Stephen Ekstrom | December 27, 2016
Without knowledge of the stars, trade winds, ocean currents, modern GPS or a reliable compass, a short sail could easily turn into a daunting journey. This junket may eventually lead to the destination one had in mind, an exciting discovery of new lands, a frightening arrival in ports unknown or an unexpected realization that one is lost and far from the scenery envisioned at the start of the trip.
Here are four remarkably simple New Year's resolutions you can adopt that can help you get ahead, achieve your goals and live better in 2017.
Visualize your moral compass...
For many, a strong sense of faith or system of beliefs dictate how individuals should act in a variety of circumstance. The stories of classic literature, religious text and folklore are full of allegory that can be applied to many of today's challenges and provide a guiding light by which many base their decisions. This is the reason we saw a resurgence in the phrase, "What would Jesus do?" recently.
Along these same lines, some find strength by holding present circumstance up against the lighted values they see in iconic figures - heroines and heroes, role models, family figures, etc.
The ability to remove one's self from the situation and look at options objectively proves to be a valuable tool in helping decide what's going to be right for us. If one has identified a clear vision of the person s/he is working toward becoming, it becomes easier to ask, "How would the person I would like to be handle this? What would s/he do?"
Each object, thought, relationship, physical item and expectation of how things should be carries some weight that, as with physical objects, can hinder our ability to move throughout life, reach toward higher goals and accomplish more with ease.
If you wanna fly, you've got to give up the shit that weighs you down. - Toni Morrison
Write up a list of the people, activities and objects in your life that bring you the most joy, reward and happiness and those which accompanied by the most frustration, pain and heartache. Start today by spending more time on those which are fulfilling and less time with those which take aren't. Whether you make the change little by little or you go all out and give up a the most weighted objects in one clean sweep, your tomorrow will be less stressful than today.
Give yourself permission to fail (and to succeed)...
Fear and hope are the two greatest motivators. Hope inspires us to try new things, to embrace change and to face the future knowing that tomorrow will be brighter than today. Fear encourages us to hold tight to that which we already know, the places, people and circumstance that, pleasant or not, we can rely upon for a predictably outcome.
Having the freedom to fail allows us to step away from the predictable outcomes and work toward building a future that is better, more bright and less free from stagnation.
Give more of your time...
This past holiday season I challenged myself, friends, family and neighbors to help make Christmas brighter for kids in state care. My initial goal was for us to provide gift certificates and a handwritten holiday card with words of acceptance, encouragement and kindness to 30 children who were victims of abandonment, abuse and/or neglect. The recipients of our kindness were teens who are already some of the most difficult to place in stable home environments, least likely to be adopted and at far greater risk for teen pregnancy, dropping out of school, drug/alcohol abuse, criminal behavior, etc.
The time that I took to create a gofundme page, share what I was doing with others, write out the cards and deliver them to the local Guardian ad Litem office for distribution seemed to make my days longer - in a good way. The joy, happiness and personal fulfillment that came with the project helped make other more daunting tasks seem less challenging.
If you can, find a way to give - from your heart, with your time and using your hands - to some cause that is greater than the self.
This article was written by Stephen Ekstrom, Fire Starter Brands' founder. For more information on how Fire Starter Brands is helping to strengthen the travel industry by connecting the world's high volume travel planners with smart marketers from leading destinations, attractions, hotels, restaurants and supplier companies, contact us today.