I'm not one for making New Year's resolutions. They feel very diet-y to me: "there's something wrong with me that must be fixed immediately."
However, I do like the practice of mindfully setting intentions. I do set some goals I would like to focus on in the coming year, but I mainly focus on a way of being. Words like simplicity, ease, flow, and JOY are what I'm looking to embody this year.
Because of science, JOY cannot flourish when I start my day off with doomsday news. And let's face it: all news these days is doomsday.
When I take an unscientific poll of my friend group, I notice that those who start and end their day with the news are far more stressed than those who don't. Here's a more scientific study if you're interested.
When the last president was elected, it felt as if every news story was amplified. No matter what side of the political spectrum you're on, it's hard to deny that the news seemed more loud, angry, and filled with doom.
So a few years back, I turned off NPR in the morning, turned on some hip-hop music, and danced around my bathroom instead. It’s a decision I have yet to regret––especially with the world events of the last two years.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not living with my head buried in the sand. The news is pretty unavoidable. I have yet to miss an important event. But instead of being inundated with the news from the moment I wake up, I search out information from credible sources on particular stories that catch my attention. Then, once I feel informed, I set the news back down.
So I'm inviting you on my journey to JOY, and I challenge you to put down the news (or at least not to start your day with it). Try it for a day and track how you feel. Then try it again the next day. Maybe you can get an entire week in.
And to give you something to take the edge off those Morning Edition withdrawals, I've made you a playlist.
Unlike my other playlists, this one has no theme. It's simply songs that make me happy. Some are classic, some are new, some are spiritual, and some are sexy. It's about two hours long, which is what it takes for me to do my morning walk and get dressed.
JOY Pro tip #1: We are well into January, but it's not too late to set your intentions for the year. I just did mine last week.
JOY Pro tip #2: I highly recommend breaking this playlist out on your lunch break too, and giving yourself a midday mini-dance break––especially if you are working from home.
JOY Pro tip #3: There’s no wrong way to dance. Dancing, even “badly,” is a great way to connect with your body. Read more about my jiggle journey here.