So how did I do? Well I have to say this has been a very positive and memorable year and I do attribute a lot of my success and happiness to committing to living more mindfully. Now I was not perfect, I am human and when I fell short of my goals I accepted it and moved on. I did not beat myself up and accept failure, I looked forward and focussed on the overall successes I did not let a few bumps along the way prevent me from achieving great things.
- 10 Deep breaths daily. Quite honestly I could have done better, this morning when I got out of the shower, I did some stretches while doing my deep breathing and prayer and remembered my love of these simple daily habits. We get so caught up with our daily stresses that it is so easy to forget the very simple things that help us to cope better with stress. Simply put when I was effective at incorporating deep breathing into my day I felt more at ease and able to respond to stress effectively and appropriately.
- Pray. For me this was a simple daily mantra or a way of connecting with a deeper consciousness that allowed me to remain focussed on what really matters in my life. Expressing gratitude and praying for the things I want out to achieve in life helped me to stay positive and beyond grateful for all the riches I already have in my life. I highly recommend this to everyone.
- Exercise. Well this one I have to say I was not very successful at, I found it difficult to get into a routine that worked for me. Juggling a work schedule, a toddler, lack of childcare and my blog (yes I do recognize that this a giant list of excuses and is unacceptable…) I found it difficult to get into a good routine. I will continue working on this until I get it right!
- Grow my appreciation Garden. Another one of my favorite tasks I undertook this year. Nothing helps you be constantly reminded of all the blessings someone shares with you on a daily basis then expressing what you think is wonderful about those you love most. And its amazing how it feels to express such thoughts and what you get in return is honestly priceless.
- Eat Clean Meals. I think I did rather well this year, I have never been much of a cook or remotely interested in being in the kitchen. But having my son there with me and watching his love for food develop, motivated me to learn and enjoy cooking healthy and nutritious meals. From food introduction, canning, baking and meal prep, a passion has been ignited in me. I recognize that my motivation stems from wanting to set a good example for my incredible son, but that is reason enough to keep me trekking forward in the right direction.
- Only 1-2 hours of TV daily. As the year went on this was at times a struggle for me. You see I was raised in a home where the TV was always on despite watching it or not just for the noise. It has taken me some time to get used to filling my home time with other activities and at years end we finally moved the TV out of our main living area, ensuring I will continue to be successful for years to come.
- Listen to motivational speakers in the car. This was my FAVOURITE activity I have taken on all year, I absolutely enjoyed how this simple and passive act shaped each day that I complied. For me, so much productivity and passion can come from a positive mind set. This daily task ensured that I got my mind where it needed to be to ensure success. It is so easy to get caught up in all of our negative beliefs and thoughts, they truly can prevent us from achieving our best or really anything at all. And despite having many fears and insecurities about life, this was a way for me to ensure that I didn’t let them get in the way of achieving my best. My favourite CD’s in the car were anything by Anthony Robbins, Robin Sharma and Dalai Lama. I had many to choose from but I found listening to the ones that impacted me most over and over again benefitted me the greatest. When the student is ready the lesson will appear.
- Spend quality time with my son. An easy task, however mindfully spending time with him was challenging at times, I feel bad about admitting this and its not as though I didn’t want to spend quality time with him, it’s all I want. But admittedly it was very easy to let work and responsibilities get in the way of connecting with my little man. Andrea Strang of The Baby Source shared with me a great simple way to attach with your child on a daily basis. Here was her advice: Sit with your child in a rocking chair, while nursing or feeding gaze into your child’s eyes and let them know you are there solely for them in that moment. Do this for at least 15 minutes daily. My son loves this and what a simple way to help your child feel loved and cared for.
- Drink tea. Well I cannot say that at this is my favourite thing to drink although I hoped a year of focussing on this would encourage this love to develop. But what I can say is that I LOVE drinking a hot fresh lemon and ginger tea, nothing helps to settle my stomach better then this and I truly enjoy drinking it. Also, I have developed a bit of a crush on David’s Tea and there lemon and fruit flavoured teas. They make this doubtful tea drinker into a fan!
- Laugh. This was easy, mostly because I live with 2 hams and I love to laugh. Even more importantly what I learned this year was not to take myself too seriously. I have in the past, I have found it difficult to get over things, but with some active work on myself I find that I am taking a lot less personally and able to enjoy a good laugh even if at my own expense. And I would say that I am laughing more often.
- Pick up my clothes. Needs improvement! I found this task to be very challenging, I have trouble with clutter, somehow it seems to follow me (note how I am still unable to take ownership for my part in this). I want to blame lack of storage, lack of space, my busy schedule, my toddler undoing all my work and the list could go on. Perhaps I am not getting to the root, perhaps I need to de-clutter my mind first… Now that’s deep!
- Empowered and knowledgeable about my health and my body. This is a work in progress, but I believe that this year has brought me closer to my goal.
- Lose 10 lbs: Fit and lean body mass. I did successfully achieve this goal.
- More grounded and less reactive to stressors. I would say I grew leaps and bounds in this area, however, I am not perfect so I can still be challenged by this.
- Work and live in a calm and clean environment. Work yes, home, err no!
- Increased positivity. Absolutely!
- Healthier. I think so yes.
- More balanced- Physically, mentally,emotionally and spiritually. Well you can ask those around me, but I would say I have improved, but I definitely struggle with this at times.
- Increase self- confidence and a strong sense of self worth and love. Absolutely! I feel differently about myself, more confident and finding it much less difficult to express myself. I am quite proud of this.
- More authentic and deep connection to my son and boyfriend. Achieved! I feel very bonded to both my son and fiance (name change implies a stronger bond, no?). I feel very connected to my family and quite honestly there is nothing more important in life to me.
So here’s to a rather successful 2012, I am so grateful for this experience. It really has shifted me into a new excellence and empowered living. I would love to hear about your experiences, did you make a list? Were you successful?
Stay tuned for my list for 2013. As you have seen my year unfold, I think I have made you into a believer so whats stopping you now? Let’s get the life we want, achieve our hearts desires and live like we give a damn together!
Happy New Year!
Living Like I Give A Damn,
Dr. Michelle Peris is a Naturopathic Doctor whose goal is to inspire health through educating, motivating and empowering people. She has a family based practice out of a clinic in Oakville, Ontario.