2017: A recap of the year that was and one simple idea for 2018

2017 was a great year. We achieved many things and we instilled many dreams for next year. Many of us made new resolutions as we see a new year as a new beginning in a hope that part of our life that we don’t like will change. The question is how things will change in next year if we don’t change. It’s not just a new year, but every new day and every new minute brings itself with a chance to change. I am no different from you and I have also made many promises to myself, but could not fulfill all. In next year the list to achieve will remain same for me, but I am going to change my approach.

I have noticed that we get tensed when we see how many goals we need to achieve with limited time and resources. We tend to find it impossible to achieve and then we easily give up. So this year I want to change myself and the way I approach. I have broken down my big goals into tiny daily routines. For, e.g. I want to write more this year and want to reach to many more people through my blog. It seems difficult with other responsibilities. So instead of getting worried and end up doing nothing, I have decided to do few simple things which are possible for me.

This is a very small and simple example, but that is what exactly we need to do. Make simple and small changes in daily life. I have committed myself to write for 15 minutes a day and to equip myself for the same. It takes me 10 minutes to set up my laptop and start writing. I have scheduled the fixed time slot for this, but every day comes with its own challenges so I just want to be ready for them. I have Evernote software set up on both iPad and laptop so both get synced. I have decided to write few lines on Ipad and then finish the article on a laptop. This will help me in writing more as I can do it with ease.

Many people would prefer to have designated time slot and place to ensure discipline and they are right in a way. However, for me, that is not working and my discipline would be to ensure that I write for 15 minutes every day. We often get overwhelmed with the results. Instead, we can focus on few things that we can do every day. We need to ask ourselves “What all simple things that I can do today which will take me closer to my goals”. Our mind will be less stressful when we talk about simple things because we can do it with ease. Slowly we increase our comfort zone and we can do more things with ease. For, e.g. my plan is to increase my writing time to 30 minutes in the future.

We all can achieve many things in life with doing simple activities every day. Let us look at some of those activities.

–    Doing meditation for 5 minutes before sleeping as now we don’t have many to do list and 5 minutes will not harm our sleep. In fact, we will get better sleep.

–    Thinking good thoughts for some time. You don’t need to spare additional time for this. Just make a list on which you want to think and visit it every day during your waiting time or travel time.

–    Pray for 5 minutes for others. Just give this 5 minutes where you don’t need to think as what you would get in returns, but instead what you can give.

–    Repeating any mantras like Aum Namah Shivay or Gayatri mantra. This can be also done during your waiting time or travel time. Mantra will help you to control your thoughts and to give something your mind to hold on to instead of negative and useless thoughts. Mantra has a very profound impact in one’s spiritual life.

In this article, I also want to recap my journey as a writer and would like to list down articles that I feel helped people based on the feedback I have received. I believe that I am a better writer than I was last year and I have touched some more lives. I am also more committed and the result will be seen in next year. One of the major decision I made is that for the next entire year, i.e. in 2018, I am going to give more attention to this blog. This means more articles, but at the same time helping more people in the spiritual journey and guiding them towards a life with less stress. I am also going to do more experiments on meditation and will share the results with all of you.

This year was very meaningful to me because I started studying more of Swami Vivekananda’s writing. His writing has a big influence on my thoughts. Till now I only knew him as the sage who lived many years ago. When I started reading his books, I realized that he was not only a great leader, but he was also a great human being. Even if I spend my whole life in studying Swamiji’s teaching, I will not be able to grasp everything. I also realized that Vedanta (Ancient Hindu scriptures) on which Swamiji has written books, holds the key to all the problems of humankind. We definitely need a higher level of consciousness and strong commitment to study them. It is my humble attempt to include some of Vedanta’s messages in my articles in simple language so that everyone gets the benefit of the same.

Below are some articles which I feel worth revisiting in the new year.

–    Yoga is not what you think

–    Depression from the Vedanta perspective with one exercise.

–    What kind of life we really want

–    5 ways that can expand our consciousness.

–    Darkness inside us and illuminating love

–    The pressure that we build around us.

Next year is more promising because we all have an opportunity to get closer to our dreams. There is a possibility that we might not achieve everything that we have dreamed of, but let’s ensure that we do not fall short in our efforts. Wish you a happy new year to you and your family.

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