By Loretta McNary
Happy New Year Everyone!
As we resolve to do more and have more in 2024, in our elusive pursuit of joy and fulfillment, I would like to propose that less is more. Leonardo da Vinci says it best, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
While happiness for some people is simply having a ton of money, big houses, luxury cars and accolades, this may not significantly contribute to peace of mind. Instead, factors like meaningful relationships, personal growth and a sense of purpose often satisfy people who crave a life brimming with purpose, passion, and pleasure. But, too often, we find ourselves trapped in the mundane, the stressful, and the unfulfilling. So, what should we do when we feel stuck? I am happy you asked.
Introducing my 12 steps to enjoying life in 2024 and beyond!
Step 1: Awaken Your Senses. Imagine yourself living your best day ever! And it starts with the warm sun caressing your skin, and the gentle breeze whispers serenity into your ears. You open your eyes and appreciate the beauty of nature. Next you smile and recite out loud your favorite affirmation or scripture. Your breakfast tastes like a nutritious symphony of delicious foods. OMG, the bliss of being fully present! This year, make a conscious effort to awaken your senses. Take a moment each day to breathe in the beauty around you, and let your senses come alive!
Step 2: Discover Your Passion. What brings joy to your soul? What makes your heart race with excitement? Take a journey of self-discovery and unearth your hidden passions! Whether it’s painting, playing music, or reimagining your favorite recipe, make time for activities that bring you pure joy. Remember, passion ignites purpose. And life is a great adventure.
Step 3: Foster Meaningful Connections. It is time to embrace meaningful relationships! Surround yourself with people who uplift and inspire you. Nurture those bonds by sharing laughter, tears, and adventures together. Don’t be afraid to meet new people – you never know when a new friendship will bloom!
Step 4: Commit to Lifelong Learning. Read interesting books, newspapers, and magazines often. Listen to podcasts for enjoyment and education. Learn a new language. Enroll in an online class. Indulge in a new hobby.
Step 5: Include Stillness. In a world that revolves around productivity, full calendars, and busyness, it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle. Practice stillness by slowing down, taking deep breaths, and focusing on the present moment. Allow yourself to be fully absorbed in the here and now – this can free us from regrets and worries!
Step 6: Cultivate Resilience. Embrace challenges as opportunities for learning and growing, this will help develop resilience in the face of setbacks.
Step 7: Redefine Failure. “Failure is not the opposite of success; it’s a stepping stone to success.” Arianna Huffington
Step 8: Have Faith. “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Martin Luther King Jr.
Step 9: Nurture Your Body. Treat your body with love and care! Fuel it with whole, nutritious foods, and engage in regular exercise to keep it strong and healthy. Start small. Add 3 minutes or 30 minutes of intentional movement in your day. Remember, your body is your temple, and it deserves to be treated with kindness and respect.
Step 10: Hydrate for Health. Drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day supports essential bodily functions, including digestion, circulation, and temperature regulation. (If needed, add fruit to your water.) Proper hydration is also linked to better concentration, mental clarity, and overall cognitive performance. And staying hydrated helps maintain skin elasticity, which promotes a healthy complexion.
Step 11: Practice Mindful Moments. Incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine to promote mental well-being. Take moments to reflect and relax through meditation, prayer, deep breathing, or simply enjoying quiet time. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle helps sustain the energy and focus we need for our day-to-day responsibilities.
Step 12: Adopt a Philanthropic Mindset. Regularly contributing to your community, a charitable organization, or a cause you are passionate about, fosters a sense of purpose and makes a positive impact. Your donations of money, your time or your talent can make a huge difference in the lives of so many people.
Loretta McNary is the Lifestyles contributor to the desotocountynews.com website and social media channels. You will be seeing her columns on a weekly basis here on the website and be sure to catch “The Loretta McNary Show” on her channels, including YouTube, Facebook, her website, and others.