The horrors of 2016 have been beaten to death — no need to rehash them. We're over it, and so is the calendar. Instead of reliving past trauma, why not turn our attention toward 2017? The new year is here, and we need to maintain our optimism about it.
Inés Battistini, a Miami-based "joy strategist," has plenty to say about how to be happy.
Years ago, a health crisis forced Battistini to quit her accounting job, and she was left feeling like a failure. By committing herself to personal development, she says, "I became free, and I’m finally happy to be me."
Now she helps people find their way, just as she found hers. "For me, a joy strategist is someone who helps people navigate their potential, find clarity, heal old wounds, and replace sabotaging patterns with new pathways and perspectives in order to live a more joy-filled life using practical tools and techniques," she explains.
Because we need all the help we can get to make sure 2017 is a hell of a lot happier than last year, Battistini offers eight tips for joy-filled living:
1. Schedule time for fun and play.
Adults don't have enough fun, Battistini says. "This year, make time to play, and actually schedule it! What could you do with wild abandon? Try new experiences. Get creative."
2. Single-task more often.
Multitasking isn't all it's cracked up to me, she explains, and sticking to one task can actually help you accomplish more. "During my CIJourney classes, I teach my students to try single-tasking, where for a designated period of time you focus on only one thing instead of multitasking. It’s become one of the most effective tools for my students."
3. Practice gratitude.
Keep a gratitude journal this year, and get specific! Write a list of what you’re thankful for that day. I like to do this every night before going to bed. I’ve found that it’s a much better way to go to sleep than tormenting myself with everything I did wrong that day and all that is still pending on my to-do list."
4. Deepen your relationships.
Let's be honest — how many of us spend enough time showing our loved ones how much we care?
"Who are your allies?" Battistini asks. "Who are the people who uplift and support you? Nurture your relationships and be open to new ones with people who inspire you. Maybe find a mentor."
5. Schedule time for self-care.
In other words, treat yo' self — in healthy ways, that is. "Take the time to identify what activities make you feel your best. You can start by implementing small self-care habits on a daily basis: Eat healthy meals, move, rest, know when to say no, forgive, disconnect for an hour, or maybe take a nice long shower."
6. Celebrate your wins.
Give yourself some kudos, she says. Acknowledge every little goal before setting your sights on bigger ones. "We tend to focus on what we didn’t do right or what we haven’t done yet, so we leave very little time for celebrating what we have accomplished. This year, I invite you to celebrate your wins, even the small ones."
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7. Take a pause.
Mindfulness, y'all. Be present and engage your senses (and put the phone down). "Perhaps walk outdoors, eat a meal in silence, write in your journal, stretch, meditate, and breathe; take long, deep breaths," she says. "Slow down in order to be more mindful of your surroundings and of the people in your life."
8. Get clear.
In other words, know what you want in 2017. "What is it you really want more of in your life? What are the things you want to let go of? Should you stay in that toxic relationship, or is it time to get out? Is this the right job for you, or are you ready to create work that fulfills you? Get clear on questions such as these and make a plan."
If you want more guidance on making 2017 great, Battistini will host the workshop Dream Big and Take Action — Goal Setting in 2017 on January 12 at Love Life Wellness Center (584 NW 27th St., Miami; 305-456-4148; lovelifewellnesscenter.com). She also has a lineup of other workshops scheduled, in both English and Spanish.
In other words, there's no excuse for your 2017 to be any less than awesome.