We are well into January, holiday decorations are put away (well, for most of us), schedules are back into full force and thankfully we survived that cold deepfreeze that besieged our towns.
Now it leaves us with some time to look at our current situation and think: “What is my 2018 going to look like?”
Okay so there are two types of people every January 1st: the ones that are prepared to tackle the new year with a list of written and calculated new years resolutions or the ones that prefer to just go with the tide and adjust accordingly as the days pass.
I have to admit that I am the latter. Which are you?
Whatever you choose to do with YOUR life, as a new year hums along, it is important to dive head-first into it with some intentions.
I use to be the type that had a list of new years resolutions predetermined but for me, personally, I just felt a bit vanquished when the weeks rolled past and I achieved nothing or broke my resolutions.
No I’m not a quitter (although I may sound like one) but you just can’t control the feeling that setbacks bring.
I just feel like there’s so much pressure that gets put on you when you make new years resolutions. Why not just make monthly or weekly ones? That’s what I started doing instead.
This year, I wanted to focus more on what’s happening on my insides. Deeper than my skin and bones… what’s happening in my soul. After all, how you feel inside will have the power to greatly influence you in achieving everything else you want to in life.
What are your Soul-Solutions this year?
Soul-Solutions are resolutions that target your character. These are ways that you can help to improve who you are as a human being, a sole contributor to our world and the people around you. Everyone you meet or cross paths with I strongly believe rubs off on that energy (or the vibe) that you give out. That vibe of yours, is a gift, my friend.
So hear me out. I’m not trying to sound like a Gandhi-mother superior, I’m certainly far from perfect and my vibes are not always congenial, but my goal here is to see where there are patches in our life that can be improved or just flowing more smoothly because we choose to develop and progress what’s going on in our own minds and hearts.
Whether it’s being a nicer neighbour, a better friend, a more productive and humble co-worker, a more attentive parent or a more supportive and loving spouse/partner, these soul-solutions you give yourself can help you to do just that.
My Soul-Solutions for the New Year:
1) Listen more.
Far too often, we as human beings just want to be heard. And that’s totally okay. But when you listen, I mean really listen, with the intent to understand rather then to reply, you will realize how much you’ve actually been missing out in conversations. Plus, it will make conversations with others a lot more harmonious and meaningful. Conversations with depth are the best conversations.
2) Put Your Phone Down.
I bet this is already on a lot of people’s NY resolutions already but it’s definitely worth a spot in my soul-solutions list this year.
I work in social media so I’m technically super-glued to my smartphone but it doesn’t mean I need to respond to every notification that pops up. You really don’t have to. I mean it. Step away from the phone.
This also pairs well with soul-solution #1.
When you’re spending time with your kids, your partner, your friend, parent, during yet another work meeting (that could have been an email), just put the phone down. Better yet, shut it off for an hour or so. I promise you the world will NOT fall apart in that hour.
When you think about it, your eyes, your heart, your attention, is probably focused on your screen more hours then it is on a loved one. And that’s a very sad thing to think about.
3) Learn To Say NO.
This is easier said than done for plenty, me included. I’m a nice person, and I like to help people when I can. Especially those that I really care about. But sometimes, you just cannot do everything, all the time.
As a work-from-home mother, I get plenty of requests more times than my kids ask me for a snack (and that’s A LOT). And what’s worse is that, as well-meaning as they are, they automatically assume I will oblige because they presume I have more time on my hands to do it (this is for another post someday!).
If you really can’t do it, or hey, if you really just don’t want to, just say no.
Nothing worse than taking on something where you feel obligated and downcast while doing it. Plus, it’s taking more time out of your happy and excited you moments. And you need more of those in your life. People that respect and care for you will understand.
4) Do a No-Regrets Social Media Clean-Up
This is an absolute must. When I say no-regret social media clean-up, I mean delete, delete and delete and stop giving such a f*ck. Oh wow, I don’t swear often but I felt it was needed for this particular moment.
Let’s get realistic here, social media has taken over our lives. We see the faces and updates of friends, online friends, blogger friends, blogger friends whose content we don’t care for but we still follow them anyway friends, friends that we friended because they know our friends but we don’t really know them friends, friends that are acquaintances but will never say hi to you in real life friends… more than we actually spend with the peeps we really do care for.
Damn that is exhausting, ain’t it?
Here’s the thing, relationships are reciprocal. Say it with me: RECIPROCAL.
This is for business and this for personal life.
Look at your social media feeds and adjust your friends and follow list accordingly.
⇒ Facebook should honestly be reserved for closer contacts (family, friends, close acquaintances – these are people you see and speak to more and will actually say hello to you in real life).
Frankly I think that whole Facebook thing where you can adjust what you see from certain friends or where you can pretty much block them without them knowing is just plain stupid. Honestly, if you feel the need to do that to someone on your friends list – just unfriend them. Guaranteed they will not care so much. And if they do, perhaps this is where you need to question your motives and feelings.
⇒Twitter is good for all up-to-the-minute news. It’s a place to follow blogs, news outlets and friends that post relevant updates that you don’t mind or need to know asap. Follow whoever you want to as long as you don’t mind that information on your timeline. There’s no real formality here.
⇒ Instagram, oh Instagram. This is going to be a bit longer so bare with me.
Instagram is between Facebook and Twitter.
A lot of folks use it for both work and personal life but I noticed a lot of them still share more personal content than they do work. And I like that. Call me old-fashioned but I like to get to know people, like who they really are behind the screen.
This also can be a toxic place for some folks too, teens and tweens especially. Instagram makes it so easy for people to glamourize their lives. After all, it’s a reel life, not real life outlet for so many.
Just a quick smoothing from a photo face app or cool filter will instantly make any selfie and picture look magnificent. God forbid I don’t contrast, warm up or sharpen my foodstagram pics… they would just look like food then and not like a super-food of the Gods and how boring would that be?
We are visual creatures by nature. We see something pretty and we cannot help but be attracted to it.
Just remember, Instagram is only partially real. Whether a photo is filtered or not, it was hand-selected to be shared to the world to show people that eating bomb ramen on a cold day, oysters and champagne on a Friday, contour & highlighting on fleek (is that still in to say?), trips to the Bahamas (that’s *gasp* not sponsored), or the fact that a 3 year old is rehearsing the alphabet backwards in German is something that they’re enjoying at that moment. They’re proud of it. Let them be. But don’t let that determine how you feel about your life and the fact that you cannot afford oysters or champagne on a Friday or a trip to Bahamas because you’re broke as sh*t and need to save up. Everyone is living and love their own way. Count your blessings, not how many followers you have or your Instagram likes and comments (FYI: many of those are as fake and in-genuine as the filters).
⇒ LinkedIn, in my opinion is completely under-rated.
It’s such a wonderful place to connect and establish business-related contacts. This may be my Human-Resources side showing but if you are doing something where you’re getting paid to do it (or at least want to be), you should be utilizing LinkedIn.
You can find great relatable articles to inspire, motivate and share, connect with people in your industry, find or post jobs and participate in group chats relevant to your line-of-work.
Dismiss the idea that you can only connect with business contacts you know on LinkedIn. False.
The whole idea of building your network is by… building your network. And that means connecting and getting to know more professionally about people that you’d potentially like to work with someday or are inspired and motivated by. We all need a mentor or mentor’s.
Also, don’t be a prima donna if you get a LinkedIn request from someone and not accept. The person may actually respect and want to learn from you. First thing you can teach them is the art of association and acknowledgement.
⇒ SnapChat I just don’t quite understand because I’m only there for the funky and silly filters (because I’m a 6 year old trapped in a 35 year old’s body and I believe life should be lived with laughter. Plus my kids love it too!).
Whatever your soul-solutions are for this year, I wish you peace. Because that is after all something that we all truly want. Happy and Soul-ful 2018!