Every New Year I make a resolution or two, and most of the time, I actually keep them. But this year I decided to dig into some of the simple changes that we animals can teach you humans to help you live your best lives. Take a look at these natural life lessons and ramp up your well-being in the new year.
Live in the Moment
Animals practiced mindfulness long before it became popular in the human sector. Though I certainly experience fear at times, any anxiety is based on the circumstances now. I rarely worry about the past or stress about the future. While not preparing for the future is not as practical for humans, living in the present is a helpful practice. So be like your pets and enjoy the moment. You can deal with tomorrow … tomorrow!
Don’t Worry What Others Think of You
I slip and roll down a hill with the same grace and confidence I exude when running unleashed through a meadow. I have no concern for how others will perceive me, nor do I wonder if they like me. I have confidence in my own ability that is not diminished by the other dogs nor the humans I interact with. People would live life much easier if their self-esteem and confidence came from within and was not shaped by the opinion of others.
Dogs have a way of finding the good in most situations. The weather may be sweltering or stormy, but a dog will usually still be happy to take a walk with his favorite human. Even cats will discover a sliver of sunlight in an otherwise dark room and roll over to enjoy a sunbath. Animals find ways to accept and make the best of their surroundings. Pets don’t dwell on the negative aspects of their lives—and neither should you. Positive thoughts can create real value in your life and help you build skills that last much longer than a smile.
One of the most important lessons you can learn from your pet is unconditional love. From greeting you happily at the door to nuzzling when you are having a rough day, pets are truly the masters of affection. If people loved each other the way animals love people, our world would be a much better place.
Have you ever noticed how happy your dog is the second he gets in the car and realizes he’s on his way to a good place? That’s because your dog remembers how happy he was the last time you did that amazingly fun thing. What was the last thing you did that made you so happy that you danced at the very idea of getting to do it again? Now’s your chance. Start making memories with the ones you love. And, for every photo you take of your pet, remember to take one of yourself, too. That way, when you’re living your regular life on those regular days that happen between the memorable ones, you can look back and remember how much fun it is to be you.
Going into a new year is a natural time to make changes in your life. But remember, the real key to positive transformation is to find what makes you happy. Resolve what you will, but know that happiness is the ultimate goal. It starts in daily choices, not lofty resolutions—and any day is a good day to start living those values.