Day 352-358/ 365 Days of Fulfillment Blog
Day 358/365 – December 25
“Have a Merry Christmas”
This tip may sound obvious, but at the same token, “Merry” can promote and mean many different things, some of which that are not so obvious to everyone. When I say and think Merry Christmas, I’m talking about doing the things you enjoy with the people you love most, while being present amidst all the goodness that comes from this celebration: the food, the gift giving, the laughter, the music, the conversation, the togetherness etc. I also use the word Merry as a way to describe and remember to be kind, generous, selfless, forgiving, loving and accepting of others.
Being Merry signifies to enjoy all that is good, and let go of all that is bad. Life is not meant to be viewed in the glass half-full lens – bitter, negative and unpleasant– life is meant to be lived as close to our deepest values, appreciations and morals as possible, and Christmas Day gets us as close to embracing this view on life as we’ll probably get all year round. Enjoy the love and time together, and use the example we set for ourselves on this day as a nudge for how we should treat ourselves and others throughout the remaining 364 days.
Day 357/365 – December 24
“Slow Down and Appreciate all You are Blessed with on Christmas Eve”
Christmas is easily one of the most looked-forward to singular days of the year; nobody is expecting anything from you, and you are certainly not expecting anything from anyone else (except maybe, well you know who…[the big guy in the red suit] ). Christmas Eve however is like Christmas’ baby brother, we expect a little more from people on this day, it’s a little bit more hectic, there always tends to be some sort of chaos surrounding it (malls, parking lots, streets, and houses included) and all the coming-and-going seems to speed the night up more than we’d like, but at the end of the day, it’s still something we all love.
It’s within these moments and hours that we should all take the time to be grateful for all that we have on this Christmas Eve: the people that are in our lives on this day, the food we are blessed with, the community that surrounds us, and the freedom we have. It sounds cliche, but with all the hustle and bustle that comes with this day – amidst all the eating and relaxing – it makes it harder to slow ourselves down and appreciate things to the extent we do on the 25th of December.
Christmas truly is bigger than one singular day, it’s a feeling. Since Christmas Eve promotes a great deal of emotions and feelings, it’s on us to take the time to truly process and appreciate all the good we have on this particularly double sided chaotic/relaxing day. God bless and have a Merry Christmas Eve.
Day 356/365 – December 23
“Enjoy a cup of Hot Chocolate”
Hot chocolate is the drink of the Christmas season for many people and with good reason. I personally always get a cup of hot chocolate during our cities annual Christmas tree Lighting, and any opportunity that facilitates me doing something Christmas related in the cold, prompts hot chocolate as well – when in Rome. There are just certain things we involve ourselves with that make experiences during the holiday season feel more nostalgic and warm, and hot chocolate consumption is just one of those things. Maybe it’s the warmth, the smell, or the taste, but whatever it is, people can’t seem to get enough.
Another great thing about hot chocolate is in the creativity upon creation. You can go with whipped cream, mini marshmallows, 1 big marshmallow or sprinkle some peppermint on top; you can choose dark hot chocolate, regular hot chocolate and i’m sure the list goes on and on. We all have our favourites, but one thing is for certain, anytime you have hot chocolate out in the cold during Christmas, it’s sure to put a smile on your face and warm your heart up a little bit more.
And guess what, there is also some actual health benefits that come from this tip as well, the flavonoids and antioxidants the drink provides! Flavonoids are a great source of phytonutrients which helps increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain. The key to optimizing the antioxidants in hot chocolate is by selecting a purer, less processed brand, one with real cocoa.
Day 355/365 – December 22
“Give a Gift with No intention of Receiving”
The saying, “it’s better to give than to receive” definitely rings even truer during the Christmas Holiday season. Consistent research backs this principle up, according to the Association for Psychological Science, “Repeated giving, even in identical ways to identical others, may continue to feel relatively fresh and relatively pleasurable the more that we do it.”
Yes, we all enjoy getting gifts, it’s human nature and creates the neurotransmitter dopamine (feel good hormone) to be released, but seeing someone open up a gift is rewarding on an even greater level of internal satisfaction and in terms of happiness longevity; add in the surprise gift giving element, and the act is even more rewarding. The simple act of you thinking of that person is a gift to them, but the added look on their face of receiving a surprise gift makes the experience come full circle. I wouldn’t necessarily say go buy a ton of people unexpected gifts, but I would suggest that if you see something that reminds you of someone else, or that screams their name, make that purchase; the love they’ll feel and the satisfaction you’ll experience is totally worth it.
Day 354/365 – December 21
“Invest in a ‘Power Hour’ “
Power hours are great to deal with the types of nagging activities that can be done anytime, so much so, that they rarely get done at no time. These tasks, although small and simple can, drain us, because they never seem to get removed from our plate.
A Power hour is designed to set 1 hr aside each week for these lack luster tasks; tasks like running to the hardware store, sweeping the floor, cleaning the bathtub, de-cluttering your room, dropping something off at the dry cleaners.
An efficient way to tackle power hours is by writing down a list of things that you want to cross off the list, and use that hour to get as many of them done as possible, this creates some sort of game plan to this hyper focused “life clean up”. To add to the efficiency of this hour as well, put all distractions aside: no phones, TV, radio, breaks etc. It’s pure clean-up and productivity towards tasks that just seem to linger around in your life. I would also suggest picking a day that affords you a nice opened hour to do this , something like a Sunday late morning or Saturday afternoon depending on your schedule.
Hopefully this power hour once per week can truly help you eliminate lingering tasks, and aid in some much needed urgency.
Day 353/365 – December 20
“Mentally Prime Yourself before Stationary Exercises”
Think about mental priming as a warm-up for your mind, body and soul prior to focusing on a task. It makes sense when we really think about it, we warm up our bodies prior to a physical workout, so why not do the same for a mental workout, like writing, reading, passion projects, work hours etc. This is a technique in hyper focusing. Our goal throughout each task during the day is to be efficient as possible. In an hour of work, it’s not always about how much we got done, but how good that work is. A 45 minute hyper focused workout or dialed in writing session is a hell of a lot better than 90 minutes of disengaged exercise and writing, full of distractions.
Productivity comes from being engaged at the task at hand, by limiting as many distractions as possible. If you think about meditation, the true aspect of this practice is one’s ability to dial their focus back to the task at hand (i.e.meditating). For example, during meditation a lot of people practice counting and hearing their breath, inevitably their focus will go away at some point throughout their session to various thoughts and distractions; the key at this point is to realize your journey away from the practice and bring your attention back to the task at hand. The better we do this, the more productive in that given activity we will become. Why? Because we deal with distractions all day, and it’s your ability to come back to the task at hand with true attention and focus, that determines how efficient your work period is.
Priming exercises set yourself up to come back from distractions and are aid in hyper focused behaviour. This can come from a walk outside, meditation, taking a shower, removing distractions from your office, setting up a cup of tea and candle next to your computer etc, prior to you doing your work. The goal is to simply set yourself up for a hyper focused work period, by doing something that helps eliminate unwanted distractions and will help you dial into the moment.
Day 352/365 – December 19
“Accept an Apology and Move on”
For your own inner well being, it’s never ideal to hold onto a grudge. I get that it’s not always as easy as accept and move on but what’s the alternative? Stay angry, heated and tense? This doesn’t sound like a very fulfilling way to live. And trust me, it isn’t.
I know this personally from a recent experience. I was holding onto some anger towards an individual for comments he made. I was in the mindset of if we run into each other, he better be ready to back up his talk. This tension sat with me. I thought about it before bed, I thought about it during the day, and it was a difficult thing for me not to want to take direct action. Of course the mature thing is to let it go, regardless of the other person’s whacked out beliefs.
I couple days later I received an apology from this individual, and although I have not forgot what this person said, nor will I shy away from a conversation about it if we run into each other, I have accepted the apology, and I can truly say this has resulted in a much greater, refreshed sense of peace.
Holding onto anger, resentment or bad thoughts towards another human being – due to their wrong doing – isn’t going to help you in the long term, and probably won’t help you very much in the short term. Yes, people deserve consequences for their actions, which was what I was prepared and quite willing to provide this individual, but at the end of the day, we all have our lives to live. People believing something about you is their own prerogative and with that, their own issue. If you do get an apology , do yourself the favour and accept it. That doesn’t mean forget, but don’t let the wrong doing of another burden your well-being.