Key Point: Instead of being filled with good intentions this New Year and getting predictably mixed results, let’s make it a “Knew Year” by applying action we KNOW can positively make a difference in our lives immediately.
Garrett and I are going to commit to the following actions during January 2016. If they have the expected positive impact we will consider making them a regular part of our lives. These actions are not new but as a system (like the Character Triangle) we believe they will make us more mindful and ultimately happier. Feel free to join us in this “Knew Year” action plan by Character Moves your best shot for the next 31 days.
The following two actions are “compulsory:”
- No Complaint January.
See how many days during the month you can go without complaining, whining, gossiping and/or bad mouthing anyone. Wear a band on one wrist. Every time you complain, whine, gossip or badmouth another person, put the band on the other wrist. The goal is to go as many days in a row without having to switch your band from one wrist to the other. How many days in a row can you go without switching? The science is that your words drive your thinking and disposition. Change your words and you change your thinking.
- Meditate five days a week for at least five minutes.
Unless you are already practiced at meditation, we suggest downloading the apps “Headspace” or “Calm” and follow a meditation guide. If you feel good about the experience then increase the time to 10 minutes/week or more through the month. Even if you can focus on your breath in stillness for just a few minutes, it’s been proven to lead to numerous benefits.
Pick two out of the following (although doing them all of them is obviously more than ok. Just don’t over commit).
- Journal for five minutes each morning.
Take five minutes to write down small things you are grateful for in one of the following categories: Relationships, opportunities, or experiences. Capture three items in total. It could be as simple as the smile you get from the receptionist, a great cup of coffee or the project you were assigned. Wrap up the journal with the one focus and/or result you’d like to achieve that day.
- Send one “thank you” or recognition daily.
Identify one person who did something you want to say thank you for and/or acknowledge the positive impact of their action. Write a note or send a text/email; whatever medium. Just do it.
- Fill up a “wow” jar.
Put a quart jar on you desk or kitchen table, and when something awesome or amazing happens, write it down and throw it in the jar! See if you can fill it up over the month.
- Give yourself a couple of four to 10 deep breath breaks throughout the day!
Before a meeting, during a stressful moment, prior to sending a touchy email, when you feel anxious or just need a break, take four to 10 long, deep breaths. Concentrate on your breath… In the nose, out through the mouth.
- Journal briefly each night to wrap the day up.
Take a few minutes to outline a few highlights that happened during the day, describe one key learning and/or something you might have done better.
Unless you are up to doing more, please do the two compulsory actions and pick your favorite other two. We believe doing four of the above with dedication and thoughtful commitment will result in greater mindfulness for all of us. And we will be better for it. When others are quitting the gym and giving up on their “6 pack abs” New Years resolution, we will be gaining momentum for the rest of 2016 and beyond with a Knew Year.
A 2016 Knew Year in the Triangle,
Lorne and Garrett