Here are 14 challenges to help you simplify your life, slow down and take time for yourself to truly appreciate what is meaningful in life. Many of these require little or no money to put into place. The challenge is do as many as you can.
1. Tell someone—a family member, a friend, or partner—you love them and that you are grateful they are in your life.
2. “Thank you for being my friend.” Say this to all your friends, every chance you get. While you’re at it, tell your parents you are grateful for them and for bringing you into the world. As you apply gratitude more and more, you will notice your attitude will change, and you will feel more and more at peace with the circumstances of your life.
3. Make a list of the things you want. Be specific and make sure they are tangible items and not circumstances or conditions, which result from attaining something else. Place your list somewhere you can see it every day. Each time you look at it, you are making your prayer. When these things appear in your life, cross them off and remind yourself that this is the law of attraction and manifestation in action.
4. Do one act of kindness, charity or generosity for a stranger. This may be as simple as holding a door open or giving up your spare change. It could be letting someone else ahead of you in line at the store, or giving someone space to pull their car in ahead of yours. It could be donating your time or money to someone in need. You decide. When you do something kind for someone else, your heart will swell with joy and you will feel that you are helping to make the world a better place.
5. Plan to go somewhere you have never been or engage in an activity that you have never done. Take that family trip you’ve always wanted. Go on a safari. See the pyramids. Take up skydiving. Audition for a play. Whatever your heart desires. Then, actually do it! Whether you choose to follow through on this plan now or in the new year, it is your choice, but do follow through. Newness creates enthusiasm and a sense of wonder for the world. Having a goal such as this gives you something to look forward to. Come up with the idea, make the plan, and then do everything in your power to make the plan a reality. This is how prayers are answered.
6. Drink six to eight large tumblers of water each day, for five days in a row. The water need not be ice cold. This will help flush out impurities and toxins from your system and make you feel more invigorated and less lethargic.
7. Eat four vegetables each day. One vegetable should be from below the ground and three from above. Of the three from above, two should be leafy greens, and the other should be a bean or pod type.
8. Engage in some bending and stretching exercise, such as tai chi or yoga, at least once a week. This not only helps improve the flexibility of the body, but the mind as well. Find an activity you enjoy and keep it up for at least three months. That’s how long it takes for something to become a habit.
9. Engage in a meditation exercise of at least five minutes for five days in a row. In this busy season of many distractions, it is important that you take time to breathe deeply and calm the body and the mind. Through meditation, you can take control of your emotions, remove the clutter from your mind and reconnect with your High Self.
10. Have a good belly laugh at least once a day. That may mean getting together with friends who make you laugh, or going to see a funny movie or a comedy show. Laughter is good medicine. It will chase away the boogey-man of difficulty, pain and sorrow and allow the love and joy within you to shine through.
11. Pamper yourself with a professional massage this season. Touch is very important to our health, and in our culture we tend to shy from touch and affection. A massage can help improve circulation and remove toxins through the lymphatic system. If you suffer from muscle and joint pain, due to stress or an injury, massage can be a great benefit.
12. Kick-start your body’s eliminations and remove built-up toxins, by engaging in a colonic. When we neglect this important system, poisons—which would otherwise leave the body—are allowed to accumulate, contributing to conditions as varied as headaches, acne, psoriasis, cataracts, and arthritis.
13. Now is the perfect time of year to purge your mind of the toxic thoughts that hold you back. Make a list of mistakes you made this year. Go back and read each one and make the attempt to forgive yourself for them. Tell yourself that mistakes are actually stepping stones to future success. Those who are afraid to take chances because they might make a mistake are actually afraid of success.
14. Remember that person who really hurt you? Forgive them! Make the attempt to earnestly forgive that person—regardless of what was done to you—for your own peace of mind. By continually remembering the hurt you were caused, you relive the experience, which continues to impair your mind and your body.