When you let go of something, what do you pick up in the process? It’s an oft-overlooked “side effect” of living mindfully. We will disengage from something that no longer serves us, but fail to set an intention for something even better. This new decade, instead of cutting things out, let’s focus on healthy swaps.
Here are ten swaps that will carry us through a more loving, peaceful, and successful new decade.
1. Swap judgment with understanding.
You do not have to agree with or support the opinions, lifestyles, and actions of others. But instead of getting hung up on why we think it’s wrong or bad, spend the mental energy understanding why someone might see things differently. There’s more insight there that lets us keep our peace. We judge ourselves pretty harshly, too, so practice this the most on yourself.
2. Swap criticism with goalsetting.
So, you’ve resolved to be kinder to yourself (or others). A positive dialogue doesn’t magically appear once we mindfully weed out the negative. When you catch a criticism “That was a horrible outcome”, immediately replace it with a goal – “I will study/practice three times a week instead of two.”
3. Swap people-seeking with self-companionship.
Do we actually enjoy being around someone else all of the time, or are we just avoiding being alone? This is the decade to explore the unique ways we can be our own best friend.
4. Swap money-chasing with an abundance mindset.
Chasing down money is stressful – probably the biggest stressor there is. Replace unproductive money worries with reminders that there’s money out there, we only need to focus on the efforts that bring us closer to more of it.
5. Swap screen time with page time.
A lot of people want to spend less time on their phones. But truthfully, zoning out, sitting still, and slipping into another world can be great for us. Make the healthy swap and sit and read a book instead.
6. Swap indulgence with pleasure.
When we think we’re “indulging”, we’re telling ourselves we’re having too much of something we enjoy. And indeed, when we regard something as an “indulgence” we end up consuming more than our fair share – whether it’s food, sleep, or free time. Instead, simply acknowledge that something is pleasurable. You’ll be more likely to enjoy it reasonably.
7. Swap interference with caring.
When we help someone or give advice, let’s make sure it’s coming from a place of genuine caring. At times, we chime in because we subconsciously need to control outcomes for loved ones and fix their problems so we feel more okay.
8. Swap “then” for “now”.
The goal of mindfulness is to sit in the present moment, and it’s a mission we’ll be on for our entire lives.
9. Swap boredom with quiet.
Let’s revisit the benefits of being bored. What we consider “boredom” is just an opportunity for peace. Peace that’s restorative for body and soul.
10. Swap frustration with acceptance.
New years and decades make a lot of people hungry for change. We get the urge to do things differently, often in an unyielding and unrealistic way. In acceptance there is grace. With grace comes the ability to ascend, to overcome, and to see and appreciate our lives from new perspectives.
Which of these swaps are you making in the ‘20s? Do you have any extras to add to our list? Share in the comments!