2016. Page 1 of 365. Your life is a story, this year a chapter – make sure you write a good one.
You’ve heard it all before. Of course, there is a sort of calm sense of relief in having a blank page, the chance for a fresh start. A chance to leave behind any negativity from the past year, and 365 new chances to wake up and potentially have the best day of your life. But there is also the overshadowing pressure that comes along each New Year’s to make a list of resolutions, often unrealistic. We find motivation for a day or so before those goals begin to fade away.
The idea of setting resolutions for myself this year seemed futile at first. I shrugged off the idea, thinking that last year ended well, so I would just hope for that pattern to continue into the new year. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that resolutions don’t have to be these grand life-changing goals. You don’t have to go gluten-free over night, or go from Netflix aficionado to triathlete in a day.
Rather, the beauty of resolutions are finding the little things that you can do now and that will gradually impact your life for the better. It’s about finding the little ways to better take care of yourself, your relationships, and your lifestyle. Take away the pressure of resolutions, and suddenly there’s a lot of beauty and wisdom in setting them. Because taking care of yourself throughout the new year is the key to setting yourself up for a good chapter in your story. The rest will write itself.
1 // Take Care of Yourself Physically
Wake up early, and go for a run. Eat clean – more fruits and vegetables, less pizza – but treat yourself every once and a while. Craft a regular exercise schedule, one that you enjoy. Keep your nails painted – there’s a strange sense of power in a good manicure. Learn that dressing well is a key to success – how you present yourself is your first impression. Moisturize regularly. Become the girl who has the eyebrows that everyone envies. Vow to not worry about what anyone else thinks of you
2 // Take Care of Yourself Mentally.
Set aside some ‘me’ time. Try meditating. Or just light a candle, pour a glass of wine, and take a bubble bath every once and a while. Continue to not worry about what others think of you. Don’t compare yourself to others. You aren’t them. You’re you. Appreciate that more. Go a whole day without complaining, and see how much better it makes you feel. Continue that pattern. Take breaks from social media. Stress less. Dance around your room. Focus on the positive. Have less doubt and guilt.
3 // Take Care of Yourself Intellectually
Find a topic that interests you. Read a book about it. Read lots of books in general. Learn a new language. Stay involved. Find extracurriculars that you’re passionate about. You’ll learn as much from them as you will in the classroom. Take classes that you enjoy. Lay out under the stars and dream about the universe. Figure out what you believe in.
4 // Take Care of Your Lifestyle
Be spontaneous. Stop waiting for the universe to give you a sign. Travel. Plan to backpack across Europe and immerse yourself in new cultures. Or just get away for the weekend. Take more chances. Learn to say ‘yes’ to more opportunities. But don’t underestimate your ability to say ‘no’ every once and a while. But be wise. Save your money. Set goals. Realistic ones. And long-term ones, like working towards your dream job. Invest in your education. Invest in your career.
5 // Take Care of Your Relationships
Be kind to everyone. Your mother always said to never judge a book by its cover. Listen to her and invest in people. Go out of your way to do nice things for them. Compliment generously. Compliment your friends as well as strangers. Stop talking about yourself all the time. Listen to others more. People will stop listening if you have to one-up everything they say. Try to give people the benefit of the doubt. Forgive generously. Don’t be a stranger in people’s lives. Spend more time with your friends as well as your family.
Taking small steps to invest in yourself and in others will lead to a healthier year, and open new doors. Don’t let the trials of life overshadow you. The world is your oyster, and though wonderful things may lie behind, so much greatness still lies ahead. Don’t take this next year for granted. Take advantage of the 365 new blank slates you are given.
Wishing everyone health and happiness in the new year!