Lifestyle

5 Ways to Be More Thoughtful this New Decade

We’re almost a whole month into 2020 — and it already feels like a long year! As we distance further from the new year and set the tone for the future to come, it is important to look upon the next decade with optimism and intention. Here’s a few ways to start this period off on the right foot:

1. Think of the space around you.

Be observant and aware of circumstances surrounding your daily life. A disordered room can indicate a disorganized mind. A new beginning is a perfect time to create patterns of living that best situate your needs and daily concerns. Make your bed every morning, practice a habit you feel proud of, and learn to seek what motivates you and avoid what distracts you.

Photo by Alisa Anton

Appreciate the ways in which you can own and interact with your personal space and to create a home of your own making. Your surroundings certainly influence your behavior, and the quality of your space reflects the quality of your thoughts. Keep what you use, and part with everything that simply takes up space.

2. Think about your relationships.

One of the single greatest lies we are told as a society is that love should be effortless. Amplified by pop culture depictions of star-crossed or fated love, this myth takes all the fun out of exploring your connections from common roots and shared experiences. In the same way you might water a plant or plan out your Instagram aesthetic, maintaining relationships requires effort, patience, and care.

Photo by Matheus Ferrero

Screen carefully and invest in the people you surround yourself with. This means respecting your needs and time as much as you would anyone else’s. Not everyone you meet is meant to journey along life in the same direction as you, and you should seek out situations where your energy is reciprocated in turn.

3. Think of the planet.

Wherever you get your news, it’s hard to ignore the various ecological crises raging across the globe this 2020. Such catastrophes can often make one feel helpless and like an individual can’t make a difference, but a more thoughtful mindset and just a little bit of effort can always immediately benefit somebody, even if it’s only you!

Photo by Matheus Queiroz

Do what you can to pursue a more sustainable lifestyle, volunteer or donate to causes that matter to you, and try to feed your gifts into the greater good. We only have one habitable planet so far, so let’s protect and enjoy what it has to offer.

4. Think of your fellow human.

Often we are so preoccupied with curating how we’re perceived that we forget to consider the richness of viewpoints and experiences provided by other minds. This decade, give people the benefit of the doubt and don’t reflexively assume the worst of people based on pre-formed biases. 2020 is arguably an uneasy time, but hate on the game, not the players!

Photo by Ryoji Iwata

Give credit where it is due and recognize authentic attempts to connect when you see them. Never be afraid of anyone, and try not to reduce someone’s experience to your (probably) limited perspective. Everyone is simply trying their best under their given circumstances, including yourself!

5. Don’t think at all.

Don’t speak: listen and observe. Allow yourself a moment of peace and have faith in the tide of existence. Modern hustle culture has us believe a moment not focused on productivity is wasted, but often we benefit most from simply living in the moment. Life is too long to dwell on the little things, and too short to spend precious time reworking old anxieties instead of facing challenges head-on.

Photo by Zac Durant

You don’t need to earn the right to relax, and you’re not designed to power through all of life’s problems using sheer brainpower. Be honest with yourself and what your fundamental needs are. The new decade is a perfect opportunity to shed structures, habits, and relationships which no longer serve you. By structuring your everyday thought patterns with more understanding, you can move ahead with a greater sense of who you are and what you can offer the world.

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