Looking ahead to a brand new year …


Happy New Year to my Friends, Family & Community

With a fresh New Year upon us, it's that time of the year when people make resolutions and promises to fulfill in the coming year. The most common are intentions to lose/gain weight, to live a healthier lifestyle, or develop a new hobby. Unfortunately, many fall short of fulfilling such goals. Perhaps it’s time for shift in how we approach changes for the future…a mindset shift!

Here are five key intentions I encourage you to embrace for shifting your future:

#1 Celebrate Family and Friends…

Most of us spend more waking time with our workplace colleagues than we do at home so family members can easily slip into the most “taken-for-granted” people in our lives. Somehow, we seem to feel that family members will just be there “whenever” without recognizing the importance of nurturing those relationships along the way…just like a garden needs tending on a regular basis or it runs amuck!
Studies well demonstrate that a family who spends time together and engages in quality conversations is much happier than one who just sees each other because they are related.
And, for those who live in a different city, country or even the ones who stay with their family under the same roof, make it a point to reach out, start a conversation, and connect on what’s going on.
Be there for them physically and emotionally, even when they don’t need you, so there’s a sense of camaraderie, closeness and support for when things aren’t going well. And, with today’s technology, there’s no reason not to have that face-to-face and voice connection even when we’re thousands of miles apart. The first step in managing relations is reaching out and making the connection!
The New Year is a great time to connect and make it a point to begin a fresh year in the company of loved ones, sharing new achievements, new adventures, goals and creating opportunities that bring positive memories to call upon in tougher times. These small acts of outreach foster a sense of belonging and connectedness which is essential to the human condition!

#2 Embrace Health and Happiness…

When we’re asked to take care of our physical health, we often interpret it to mean “looking” a certain way physically. Instead, focusing on our well-being really means “feeling” healthy and fit, mentally and physically.
While maintaining a healthy weight is important for lots of reasons, it’s what we can do on the inside that carries our health and well-being far further. With what we now know about the neuroscience of the mind-body (or aka brain-body) connection goes a long way in preventing and managing numerous diseases and health-related problems. TIME has some wonderful editions that consolidate a lot of the research in easy, readable (and interesting) ways that address the science of happiness and the science of stress. We can only call ourselves 'physically fit' when we build a strong immune system, a healthy mindset, as well as exercise both our bodies and our brains.
Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness
Joseph Pilates
I think Joseph was absolutely right. When we are physically fit, we have more energy, sleep better, are more productive, and get along better with others. I’d say “a no-brainer!” but it does involve our brain. I am often amazed at how much time people put into exercising their bodies but do little to exercise their brain! The brain is an organ just like the rest of our organs…it just happens to house our mind! While exercise is positive for the brain, it is not enough. We must also exercise the brain by doing things that shift mindset, focus on happiness, and reduce things that stress us.
I recently visited my sister and her significant other in North Florida for the holidays. Both have been overweight for some time. However, they both successfully lost 30 lbs. in the last year which IS a huge success. And, even better, each of them couldn’t stop talking about how much better they felt, were able to reduce medications, and simply enjoyed life more actively and energetically. It was thrilling to hear them achieve these goals and I felt happy for them.

#3 Practice Mindfulness and Perspective-Taking…

The big shift that we’ve seen in recent years in the field of mental health is shifting away from what’s wrong with us to how we can be better. The mental health model has long been one based on traditional medicine using the “disease” model – identifying what’s wrong and then treating accordingly. And, unfortunately, this approach has relied heavily on the use of medication. This approach is simply a band-aid approach. Fortunately, the emergence of more holistic approaches is teaching us that there are healthier and more effective ways to go.
We cannot be at peace if we have a healthy body but not a healthy and happy mind. The practice of mindfulness (being centered, practicing deep breathing, stepping back from those triggering moments, reflecting and perspective-taking) is HUGE in how you show up.
I am currently working with a young man (making a career shift, recently moved, embracing his previously hidden lifestyle and wanting to learn to embrace happiness) who is constantly amazed at how his family messages throughout his growing years have influenced his mindset and, therefore, his choices. While financially successful, he was deeply unhappy. Through some targeted coaching and simple strategies, he’s learned to embrace some “quieting” strategies and practice perspective-taking.
Embracing the lyric “slow down, you move too fast. Got to make the morning last!” is a good way to remind ourselves to not react in the moment, take time to calm down, and look at things from different perspectives. See what we can learn from others’ viewpoint and grow with that knowledge, rather than react and argue about the differences.

The Gift of Perspective

#4 Live in a Healthy Environment, Internally and Externally...

Here's a not-so-fun fact -- July 2019 was recorded as the hottest month of the planet so far. It is high time that we face the grave problem that the world is facing as a result of past practices. The environment provides rich opportunities in so many ways so it is our duty as human beings of this planet to reciprocate. We must promise ourselves to take care of the environment

in the same way we take care of ourselves and our homes.
Promise to not use plastic this year. Promise to dump your waste responsibly. This environment is all we got and, if this is not preserved more responsibly, then no shelter or luxury can save us from the wrath of mother nature. We’ve already seen this happen!

#5 Pursue Abundance and Prosperity in All Aspects of Life…

One of the most important resolutions that we can make is to be more accepting, considerate and collaborate. When we come from a place of giving, the human condition is reciprocal in nature…we are naturally inspired to give back.
This new decade is waiting for us with new moments, experiences, achievements and adventures. Research shows that having a “can-do” mindset makes a difference. Motivation comes from within. An attitude of growing from adversity and turning those experiences into learning opportunities can and will transform our outlook from a “glass half-empty” to a “glass half-full.” Shift the perspective from loss and despair to abundance and prosperity.

A few final thoughts. Make happiness a goal! Know what makes you happy and prioritize time around it. Savor the small things. Ration your time, know what distracts you, and take electronic time-outs. Think happy thoughts. Buy happy experiences rather than objects. Play around in love. Have a back-up plan in friends and family when things don’t go well. Find purpose in pleasure. Think less “me” time and more “we” time. Take time to breathe deeply. Get off the grid once in a while! Be nicer, smile, show compassion, and do 3-5 random acts of kindness each week. Plan and do blissful weekends…PEP – physical, escape, and people – the mixture will energize you!

heart power of Love
These are all simple things that cost you nothing except for taking a few moments here and there to feel gratitude and being mindful of how you show up. It REALLY does make a BIG difference in your life and the people
you touch.

Be in the moment…breathe through the moment…and, break free from the moment by visualizing you, others, and your surroundings in a beautiful light!

Wishing you love, gratitude and prosperity in all that you do!

With Warm Regards for a Great 2020 Ahead!
Debra Dupree

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.