As 2020 draws to a close, we get to reflect and look back at all of the challenges that we have been through. The pandemic and all of the events that followed has changed our lives in so many ways. Maybe more for some than others. Regardless of how 2020 treated you, we can all agree that this is a year to remember.
Yet, despite everything, if you are reading this – you have made it...through all of the chaos. And yes, it has been very difficult for many of us. Know that there is something good to be seen from these soul-shaking events.
Each of these events has taught us life lessons. That we are stronger than we realize. That we are agile and adaptable. We showed reverence for others, whether it was through a friendly phone call, making a charity donation, or a random act of kindness. We proved that good human nature exists in many of us. As we enter into the new year, it is important to keep in mind that we can come out of this year better than ever.
Consider these 9 Rules to living your best life:
Rule #1 Be proud of who you are.
You have made your way through a maze of happenings and managed to make the best of it.
We have adjusted to a “new normal”, utilizing Zoom calls for work, school and socially-distanced events. You may have learned a new hobby, learned to cook or volunteered to help
others through the year.
Rule #2 Surround yourself with people who want the best for you and others.
Appreciate those that have checked in with you during lockdowns and distancing. The social isolation has been difficult on so many of us and we need to support each other so we know we are not alone and there are people in this world that we can count on.
Rule #3 Recognize the person you have become during this year.
Don’t worry about those few extra pounds you may have gained. Instead, realize how your compassion has helped others. Maybe it was a friendly smile towards a stranger that really one at that moment, or that extra can of food you dropped in the donation box. You have become more aware of the needs of others and that is important. And, if you’ve hit some bumps in the road – maybe a job loss or got tired of the news and stopped watching TV – you have adjusted and made choices that were best for you and that is okay. We all handle situations differently and should never compare ourselves to others.
Rule #4 Before you criticize what is going on in the world, make sure that your life is a priority.
If you are unhappy with something or someone, make a change; a change that is right for you, a change that you want to see in the world.
Rule #5 Look for the meaning in life situations, instead of instant gratification
If you are feeling down or discouraged, don’t reach for sweets or a cocktail. A leisurely walk around the neighborhood or volunteering at a local animal shelter might make you feel better both physically and emotionally.
Rule #6 You are never too young or too old to learn something new.
Start an interesting conversation with friends – for example, ask them “if you could change careers tomorrow, what would you want to do”? Say hello to the new neighbor. He or she may not know anyone in the area and you may find out that they’ve travelled all over the world, or have the skills of a chef that they are willing to share or teach a foreign language as a second job.
Rule #7 Seek improvement not perfection. When you know better, you do better.
This means that we will often make mistakes because we didn’t know the right way to do something. Once we understand (“know better”) we can change our actions (“do better”). Life isn’t perfect. Neither are we.
Rule #8 Be a hero! It’s contagious!
Maybe someone you work with is struggling financially or is stressed with a hectic schedule of handling work, dealing with their children’s fluctuating school schedules or can’t visit a parent in a nursing home or assisted living. Quietly collect from others and leave a gift card or basket of bath treats with a note reminding them to take care of themselves. This will inspire others to do the same.
Rule #9 Be true to yourself and respect others.
In other words, be truthful. If you are feeling tired, don’t want to do something or accept a job that you know is not right for you – don’t. You can politely decline and do something that you would enjoy – whether it be a midday nap or a warm, bubbly bath with a good book. It is okay to shut out the world for an hour or two to recharge and refresh. You have definitely earned it.
“This is the time to remember
Cause it will not last forever
These are the days
To hold on to
Cause we won’t
Although we’ll want to
This is the time
But time is gonna change
You’ve give me the best of you
and now I need the rest of you”
This is The Time - Billy Joel
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