This year, when you are making your goals and resolutions, why don't you try something a little different, that you may find tremendously fulfilling. Instead of setting practical, monetary, and professional goals, decide to make goals to follow your heart. If you have spent your professional life living in your head, pushing yourself harder and harder, this may be a dramatic and welcome change. You can stop trying to prove yourself to the world, to your boss, to your customer, and focus on proving that you are good enough and content enough to yourself. You can show those that you care about that they matter more to you than working long hours, getting ahead, and making the bottom line.
1. When you follow your heart, you cease having regrets.
There is no greater truth that when we follow our heart, we cease to have regrets. While things may not always go in our favor, at least we will have tried. At least we will know the truth, and at least we know we will not live asking ourselves, "what if...?" You learn to trust your instincts and know that if you listen, your heart will guide you in the right direction.
2. Gain a newfound respect for yourself and from those you admire.
When we follow our hearts we may actually find that we develop a newfound respect for ourselves. Not only that, we may get the respect of those that we love and admire. Why is this? It is because we are now focusing on what truly matters instead of the trappings of things that have no meaning at all. It helps us clear out meaningless things for things that fill us with purpose and passion.
3. Get to know who you really are and what really matters to you.
When we start to follow our hearts, when we are willing to ask the tough questions about what really matters to us, we may get to know ourselves on a level that we never have before. We may surprise ourselves, when we are willing to ask the deep and tough questions, what we would choose if faced between what our heart and our intellect tell us to do. If we listen to our hearts, we may be surprised that we can find a way to make our hearts desire come to fruition.
4. Ensure that you are on the right and true path for yourself
When we listen to our hearts, we can ask ourselves if we are on our right and genuine path. If there is apathy or ambiguity for what we are currently doing, we know that somewhere and somehow, we have gone off course. That we are not on the path that we should be, the path of fulfillment, and the path of that is our true course. Our hearts will guide us towards our true direction, and our ultimate calling.
5. Allow yourself to forgive yourself and others.
When we listen to our heart, it tells us that it does not want us to hurt. It does not want us to hold grudges or be vengeful, as the person that we end up hurting most is ourselves. When we are honest with ourselves, we will realize that the person that we are struggling to forgive is likely not sitting around and spending their time thinking about us. They are living their lives, they have moved past us, and any history we shared. The same can be said of ourselves. We often have so many mistakes from our past that we struggle to let go of and forgive ourselves for, but we cannot go back and change them. We cannot erase them or control them. What we can control is everything that we do from this moment forward, so let it be a future of kindness to self and others. To focus on the present, forget the past, and to not worry about the future.
6. Learn to love yourself.
This may sound simple to some and impossible to others. People struggle with low self-confidence, social anxiety, and the belief that they are not good enough. When we follow our hearts, we truly begin to love ourselves. We start to believe that we are good enough, even great. We believe that we are exactly the person we should be. That everything that has happened to us, good or bad, has made us the person we are today. That each of the things that has happened was for a reason, taught us a lesson, and enabled us to develop some skill and knowledge we possess today. We are just as we should be, and we should love the person we are.
7. Learn to love others.
This can be the hardest step for many people. Many of us have been through some difficult times. We have been hurt, humiliated, and discounted. What we have to remember is that most of the time, we have no idea what is going on, or has gone on, in this other person's life. We do not know the pain and hardships that have made them the person they are. So, no matter what they do, the greatest gift we can give them and ourselves is to show them love. To show them that no matter what they do, you will not waiver, you will not be jaded, and you will not join in the negativity. You will only love and show kindness.
8. Learn to trust our intuition.
When we follow our hearts, we learn to trust our intuition. We are more in tune with what our hearts are telling us to do and what direction they are leading us. Sometimes it has been a long time since we have trusted our intuition, but having started to follow our hearts again, we clear a space to hear and listen to our intuition again. When we learn we can trust our intuition, we are more open to following our hearts.
9. Stop overthinking and go with what life throws us.
When we follow our hearts, we stop overthinking things. We are able to deal with the curve balls that life throws us more easily. Why is this? It is because we have started to believe that what should be is what will happen. We have faith and believe in our hearts that we can survive anything that comes our way, and that it has come our way for a reason.
10. Listen to your heart -- it knows your true desires.
To end, I find it important to highlight the concept of listening to your heart, because it knows your true desires. It knows your wants and needs, and what will genuinely make you fulfilled. When we are honest with ourselves, when we are willing to ask ourselves what is truly in our hearts, we open ourselves up to possibility. Possibility to fulfill our hearts desire, and to be who we were truly meant to be, doing what we were meant to do.