Every New Year, I make a resolution or two, and most of the time, I actually keep them. But this year, I decided to give pointers on how to live life to the fullest each and every day—like a dog. Take a look at some great life lessons a dog can teach you and ramp up your well-being for the New Year.
Live Like Someone Left the Gate Open
Being a dog myself, I know the feeling of running at top speed, tongue hanging out, without a care in the world—that’s freedom! Strive to find moments of pure freedom in your day. Smell the roses. Close your eyes, breathe the fresh air. Put down your phone and fully experience living in the present.
Sit, Stay and Listen
My ears perk up every time my mom starts talking to me. I listen, paying close attention to what she’s saying, and while I may not understand most of her words, it’s safe to say I’m not going to spill her secrets. The same is not always true for human friends. So prick up those ears when someone’s telling you about a problem. Practice really listening and pay attention to what they say, rather than thinking about what you’ll bark next—or what treats you’ll get later. Listening is key to strong and lasting relationships, something we dogs know well.
I always give a warm welcome and excited tail-wagging whether my mom has been gone for five hours or five minutes! Appreciating your loved ones isn’t just something we feel, it’s also something we do and show. And what better way to show them you care than by greeting them with a big hug or a wet smooch when they arrive home?
Take a Hike
Dogs are always up for an adventure and love to be out in the world. Even ordinary outings are chances to meet new dogs and sniff different things. Get out there and embrace the opportunity to go places, meet new people and appreciate the little things in life.
I don’t just eat my food: I enjoy every bite. Food doesn’t have to be just a source of energy; it can be a source of pleasure. Steal a page from your dog’s playbook and excitedly spin around in circles before feeding time! Instead of heating up leftovers again, make yourself a meal or snack you’ll truly enjoy. Having delicious meals can be among the most satisfying ways to celebrate life.
Forgive and Forget
I’ve had my tail stepped on, my dew claw nipped and even my snout slammed in the door—ouch—but seconds later, it’s over—no grudges, no hard feelings. I went right back to playing as if nothing had happened. Dogs live in the moment and we don’t always recall specific moments when our feelings were hurt. Take a cue from your canine and choose to forgive, forget and move on. Being bitter only holds up your life. Don’t get left behind because you’re holding a grudge. Forgive.
And be thankful for all you have this year. Take time each day to reflect on one thing you have, one thing you’re grateful for. And celebrate all the wonderful people and pets in your life.
May your bowl always be filled, your tail always wagging and your year full of walks in the park and belly rubs. Love, Davi