I don’t normally make what most people call new year’s resolutions, but I do create intentions. Well, I suppose those are the same things as resolutions, but they feel less like rules to me. When I used to create resolutions, I felt guilty when and if I broke them. I know the guilt part is my choice, but I suppose it’s all a mind game anyway. “Intention” reminds me that my heart is in it; however, I’m not hard on myself if I’m not perfect about the whole thing.
My cats, being the helpful creatures that they are, dutifully help me keep my intentions front and center. Here are five ways they’ll do it in the coming year.
1. Take more naps
I tend to be all over the place and could sometimes really use a nap during the middle of the day. I work from home, so a nap is possible; however, I rarely allow myself the restfulness of one. I suppose it feels like I’m “wasting time” when I nap, but I know that’s not true at all because I’ll spend an hour cruising Facebook or taking silly online quizzes.
My cats are up for a nap any time of day, and I love snuggling with them for some shut-eye. I’d like to make more time for midday naps, and I think my kitty cuddles will be an excellent motivator.
2. Stay on task
Sure, I know I said I’m all over the place and need naps, but that doesn’t mean I stay on task. I sometimes have difficulty maintaining attention on the task at hand, and then I don’t really give all my focus on what needs it the most at the time. This is especially true when I’m writing. I’ll start something, and then remember I need to do a load of laundry. Then, as I’m collecting clothes, I’ll notice the layer on dust on my bedroom furniture and insist on dusting right that second. And the list goes on and on until I finally get back to my writing. I think that’s one of the dangers of working from home, but I’d truly like to improve my focus.
My cats can literally help me zero in on my writing by sitting on my lap. When one of them is resting on top of me, I’m way more likely to stay put and continue working. I know it seems so simple, but, hey — if it works …
3. Enjoy the present moment
When I’m constantly on task, I sometimes forget to stop, revel in small pleasures, and enjoy the present moment. Uh oh — I see a trend here. Although I want to stay on task, I also want to be “off task” more often and feel gratitude for all the awesome things in my life. I meditate in the morning, and I try to include thoughts of thankfulness for every part of my life — even the ones that feel yucky. Why the yucky ones? Because the yuck helps me learn and become a stronger person.
My cats constantly give me paws (sorry) to stop and pay attention to the present moment. How often do they curl up in the most adorable positions or pull some silly move that leaves me chuckling? A lot … and a lot more than a lot if I’d pay attention.
4. Learn French
Okay, this one isn’t especially related to the first three, but is something my boyfriend and I have talked about a few times. We’d like to learn French because it sounds romantic and cool. Of course, when one learns a foreign language, it helps to have someone on which to practice said language. Like cats! I talk to my cats all the time anyway, so why not practice my broken French on them until I become proficient? I think one of the first phrases I’ll need to learn is, “Do you want a treat?” I’m certain they’ll catch on right away.
5. Do more yoga
I’m an on-again-off-again yoga person. That said, when I do regularly practice yoga, I feel way more flexible and overall more healthy. My cats like to insert themselves in the middle of everything I do, and yoga is no exception. Some might find it slightly annoying to have a cat walking underneath them during “downward-facing dog,” but I find their inclusion humorous, and laughter is just as healthy as any kind of asana or treadmill.
Do your cats help you keep your new year’s resolutions? Share your experiences in the comments!