Greetings, Wellness Warriors! 2021 is here! Have you thought about what resolution or intention you want to set for this new year? I believe in these unprecedented times, it’s more important than ever to plan ahead. This year, my New Year’s resolution is to be more connected—to myself and others.
Connection has different meanings for everyone. To me, connection means knowing what part I play in my life, my family, and the rest of the world. Connection is what gives our lives meaning. Those who have wealth, health, and fame but lack connection end up feeling something is still missing from their lives. This year, I challenge you to re-evaluate and strengthen your connections. Here are three aspects I plan to focus on this year. I hope this gives you some insight into how you can apply some of these suggestions in forging better connections in your life.
Unfortunately, many people go through their lives disconnected from their inner self, looking for something else (or someone else) to complete them. Society has ingrained in us that we need to acquire external things to feel complete. When I draw my awareness inwards, I have found that I begin to feel more supported, guided, and content. Like any relationship, the connection we have with ourselves requires time and commitment to build.
We live in a world overly connected by technology, but we are left feeling more disconnected than ever. The pandemic has brought about stimulation overload from all of the different devices we are using to connect with friends and loved ones; it can be hard to hear yourself over all the noise.
I added Transcendental Meditation (also known as TM) to my list of habits to prevent illness and promote good health before publishing my recent bestselling book, 30 Summers More. It clears my brain of stress and distracting thoughts, it takes my blood pressure and blood sugar down, and I find that I have much more energy, clarity, and creativity now that it’s part of my daily routine. TM has given me the space and time I need to listen to myself and become more aware of what I truly needed to feel connected and whole.
Try taking just five minutes each morning or night to sit in silence and be present. You don’t need to worry about emptying all thoughts from your head; instead, notice the thoughts and then let them go. Tune into your body and notice where you might be holding stress. Check-in with yourself and ask how you are feeling? Note the response. You can also take this time to just focus on your breath and enjoy a few minutes of quiet relaxation.
There are very few things more important to me than connecting and spending time with my family. Finding new ways of connecting with them in a meaningful way is a worthwhile resolution if I do say myself! My family is my anchor, and what better way to demonstrate my love than by being together. I’m talking about heartfelt connections. The kind that leaves your heart bursting with joy and gratitude. That is what we are going for!
How many times have you gone to a restaurant and seen an entire family with their faces buried in their phones? This is why we have trouble connecting when we are sitting a few feet away!
I plan to put the technology down.
The meaningful moments we crave are made when cooking a meal with your spouse, taking a family walk with the dog at sunset, or coloring with our grandchildren. I think it’s time to get back to basics and take advantage of every moment we have together. Learn what your family members’ new interests are, then see how you can get involved to show them you appreciate their interests. You can ask them how their day was—and really listen, get some new board games, or take a drive to nowhere. Sometimes the most precious memories are the simplest ones.
When I created Aegis Living, teamwork and connection were core values from the very beginning because I wanted Aegis to be different than other companies. The relationships my staff make with the residents are a key aspect of what differentiates us. I knew that to make that distinction, it would have to start with the kind of people we hired. Over 90% of our employees come from outside the senior living industry.
Our culture is different because we know that the bridge to our customers is our staff. When we first started Aegis, we had grand ambitions and dreams about what we were going to do and who we would hire. It was hard until we started seeing some victories. It all starts with how you treat people.
It’s important to take care of yourself, so you can live a happier and healthier life. Grab a copy of my latest bestseller, 30 Summers More, and get on the right track to a long, healthy, and fulfilling life!
One of the ways we have done this is by taking care of our employees during the pandemic. I knew that we needed to consider employee childcare and how they would get their kids home from school. We looked at providing free food for, not only employees, but their families as well. Our culture is about making deeply-rooted connections with our staff, and in turn, we know they will make those connections with the residents. It all comes full circle.
Every year we host an event called E.P.I.C., where our Aegis employees come together for a few days and learn and grow as humans. During the three-day event, employees hear from celebrity guest speakers, participate in soul-changing activities, and connect with their peers in meaningful ways. It truly is an epic event with life-changing results! E.P.I.C. is one of the most important investments I make into our company culture. (Of course, this year’s event will be a little different—all virtual—but it will still be an amazing time of connection and growth!)
If you are a business owner, in what meaningful ways can you connect with your employees this year? Find out what problems your employees face and invest in things to make their lives easier. If you are an employee, how can you better connect with your co-workers or customers this year? Instead of going into an autopilot mode, take the time to see each person you’re interacting with. Think outside of the box and look for ways to learn more about them and make them feel seen. You never know what kind of impact even the smallest gesture of kindness can make.
That is what this year’s resolution is about—staying awake to what matters most in my life—loving & being loved and embracing family. It is restoring faith in humanity and remembering to give your whole heart and your full mind to the ones we love most.
Until next time, Wellness Warriors, Live Well, Live Long!