Even if we don't all formally make them, we all think about them: "If I were to make changes this year from last year, what would they be?" There are the common list toppers - hitting the gym more often, cooking cleaner meals more often, being smarter with money...

I wanted to share with you my highlighted learnings from 2015 that will make a massive difference this year.  They go beyond the norm, they're a bit less conventional, but my guts are strong about them leading to a significantly more powerful 365 days this time around.

1 - Do not compromise sleep. Nobody wins. I hesitate to say it's the most important component of wellness, because you can make a case for nutrition and exercise... They all matter. But SLEEP - losing sleep has repercussions more severe, at least for me personally, than falling off the wagon nutritionally or actively.  Losing sleep disrupts hormones, makes you feel incapable of keeping up therefore increasing anxiety, makes you care very little about what food you consume and makes exercising much more difficult (for me, less enjoyable).  It causes problems. Overtime, it causes big ones.  Being diligent about your sleep routine is one of the wisest things you can do to support your mood, productivity, and then your overall health and longevity. 

2 - Eat humble pie.  Letting humility in is the difference, in my opinion, between a fair, compatible and kind person and one who is swimming upstream, missing out on all the good stuff.  Difficult moments are going to fall upon all of us, and one of the most rewarding things in life is being able to say "oops, things went wrong", or "I'm sorry", or "I'm paying attention, I've learned from this". You won't appreciate life's ups without its downs.  You'll frankly never fully get through the downs in you're drenched in denial.  Be true to yourself.  Be true among others.  Practice humility, and see how much more swiftly those tough times make their way through you. Not a soul in the world can escape the occasional obstacle, just don't let it get stuck against your indelible exterior without a lesson.

3 - Be one of those surprisingly kind strangers.  Have you ever been in the situation where you're truly shocked at a stranger's kindness? Whether it's a moment to look you in the eye and thank you sincerely, or to give you their parking spot, or something much more massive as to run around trying to solve a problem for you for a substantial amount of time. These things can knock you back for a moment. Our time is valuable, and one of our best ways to give.  I found myself struck quite a few times (even more so recently) by people I barely know greeting me smiling, helping me out and the best part of it was that it became completely contagious.  I'm a friendly girl, but I solemnly vow to take more time to be more kind and giving to people I don't know when I can.  Anyone can smile and open a door.  Going the extra step can flood a stranger with positive energy and turn their whole day around. I learned this from experience. Putting this on the front burner will make for a better year all around, guaranteed.

4 - Know when to stop laughing. Huh? Seriously. Many of us deflect with humour.  We say self-depricating things in a humorous way.  Of course, being able to laugh at yourself is important.  Laughter itself is one of the most prized parts of a human life.  However, there comes a time where it will be keeping you from getting real with yourself about your worth, how much of it you're addressing, and how much of it you might be squashing or pushing away with that humour.  Like all things in life, there is a balance.  Giggle away, don't take yourself too seriously - but at the same time, know when it might be time to take things a bit more seriously than they are.  As they say, this is not a dress rehearsal. This is your life, it matters. You matter.

5 - Stop at nothing to find what it is that you love. The biggest difference between you feeling accomplished by the end of the year, or not, will be this.  I'm touching on an exercise style, but it applies to almost anything.  If you want to be consistent, if you want to be successful, your first goal should be to try many things until you have that SWOON feeling.  No matter who you are, there is an athlete in you.  There is a lover in you, a fighter in you, a scholar in you, and a mentor in you.  Find what you love.  When you do, DO the hell out of it.  If it's a workout style, you bet your butt you'll be fit this time next year!  If it's any of the other things... :) you'll have that in your pocket, too.

Let's all have a heart-pumping 2016.

 

 

*photo from thebridge-can.com