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Ikigai: Living With Purpose in 2020

Updated: Dec 25, 2019

2020 | New Years Resolution | Kicking Goals | Finding Purpose | Ikigai | Health | Mental Health | Well-being

At the end of each year, many individuals plan their "New Year Resolution" for the upcoming year ahead. This usually involves a process of writing down goals that focus on change and transformation including losing weight, finding a new relationship, improving one's grades, getting a better education or accomplishing certain career/business milestones.

The term Ikigai (生き甲斐) compounds two Japanese words: iki (生き) meaning "life; alive" and gai meaning (甲斐) “values”, together can be translated as “a reason for living” or “living with purpose”. Ikigai is the process of allowing the self to blossom by incorporating activities that brings a sense of joy and fulfillment to your life. When you focus on you Ikigai rather than your New Year's Resolution you are creating a shift that transforms the way you approach life.

Through practicing what you value, you are naturally living a life of fulfillment, accepting each moment as they arise, instead of constantly chasing what's to come. This prevents people from falling into the trap of the endless cycle of "When I become more/ better/ faster/ stronger... I will be more happy /healthy /attractive".

Here is a simple strategy to identify what you’re values are:

How to create your own personal "value quotes" to motivate and inspire you throughout the year.

1. Write down five "Verbs" (doing words) that represent a source of value in your life. Examples include: accept, balance, connect, dream and expand. If you are stuck for words you can click here to access more examples.

2. Turn these words into a sentence i.e.

a. Accept the things that I cannot change.

b. Balance my priorities at work.

c. Connect to the people that are important to me by spending more time with them.

d. Allow myself to dream and create new ideas for my business/career.

e. Expand my experiences in life by pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone.

3. Once you have created your own personal value sentence you can attempt to turn them into a poem or quote. Keep it in a place where you can see it. Whether it be in your diary, a whiteboard or a piece of paper you keep it somewhere that is easily accessible and visible so that you are reminded daily of your values so that you know what you are working towards.

TIP: Just by knowing your purpose and intentions, you are using cognitive power that re-directs your neuron's firing from the emotional side of your brain (Amygdala) to the rational and logical side of the brain (Hippocampus) that regulates motivation, emotion, learning, and memory. The more you practice guiding yourself by your values, you will naturally start to feel less "caught up" in dysfunctional behavior patterns.

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