for the giver. We give only when we feel we have enough. Giving is a great way to receive.
At Be Happy in LIFE, we have made a choice to give the homeless in our city and chose to give something different. Happy Holidays to you all. Make this year different by doing things differently.