The beginning of another year –
I don’t make resolutions. I don’t believe in waking up on the first day of each year, determined to turn my life in another direction. Those kinds of declarations rarely stick.
Instead, I look for ways to be more present in my everyday life. And for me, the best way to stay present is to stay connected –with myself – and others.
On one hand (did you look at the picture) I have to have “Me” time – my personal health and well-being depends on it. If I am not fully present with myself, or don’t fill my own bucket first, I am not able to do so for others.
Here Are Five Ways I Stay Connected To Me
Experience Nature – Going for a walk and feeling the breeze in the air lifts my spirits. The sound of the rustle in the leaves, sings to me and the colors are inspiring. It doesn’t matter the season; I find joy in every walk. The pace doesn’t even matter, it’s about moving my body and noticing life blooming all around me.
Read – I love getting lost in a good book and taking a journey somewhere new. I prefer physical books, but on occasion read them on an electronic device. Even audio books are great, especially in the car. Even if it’s only a half hour per day that I escape into another world, it’s valuable me time.
Travel – There are so many places I want to visit and I don’t know if I will get to all of them, but I don’t want to live with regrets that I never went anywhere. Day trips are valuable too; a change of scenery can be an adventure. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine and stay close to home. Venture out and have fun in new places.
Experience – Try something new. Last year I went zip lining for the first time. It was a blast. But if you are not the outdoor adventure type, something new such as a cooking or art class can be fun.
Meditate – Turning off your mind to outside stimuli is a great way to recharge. Sometimes there is so much coming at me from so many different ways that I get overwhelmed. A few deep breaths and some soothing music allow me to drift to a peaceful place.
Now, on the other hand, life is expanded when experiences include others. Sharing time with others opens you up to their feelings, viewpoints, wants and needs. But connecting doesn’t mean just being in the same space together; it is about going below the surface to discover more about each other and how you can add to their lives.
Here Are Five Ways To Connect More Deeply To Others
Be Present – Put away your cell phones and other electronic devices. The emails, text messages, social media posts will all be there later. Paying attention to outside stimuli sends a message you care more about “things” than relationships.
Be An Active Listener – If you are so busy trying to figure out what you want to say next, you really aren’t hearing what others are saying. Someone once referred to this as “having your own motion picture going in your head.” Relationships are so much better when you are both watching the same movie!
Discover Their “Why” – We all bring our learned values and experiences to every relationship. Past events shape our lives. “Why” someone acts or feels the way they do about any situation is directly connected to their experiences. The more deeply you understand others, the stronger the relationship becomes.
Find Common Ground – It’s a natural tendency to want to hang out and get to know people we have things in common with. There are plenty of groups online that help facilitate those experiences. When you don’t know in advance that you have like interests, asking questions about birthplace, hobbies, passions, etc., is a great place to start. A recent acquaintance and I discovered we both attended the same camp at the same time when we were kids during a conversation. It’s a common bond we will always share.
Be Open-Minded – I have a unique set of beliefs, opinions and ways of doing things. They work for me, but I don’t expect everyone I meet to buy into them. My conversations would be pretty boring if everyone agreed with everything I said. I have very dear friends who hold different religious and political beliefs, raise their children differently and view many aspects of life through a different lens. Those actions and views are right for them. We can agree to disagree and we trust each other enough to be open-minded about having ideas that vary from our own way of thinking. It makes for some interesting conversation too!
Did you notice the graphic at the top? Two hands representing 2016 equals 20 digits, not just 10. So here is an additional list of relationship builders for you.
The “Handy” Top Ten Attitudes That Will Make Your Relationships Even Better in 2016
Be Optimistic – We attract what we project out to the world. Always look for the silver lining.
Be Grateful – Appreciate what you already have instead of focusing on what isn’t there.
Be Joyful – Live your life enthusiastically. Savor each moment.
Be Possible – Yes, you can achieve your dreams. The path may not always be clear, but it is there. Believe in yourself.
Be Helpful – Whenever you see an opportunity to make someone’s life better, do it. Not only will the other person feel good, you will too.
Be Kind – Especially with your words. They remain behind.
Be Forgiving – Holding on to hurt and pain will rob you of your personal power. Most importantly, forgive yourself and move forward to better things.
Be Sincere – You’ve heard the phrase, “Say what you mean and mean what you say?” It applies to how you view yourself too.
Be Passionate – Live life to the fullest and give it your all. The rewards are equal to the passion behind the effort.
Be Amazing – Because you already are. Own it!
Wishing you a year of momentous relationships!