We’ve all heard it a million times. As soon as the ball drops on New Year’s Eve — and after all the hugging and reminiscing about last year is over — everyone begins working on their “new” life.
The whole, “New Year, New Me” attitude has completely taken over our society. We obsess over becoming happier, more attractive, kinder and more accomplished every year, and then bear the weight of feeling like a failure when we fail to meet these resolutions.
I cannot deny that self-improvement is a very important step for everyone to take. It is important for us to take a step back and evaluate how we feel about the person we are, or where we hope to be down the road. New Years is an excuse for a fresh start. But what is stopping us from beginning every single day as if we were beginning a new chapter in our lives?
By creating a mentality where we expect to change ourselves overnight — as if the New Year is magic — we set ourselves up to feel disappointed. Not only do our resolutions never stick, but they become increasingly unproductive as we reflect on what we could have done, but didn’t… What we should have done, but didn’t.
This year, I decided that I would create my own “New Years Resolutions”. But this time, I approached the idea with a different frame of mind. I asked myself, “what small changes can I make to my life?”… Instead of telling myself what I should do. Here are a few things I came up with:
- For starters, I really need to wear my night guard more often. As silly as it seems, I notice a difference in my stress levels and even the frequency of my headaches when I wear my night guard consistently. Little things do add up.
- Keep up my journal writing. I’ve kept a journal for so many years. I’ve never been the type to write every single night, but I’ve kept up with it for long enough that I always go back to it.
- Spend less time in front of a screen. This isn’t to say that I’m giving myself an unrealistic limit on how much time I can spend on Pinterest or Netflix. It just means that before I open up my laptop out of boredom, I try to think to ask myself what else I could be doing with my time. Which leads me to my next point…..
- Be creative. I love playing piano, scrapbooking, writing, painting, making crafts, photography, reading, designing and a plethora of other stimulating and creative activities. Next time I reach for the popcorn and another episode of Gilmore Girls, maybe I’ll just take my sketchbook out or learn a new song on the piano.
- Work on my own body positivity. We all look in the mirror and think, “if I could just change x,y,z, I’d be so much happier”. But is this true? While this goal does have to do with health and fitness, I’m trying to focus more on the mental aspect of my health. Instead of thinking, “I should work out to be thin and toned”, I’m trying to think more along the lines of “I should work out to make myself feel energized and proud of what my body does for me”.
- Perform at one open mic. I already explained this one in my post on Fear. I know I can get over my fear of performing. I’ve spent more time onstage than I have to be afraid of being onstage. I know I can do this!
So there they are. My six New Years resolutions that I hope I can use as reminders for the little things I try to do anyway. Keeping up with my journal and wearing my night guard every night might not be life-changing resolutions, but its where I’m at right now.
Wish you all a Happy 2015! We can do this!
What small change will you make in your life this year?