Every year on January 1st, hoards of people, young and old, try to find the best New Year Resolutions to make. Some will try to be creative – skydiving or bungee jumping. Some will have the same resolutions from the year before – lose weight or travel. Some will even have definitive ideas about what they hope to accomplish in the upcoming year – find the one or get the dream job.
Then – without fail – come the next year, you’re left wondering where the time, and your dedication, went. Listed below are four better New Year resolutions to start making, and to start sticking with.
To Be Mindful
In the world that we have all created, there’s hardly time to take a breath, let alone be aware of your surroundings. You’re overcome with the need to rush here, rush there. We spend all week looking forward to Friday. We spend all month looking forward to that trip we’re going to take. We spend our whole adolescence looking forward to growing up.
We live in a society of ‘looking forward’. However, now, more than ever before, it is essential for us all to take a moment to, as they say, smell the flowers. I’m not saying you should find the closest garden and take a big whiff. I’m merely suggesting that we all take a moment, take a breath, and look around. Embrace both the simplicities and complexities that can be found around you. Take a moment to notice.
Notice the young man who holds the door for his date, blushing gently in the marquee lights. Notice the old man who offers to pay for the man ahead of him in uniform; struggling to stand erect and salute a fellow soldier, no matter what war each of them had to face. Notice the woman behind the counter taking your order; finding the energy for that smile the young child in line is looking for.
Whatever it is you decide to take a moment for or decide to notice, just make sure you’re making the right New Year resolutions.
To Accept Yourself
This one can be found in a variety of forms on resolution lists – lose weight; ask him out; start eating healthy. Whichever way you’ve decided to word this resolution, you’re probably only worrying about part of the whole.
Are you trying to lose weight so that you’ll impress someone, or just to please yourself? Have you been avoiding asking him out because you’re just nervous, or because you don’t think you’re good enough? Are you attempting to eat healthy because you want to be healthy in general, or because you don’t want to be judged for cramming a Butterfinger into your mouth?
Accepting yourself means all of yourself: body, mind, soul, and spirit. Accept that you snort when you laugh hard. Accept that you were blessed, or cursed, with large ah…assets. Accept that you struggle with math, but are really great at English. Just accept yourself; you are your greatest commitment.
To Say “Yes, and…”
You may be thinking to yourself, ‘I don’t say no that often.’ However, you might be doing so without quite realizing it. Do you friends ask you to hang out, but you say no because you’d rather stay in? Has there been a special girl eyeing you in class, but you’ve been too nervous to do anything about it? Are you trying to find the perfect job, but aren’t willing to take the extra step to land you the interview?
In millions of little ways, we all find ourselves saying no. Our lives become monotonous, and we wonder how we got to this point. Well, don’t let it.
Make a concentrated effort to say yes. Get the haircut. Take the trip. Audition for the show. Ask the girl out. Saying no in life is like pushing on a door that says pull. The more you say yes, the more you’ll realize how many doors can really open.
To Find Clarity
As we walk through these lives we have, in this cluttered and chaotic world we built, it can be difficult to see things clearly, and to focus. However, true clarity must be attained for true happiness to be in reach.
Professional Clarity – You should find the occupation that allows you to be satisfied at the end of a long day. If you wake up in the morning, and aren’t excited to go to work, perhaps it’s time for a change of pace. Turn your hobby into something you end up doing for the rest of your life. Don’t settle for a mediocre existence.
Emotional Clarity – Are you happy with who you are and who you’re with? The one you end up with in holy matrimony should be able to make you laugh, and know the difference between when you’re frustrated and when you’re really angry. They should be able to compromise, communicate, and commit. The same is true of your relationship with yourself. I’m not saying you should start talking to yourself, but the person we most often lie to is ourselves.
If you’re not happy with a situation, be honest with yourself and do something about it. However, it’s important to compromise, even with yourself. If you want that dream job, you have to be willing to work your way up the ladder. If you want the dream guy or girl, you have to be willing to gather the courage to go talk to them. Keep in mind, the most committed relationship you’re ever going to be in is with yourself. You can’t exactly divorce or break up with you. So do what it takes to find inner and outer clarity.
Whether you decide to adopt one of these resolutions, or all four, it’s important to make New Year resolutions that you’re going to be determined to keep – ones that fosters a happier and more fulfilled life.