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How to make 2022 your best year ever

Ok I have a confession. I was going to start this with “2020 and 2021 weren’t quite the years we wanted them to be, because ya know, global pandemic”. But if I’m honest with you, I’ve really enjoyed the last two years. Every time I see tips for making next year better, it’s written from the view of “it’s about time we had a good year”. Imagine if you could have a good year EVERY year, regardless of what life throws at you. Imagine if every year could just keep getting better. That’s how I live.


Now, in case you’re thinking “you must have an easy life if you’ve loved the last two years”, I want to explain something. I DO think I have an easy life. But that’s my opinion. Not everyone would describe the last 2 years of my life as easy.


I was pregnant, in a global pandemic, with an intense phobia of childbirth and unable to have my husband with me in appointments.


I experienced not one, but two, uncommon side effects from my birth and was pretty unwell as a result.


Despite being careful and double-vaccinated, when my daughter was 5 months old, we caught COVID.


Would you have described that as an enjoyable few years? Be honest.


So why do I describe that as enjoyable?


Well those bits weren’t always enjoyable per se. But I believe in the power of the mind and the power to choose how we perceive these. These aspects of the last 2 years might have been hard at the time, but there was SO MUCH enjoyment around these more difficult aspects.


So how do you have enjoyment when it feels like the world is in chaos around you?


Simple – you stay in the present moment.


When I was in the grips of my phobia things were pretty rough, but in between those moments, I focused on what was in front of me, and found joy.


When I couldn’t get out of bed and had a newborn baby, I enjoyed cuddling her constantly because I literally couldn’t do anything else.


When we caught COVID, I focused on getting through each minute at a time, supporting what she needed in each individual moment.


Imagine if instead it had gone like this:


When I was pregnant, imagine I spent every minute thinking about the impending childbirth, and so didn’t allow myself to feel excitement when she first moved.


When I was ill post-birth and couldn’t do all the things I’d planned, imagine I’d instead spent those weeks wishing things were different, rather than enjoying what I could.


When we had COVID, imagine I’d spent the whole time worrying about her being hospitalised, rather than getting through one moment at a time.


The vast majority of stress and unhappiness comes from thinking about the past and future.


Wishing things were different. Imagine we stayed in the present and enjoyed what was happening, right now.


Don’t believe me? How do you feel right now? RIGHT now? You’re reading this article, hopefully with some mild amusement. Ask yourself, “what’s wrong with this exact moment?”. If you catch yourself saying “well I’m stressed because…” or “I feel xyz because….” – are those things happening RIGHT NOW? No. Right now, you have time to read this article, so things in this present moment must be ok.


“Well what about when I deal with that stressful thing? That’s unpleasant.”


Maybe. But I can guarantee it’ll be even MORE unpleasant if you don’t stay in the present moment.


Let’s imagine you’re stressed about a deadline at work. As you’re working on it, do you feel better if you (a) work on it while half thinking “go faster, go faster, ahhhhhh deadline soon, it’s not going to be done on time” or (b) just work on it. If you just work on it, and stay present as you do so, you’ll feel substantially less stressed. And just in case that’s not enough incentive, happier people are more productive, so you’ll probably finish it faster too.


Win-win.


There’s more.


Mindfulness and staying in the present moment doesn’t just take the stress out of things. It adds enjoyment.


Back to that deadline. Let’s imagine you like your job BUT it’s stressful. So imagine what happens when you do a task with a deadline, but don’t worry about the deadline. You just do it. Suddenly, not only are you not stressed, you’re also more productive AND you now have the mental space to enjoy it.


Wooooooooooah. Mind. Blown.


Look, I didn’t believe mindful living could be this good. I thought I needed the stress, that it helped me to be productive. That it’s not realistic to be happy all the time. When I started meditating 6 years ago, I’d just graduated from my second science degree and landed my dream job. I was living my best life. And I thought, “let’s just see what this is all about”.


Fast forward to now, it’s changed EVERY aspect of my life. I laugh more, find humour in things that used to stress me out, I’m more calm…. It’s changed so much for me that I feel called to coach other people to live like this too.


So, how can you make 2022 your best year ever?


It’s both incredibly simple and incredibly hard. Stay in the present moment.


Start by meditating every day, even if just for a few minutes. In doing this, you practise being in the present moment, so you can more easily implement it in your every day life.


And then make a conscious decision to be mindful. Every day. Be kind to yourself when it’s hard, but keep trying. Keep coming back to the present moment. And see where it takes you.


Finally, connect with me in whatever way works for you so you can get the best tips in how to live mindfully every day. For free inspiration, you can sign up to my mailing list, connect on LinkedIn or follow me on Instagram (follow the links at the bottom of the page). Or if you're ready to take your journey further, join me in my programme MORE, so I can personally coach you in how to get more out of life by living mindfully.


I'm excited for 2022 - I hope you are too.

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