New Year, New Leaf

Today is the official start of my quest to better myself and bring happiness into my life more deliberately. As promised in my post yesterday, I’m going to blog about not only my goals, but also my progress, frustrations, setbacks, successes and general things about the process.

There are a few things I am going to use as my blanket statements/ overall mantras and one is something that I read in The Happiness Project, the second is another famous statement. Both have really struck and stuck with me.

The first being a quote from G.K. Chesterton, “It’s easy to be heavy: hard to be light”.

The second is yet another quote, but from the Dalai Lama. “If you want to be happy, practice compassion. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.”

I’m sure that not everyone wants to read about the hum-drum of my process for this mission I’ve set for myself this year, but I do believe it’s kind of important to mention that since undertakings such as this are incredibly individualized, everyone has their own methods and ways to tailor their efforts to work for them. In my case, I’m taking the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism and taking actions that apply to those items. I plan to cultivate my happiness by trying to become a better Buddhist in addition to being an overall better person in the world. Instead of doing one fold per month, I’m had to shuffle it around just a little, since, well, there’s 12 months in a year.

So here’s my plan starting now:

January and February
~Right Effort and Right Meditation
“Be authentic” is the overall goal of these months, but here are my goals and how I’ll try to accomplish them.

  • Outside chaos is inside chaos: declutter, organize, clean
  • Practice makes perfect, do it until it’s right: learn a new skill
  • 15 minute miracles: A.M. yoga, meditation P.M. talking, cleaning
  • Look good, feel good: dress for success
  • Meditate in a way that works for me: try different techniques

I want to focus on Right Effort because without this basis, all others are useless. By honing my efforts, making the “why” as specific as possible and reframing my basis to not only include things that make “me” happy, but also those around me. The other prong of The Path is Right Meditation. I chose to do these two items together because not only is it critical to have the right effort, but getting my head in the right space is also essential to creating positive, happy and lasting changes in life.

I think the first goal is pretty self explanatory and for those that have seen my desk in the office or my car, clutter and organization are huge issues for me. The second goal is really just a reaffirmation of the first one, to keep me on track with not only organization, but also my efforts in general.

15-Minute-Miracles are something that I thought of the other day to describe how I want to accomplish things. I live an incredibly busy life, as most people do, with my job, my family, my last year of college and outside interests many things end up falling through the cracks. I am terribly forgetful, sometimes disorganized (I sort of live in a perpetual state of organized, rushed, complete chaos) and it leads to significant stress and unhappiness. My plan is that for 15 minutes each, everyday, I will do yoga because not only do I love it, but I always manage to avoid it in lieu of “real work” or some other tasks that need to be done. Meditate, because I’m terrible at it and find it truly difficult to center myself in a meaningful way. I need to try and find alternative ways to accomplish 15 minutes of calm each day. Talk with my wonderful fiance- face to face, television off- about whatever, just to take time to reconnect in a different way on a regular basis. And finally cleaning. In a busy life, something has to give, our dishes are usually that thing. We are not blessed to live in a place that has a dishwasher, so it’s hand washing and it’s not particularly fun. I think I’ll find it less of a mountainous task if I do a little bit each evening and it’ll help me find more peace in the kitchen, where I spend a lot of my free time. I love to cook.

Look good; feel good is something a friend of mine has said for years and while I wholeheartedly agree, I suffer from the “I don’t care” attitude, similar to that of a teenage boy. I work in a warehouse, so it’s not exactly the place to wear my good clothes, however, I spend an awful lot of time in class where I’m mistaken for an 18 year old that just rolled out of bed and put on the first wrinkled tee-shirt they could find. I am old enough to at least look like an adult. That is going to be rather difficult for me, I think. But other people taking me more seriously will be a great source of confidence, especially when I’m preparing for graduation.

The final goal is to find a method of meditation that works for me to find peace and clarity. Sitting meditation just isn’t something that interests me since I find it rather impossible to sit still for that long without clouding my mind with a flood of things that I could be or should be doing instead. Yup, I’m that person. I make mental lists of what I have to do or should be doing and then constantly mull it over and over in my head. But that is something I need to do, clear my mind, even it’s for only 15 minutes a day.

There’s my outline for the next two months. I’ll be updating this blog regularly (a side goal) and I am excited to keep up my momentum. Happy New Year cyber land. Here’s to an amazing 2012!



~ by wendemachete on January 2, 2012.

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