With the dawning of a new year upon us, it's a perfect time to reflect on the past, ponder the future and perhaps, think about the question, "How could we make 2024 our best year yet?"
Our team at Flaman and the Flaman Foundation are excited about the new year and all the possibility and opportunity ahead along with our goal to work together with our partners, staff, customers and community to help make the world a little better and brighter.
January 1st and the hopeful beginning of a brand new year often sparks a flurry of new year's resolutions, lofty goals and high expectations. For some, these methods work well to set the tone for a successful year ahead. For others, it evokes disappointment and the inevitable feeling of failure - from countless starts, reboots and past failed resolutions.
So...how about trying something different? What if we focused more on our evolution (and becoming more and more of who we want to be) rather than on resolutions? What if we sought to be a little kinder to ourselves, and to others, and became a little more gentle with our humanity and perfect imperfection, while still creating a framework of discipline and focus? What if we simply set out to be our best selves on a daily basis? What if we found a way to inspire ourselves and discover the power and magnificence of the present moment?
Here are four simple ways to make 2024 your best year yet!
Find your focus.
Let's get into the details a little.
What is awe?
The literal definition of awe is; a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear and wonder.
The book AWE: THE NEW SCIENCE OF EVERYDAY WONDER AND HOW IT CAN TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE by Dacher Keltner states that awe is the feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends your current understanding of the world.
OK. If that's what awe means, how do we find it?
We look for it! We set out each day with the intention that it will find us. We expect awe to show up in our lives in small ways. Yes - awe can be found in our daily living...but only if we look for it. Awe is different for everyone. Awe can be experienced in those treasured moments of joy when you meet your new grand-baby for the first time or have an opportunity to observe something remarkable, like the northern lights on a cold, dark night during our Canadian winter. But awe can also be found in simple, seemingly insignificant ways, if we are open enough and wanting enough and present enough.
Awe is everywhere IF we look for it. Perhaps awe can be found in the kindness of a stranger or a witnessing someone's effort to endure something difficult or a walk in nature or listening to certain music. Awe truly is the feeling of being in the presence of something vast, something greater than ourselves, that goes beyond our current understanding or expectation of the world or humanity.
Seek to be awed in 2024 and it will be the makings of an extraordinary year.
Building greater connection will also contribute to making 2024 our best year yet. Greater connection within ourselves, to what matters most in our hearts, and also within our family, community and the world around us.
How can we build greater connection to what lies within us? To what we truly want in this year? How can we build greater connections and ties to the people that matter in our lives?
Could you carve out a few minutes each day to build connection in a way that best serves you?
Here are a few simple ideas:
Take 10 minutes at the start of each day to envision your ideal day, incorporating a little more self-care
Read, meditate, journal, breathe and just be for a few minutes each day
Incorporate a little 'you time' to go for a walk or focus on your health in some way. Connect with what feels healthy to you, whether it be moving physically, focusing on your nutrition or simply drinking more water each day
Make a habit of getting in touch with someone important to you each day (a simple text, phone call, email or notecard in the mail)
Create a sense of community around you - bring your favourite people together in some way. Create a whatsapp group to connect with friends virtually. Gather friends together for dinner. Create a daily, weekly or monthly connection of some sort with those that matter most to you.
Building connection and cultivating relationships are one of the keys to longevity. The smallest of actions can create immeasurable results and contribute to making 2024 our best year yet.
Gratitude is one of the key ingredients to creating a great day...and a great year. Check out The Five Minute Journal for simple ideas to incorporate gratitude into your new year! This journal is one sure way to change your life - in just 5 minutes per day! The concept is remarkably simple:
In the morning, ask yourself - What are you grateful for? What would make today great?
In the evening, ask yourself - What are three highlights of your day? What did you learn today?
Grab a notebook or blank journal. There's no need to purchase this particular journal. A coil notebook will due the trick! Then, try to consistently take 5 minutes per day to jot down a few things in the morning and a few reflections in the evening, answering the above questions. I guarantee it will change your life.
There are countless ways to feel gratitude. Again, we have to look for it to find, or feel, it. See if you can come up with a random list of small and large gratitudes. People, experiences, moments, opportunities, wisdom gained, lessons learned, hopes for the future and even things like way the sun shines on snow or the cool air feels on your skin or the sound of your own breathing. Give that list a try! You'll be glad you did.
Find Your Focus
In order to make 2024 our best year yet, we're going to have to stretch...a little. We'll have to find a way to apply a little discipline, focus, effort and energy into what we want.
What do you want? What do you want to create, do, have, become, attract, experience or bring to life in 2024? Start here. Ponder this question. Then, spend a little time digging deeper into WHY you want it.
Anything of value is worth the effort. When the why becomes big enough, the how becomes easier. But we've got to know what it is that we want in order to make this our best year yet! Let's kick start this year by spending a little time creating a vision of what you really want this year. You'll be glad you did.
At the Flaman Foundation, we wish you the very best for 2024. May this year be your best yet - finding awe, building connection, feeling gratitude and finding your focus.
Happy new year!