Original publication in mindful.org on december 27th 2019

Rather than brainstorming ways to improve your life in the new year, practicing mindfulness helps you accept the life you already have—and embrace it for all that it is.

The week leading up to the New Year can be a source of anxiety as we consider all the changes we should make to “better” ourselves. Rather than brainstorming ways to improve your life, practicing mindfulness helps you accept the life you already have—and embrace it for all that it is.

Here are three ways to feel refreshed and renewed, without the resolutions:

1) First, befriend your life as it is

It’s common to daydream about an idyllic and successful future (who amongst us hasn’t practiced their Oscar acceptance speech?) but spending too much time thinking about how things could be “one day” prevents us from appreciating how things are right now.

Learning to befriend all moments places us firmly in the life we are living, rather than the ideal life we are prone to imagine or strive towards. “The shift from aversion to befriending is the most radical shift any student of mindfulness can make,” says Willem Kuyken PhD, Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. “Befriending involves being curious, friendly, and kind, and is a capacity that we can all develop toward ourselves and our experiences. It is available to all of us, and is the home where our hearts and minds dwell,” says Kuyken. Here, he offers a mindfulness practice to find meaning in every moment.

2) Then, add purpose to each new day

Finding a sense of purpose can feel like an intimidating task—but it doesn’t have to be. Tapping into purpose can be as simple as taking a moment to decide, “I’m going to say thank you more,” or “I’m going to call my sister today.”

Your day-to-day activities offer ample opportunities to call up mindfulness in any moment. Breathe space into your morning routine with this simple wake-up practice to slow down and start each day with greater intention.

3) Finally, find a support system

There’s no doubt about it—our relationships help us thrive. Whether you’re trying to conquer Mount Everest or simply get over a bad day, having someone by your side to support you can make all the difference.

Building communities of care creates a culture of compassion and accountability, inspiring you to be the best version of yourself. Here are four ways to create a community of care and surround yourself with supportive people.

Here’s hoping you all find moments to enjoy being mindful this week.

Written by MINDFUL STAFF

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