What I love about this time of the year and the hum of the upcoming new year is that it not only gives us an opportunity to sit and reflect on the lessons we’ve learned in the past year, but it also creates space for putting intention into what we hope to cultivate in the upcoming year.

New Year’s day is a special day that seems to straddle both worlds, one foot in the past and the other in the future. The space in-between the two is the present moment, which is the perfect place to start thinking about how we can nourish ourselves in the upcoming year.

New Year’s Resolutions commonly focus on physical health: I’ll eat better, go to the gym more often, and lose that extra weight… All important goals, completely okay, and often make sense. But what if this year we expand those goals to include taking care of our not only our bodies, but nourishing our mind and soul. To begin to make changes in our lives so that we can treat ourselves with a greater degree of gentle, loving kindness.

Here are a few themes to help you get started on your resolutions:

Spend time in Nature
Nature reminds us to slow down and be in the present moment, to lose ourselves in that beautiful sunset, ocean expanse, and warm sunlight. Nature teaches us that we are beautiful and diverse, reminds us to connect with the divine, and we reconnect and sense our inner selves in those extraordinary moments that we are in the natural world.

Together, let’s make a commitment to spend more time enjoying the beauty of the natural world!

Often our lives are so busy and stimulating that we forget to stop and take a few conscious breaths…to slow down and give our bodies and minds an opportunity to rest and restore. Whole, deep breathing is a natural and important way of the body taking care of itself. Make a commitment to take a few deep breaths a day!

Sleep & Rest
We need sleep and rest to balance our busy day to day lives. This is especially important as we heal from trauma and abuse.

Rest gives our bodies an opportunity to take care of ourselves, it helps keep the mind fresh, and our moods more stable. And most of us aren’t getting enough of it.

Make a commitment to find new ways to rest, find a bedtime routine that works for you, try restorative yoga, invest in a hammock, and make a commitment this year to make rest a priority!

Play is inspiring, food for our soul. It reminds us to lighten up in this sometimes really heavy world. Children play so beautifully and naturally, but as adults we often forget that we have to carve time out to enjoy ourselves. Play is time spent without purpose, something you want to extend, you lose track of time in, you love so much you lose yourself in.

Make a play list and incorporate new hobbies into the New Year!

Increase Joy
Joy is a spiritual experience of openness, freedom, connection, and love. Joy embodies the sensations of warmth, fulfillment, and elation. Joy radiates from the heart center. Incorporating joy in daily life involves building and maintaining relationships, taking action, spiritual connection, serving others, serenity, self care, incorporating creativity in life, and participating in community. Make a commitment to nurture your relationship with Joy and give it space to warm your life and relationships!

We would love to hear about your thoughts and New Year’s resolutions!

Lindy Ariff, LCSW is the founder of I AM A ROCKSTAR. She is a Rockstar, a clinically trained social worker, certified hypnotherapist, and healing professional. She has nurtured and guided hundreds of clients in aligning mind, body, and soul. She offers counseling sessions in her office in Portland OR and online coaching sessions to clients all over the world! Learn more at HealwithLindy.com.