It’s that time of year, friends… the opportunity to start fresh! As 2018 looms, we can’t help but experience an unsettling mix of anticipation and fear. This period of new beginnings and bittersweet farewells always begs the questions – what are my intentions for the New Year? If you haven’t identified your resolutions yet, now’s your chance! No matter who you are or where you are in life, these items should make your list.
If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all
The decision to speak no evil is a classic. But it’s much easier said than done! This year, vow to spread positivity with your words. Start by paying more attention to every idea and impression that enters your brain. If you’re aware of your thoughts, your words and actions are bound to be better as well. Work hard to catch yourself before you utter anything negative – whether it be a complaint, a futile judgement or an insult. Say something kind instead, or redirect your thoughts altogether by focusing on something more productive and compassionate.
Continue to search for meaning
We may never know the meaning of life. But it doesn’t hurt to keep looking! Add more meaning to your year by questioning your routine – Do I enjoy my job? Is this person bringing joy to my life? Do I really need another pair of shoes? The more questions you ask (and answer honestly), the more truth will come to light. Get into the habit of questioning everything you do – if only briefly. Eventually, you’ll find yourself adding and extracting things from your life based on an internal value system. Keep it up, and you’ll wake up one morning with a life full of meaning and purpose.
Stay present, but don’t be a hedonist
A hedonist is a pleasure-seeker: someone who believes the pursuit of pleasure is the most important thing in life. At first glance, this philosophy is difficult to argue with. But pleasure is often immediate, and dismisses an aspect of life that’s important to human development – long-term goals. If you were a hedonist, you might quit your job because you’d rather stay home and watch television. A pleasurable decision in the moment, sure. But you’ll regret it six weeks down the road when your savings account is dry. The moral of the story? Keep your eyes on the prize this year – even if that means dragging yourself into the office every Monday.
But there’s another key component of this resolution to consider. As important as it is to set long-term goals and stick to them, don’t let the future compromise your ability to enjoy the now. If you spent most of 2017 planning for 2018, make a change this year. Rather than always looking forward to 2019, make it your resolution to enjoy the journey. Feel free to daydream if it helps you get through the Mondays – just don’t let your plans for tomorrow take over your life. Tomorrow never comes, after all.
Need some help staying present? Click here.
Face your demons – and slay them
We’re all intuitively aware of our flaws. In fact, we’re often so aware of them that we forget they’re not inevitable. We become comfortable with who we are and, somewhere along the way, we stop trying to be better. We adopt qualities like impatience and stress and anxiety and stubbornness as part of our nature – and that’s a huge problem! This year, take control of your misgivings and become a better version of yourself. Write out a list of your weaknesses and work to strengthen them. It’s time to stop dismissing and start growing!
Dare to diverge
Many of us are stuck in our ways — and there’s nothing wrong with that. But there’s a world of opportunity out there just waiting to be explored! Mix it up this year by adding a few new and exciting items to your agenda. Visit a city you’ve never seen, eat crickets, take an art class, donate your hair to Locks of Love, transition to a vegan diet, start your own business, adopt a dog… the options are endless and potentially life-changing.
Remember – you only get one shot at 2018! These New Year’s resolutions will help make it the best year yet.