Needless to say it’s been quite a year. Since you’ve probably read a thousand quotes, articles, and social media comments on the past year’s trip around the sun, let’s look ahead for this week’s blog.
This morning I was thinking about resolutions versus goals.
Dictionary.com defines a resolution as:
“the act of resolving or determining upon an action, course of action, method, procedure, etc.”
Whereas a goal is defined as:
“the result or achievement toward which effort is directed…”
For me, resolutions sometimes feel restrictive while goals feel more expansive.
“I resolve to go to the gym every day this year.”
“My goal is to feel good in my body this year.”
This year I dove into my “Cultivate What Matters” goal planner AND surprised myself with getting excited about one simple resolution which actually doesn’t feel restrictive at all…
I Resolve To Chill Out And Hygge
So you probably get the first part but you might be asking “what is Hygge and how the heck do you pronounce it???”
Let’s start with the “chill out part”…
When the idea of perfection is released, you allow a huge space to open up in life for magic. The unexpected and synchronicities rarely happen in a strictly held schedule, home, and mind.
When humor, ease, and forgiveness flood into the space where judgement, expectations, and intense resolve once stood, life becomes dare I say…. fun?
One of my favorite questions to ask around goals is “what would make your heart sing?” And yet before you answer that question maybe it’s even more important to ask, “what do I need to let go of in order for my heart to have a voice?”
For me, I’d love to have more time in my schedule simply to “be” which means I’m going to have to let go of rushing, stacking appointments, and allowing myself to be pulled in too many directions.
Can you relate?
If so, let’s dive into the second part of my resolution…
Have you heard of the term “hygge”? (pronounced “hoo-ga”)
It’s this sense of coziness and simple pleasures that infuse Danish culture. Cooking, crafts, fires, tranquility, candles, comfort food, cozy blankets, soft lighting, board games, nature, contentment, good friends, family, and everything lovely all falls under the umbrella of “hygge.”
I’ve been running across articles about the term and recently was reading one to my parents and stopped mid sentence and exclaimed “I think we have a little Hygge person in our family!” to which my Mom replied “yes it’s our Great Dane!”
My niece Kelly (aka our “Great Dane”) looks like my Dad’s Danish side of the family and also appears to fit the hygge lifestyle to a “T.” Did I mention one of the hygge articles referenced Hallmark Movies as a mainstay?
My other niece Laura clearly has some hygge in her as well with her needlepoint projects and I wouldn’t even think of buying my nephew any sweatshirts that weren’t cozy on the inside 🙂
The more I learn about hygge the more I realize what a gift it is to have an actual word to describe something beautiful that is available to all of us every day. Actually it’s a really cool form of self-care when you think about it. This laid back, effortless kind of elegance that is simple yet incredibly impactful in a deep way.
A good cup of tea, a present conversation, puzzles, reading a good book, a new banana bread recipe. It’s something my parents live naturally in their home and one I’m inspired to cultivate in my own even more this year.
In fact, this past week we held an impromptu “hygge dinner” by candlelight with fresh greens cut from the woods as our centerpiece, one of my Mom’s favorite comfort food dishes, and the dogs snoring (one actually begging) at our feet . There was something magical about the fire, the yummy food, and smell of pine.
If you are inspired to learn more about hygge, Meik Wiking, the CEO of The Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen wrote a book titled, “The Little Book of Hygge” and my niece recommended another book titled “The Year Of Living Danishly” by Helen Russell.
So what needs to be released in order for more of this good stuff to come in? For starters, being glued to my phone answering every email and text immediately, always trying to do and say the right thing, and saying “yes” to things when deep down I want to say “no thank you.”
Change is not always easy and yet we don’t have to wait for New Year’s Day to embark on it. Each moment is an invitation into something new.
As the sun rises tomorrow (or today) intentionally choose how you want to live, to feel, and to be in this world. Whether it’s goals or resolutions (or neither!) may all of us experience less anxiety and more contentment, resilience, and a capacity to love and appreciate one another differences and all.
There is beauty in imperfection and contentment in the mini miracles awaiting you.
(NOTE: Links to books, planner, and most importantly my new banana bread recipe 🙂 will be in this week’s Tranquility Talk podcast notes which will be released this Tuesday. If you rate and review my podcast you will be put into a drawing to win Meik’s book referenced above!)
P.S. If one of your goals is to drink less join me for The 30 Day Reset in my “Live More Drink Less” community. It’s a great way to kick off the New Year AND have more time, energy, and resources for cultivating all things hygge 🙂 Learn More.