Happy New Year! When a year ends, the beginning of another occurs simultaneously. However, this time it is also the beginning of a new decade. With all of these beginnings starting around, many of us feel pressured to try something new- or to start over. This is why many of us make resolutions for when the clock strikes 12. We want to start the new year off on the right foot. However, how can we know how to do so? How many times have you started a resolution for it to only last a few weeks?
Resolutions are meant to challenge us, but not to the point we give up. Successful resolutions allow for some wiggle room, and focuses on your well being. Change in our lives can be scary, and without it there is no room for any growth. Growth is the goal. We are able to look back on the years behind us and say how far we came and how much we learned because of change, not despite it. Resolutions are amazing, but there are a few tweaks I would like to make to this tradition.
I am not fond of the idea that many people tend to pick one resolution. I am a firm believer that you should pick multiple, each coinciding with a different aspect of yourself. There are four aspects of our life to focus on, and make a resolution for.
Your Mental State is important to upkeep, and challenging our thought process is vital for intellectual growth. Perhaps make a resolution to start doing more puzzles (sudoku, crosswords, and word searches come to mind). Perhaps you can learn a new skill and start writing poems, or study more if you are in school (or find a subject to study on your own if you are finished!) and dedicate time to feed the mind.
Your Emotional State also deserves a resolution! Do you lash out easily? Do you take everything personally? Are you use to blocking people out when you need to let people in? This resolution is something and work towards a goal to fix it. Start to journal more, take notes for your therapist sessions, know when and how to ask for help, so many options to make your emotional state a healthier one!
Physical State is very popular, but let’s still look at it. Going to bed earlier, drinking more water, eating healthier, and quitting smoking are all good resolutions, with of course many others.
Finally, this is the state that gets ignored the most during resolution time. Spiritual State. This is what I call the state we focus on our soul. What makes us happy? This resolution is for hobbies or spiritual/religious tasks that we think we should do more. Meditating, praying, yoga, gardening, reading for leisure, anything that makes your heart sing. You deserve to enjoy yourself, and if we start substituting our happiness with what we think is progress, we will never succeed.
However, when you make the resolutions, your goal should be to build upto it, not to start right away and then wonder why you gave up. If you want to start going to bed at 10pm, but are use to going to bed past midnight, then doing so right away will not work. Start going to bed earlier by fifteen minute intervals. If you go to bed at midnight, try 11:45. Then that is easier, try 11:30, all the way til the desired outcome. This way, by December, you will probably be at your goal. Same with wanting to meditate 30 minutes a day, don’t force it all at once, start with five minutes, then 10, all the way to 30.
That is how to be more productive with your resolutions, so now I ask why? Why should we care? The outcome of completing our resolutions should be to increase our confidence, well-being, happiness, and just growth in general. If that is the finish line, why would we not want to cross it?
Do not force your resolutions, be patient with yourself. If you mess up a day, start tomorrow. It is a marathon, not a race. What matters is that you keep going, despite the pace.
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