There are two groups of people around January 1: the people who make New Year’s Resolutions, and the people who don’t. Now is the time of year where people are wishing each other well for 2018, and where people are posting memes about everyone’s inability to maintain resolutions. I have heard the argument that a new year is plainly arbitrary. Why make changes on New Year’s instead of any other time? You can implement changes at any moment. This is true, but there is something wonderful about a fresh start – even if it is an arbitrary one. New Year’s gives us a chance to look at the last year as a whole, and to look ahead to the next one with hopeful eyes. I think that’s a pretty good reason to evaluate what changes we want to make for the year to come, don’t you think?
In case you can’t already tell, I’m a big fan of resolutions. I think they can be misunderstood. A resolution is something you resolve to do. It’s not merely a list of goals that can be crossed off a list, although it can be. A resolution is something you want to instill in your life to make it better. Last year one of my resolutions was to read more, because it makes me happier and I enjoy it. I made a goal to read twenty books in 2017. Did I make it? No, I read 15. But did I read more? Yes. It can be easy to make a list of resolutions and, once failed, to give up. I didn’t always succeed at putting my phone down and picking up a book, but I did do it way more than I did the previous year. That’s a success in my books.
Here are some New Year’s resolutions to get your 2018 rolling:
- Make exercise a regular practice.
This is the typical New Year’s resolution. You know it, I know it, the Gym knows it. I’m not suggesting it because you should lose weight or have the body you desire. I’m suggesting it because it’s good for you. I believe that making an intentional effort towards exercise helps give a person a sense of ownership in life. No one ever regrets going for a walk or taking a spin class with a friend. Don’t exercise because you “should”, but take steps toward an active life style because you were designed to move. Exercise gives you more energy (more than that extra Starbucks will), helps you sleep better, and reduces stress (can I get an amen?). Your body is created to be active, so let it and watch the benefits roll in.
- Get out of your comfort zone.
I once was told that the only way to grow was to get out of your comfort zone. Being my highly uptight self, I was not very ecstatic by this idea. As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve learned that this is true. Try something new! Be bold and put on a faux fur jacket and go for dinner or a movie by yourself. Trust me, no one is staring at you while you eat your burger and fries or purchase your movie ticket for one. Try a ceramics class or join a book club! Heck, go sky diving (that’s a bit too far out of my comfort zone, though, so I won’t be joining you). Getting out of your comfort zone is a fantastic way to reap the benefits of personal growth.
- Implement little changes that increase mental health.
Make your bed every morning. It only takes a couple of minutes, and it makes everything else feel clean and put together. Vow to write down three things you’re grateful for every day. Gratitude is scientifically proven to increase mental strength. Decide to visit a new coffee shop each month. Resolve to do more crossword puzzles and less mindless social media scrolling. Make a reading list. Think about who you want to be when 2019 rolls around, and see what small changes will help you get there.
It’s unfortunately very easy to be a victim in life, and to let the year pass without any active growth or change. We would rather not try than fail. But here’s the most important thing about resolutions: you don’t have to succeed at them. Honestly, you probably won’t. But you will see positive changes when you try. They aren’t a pass/fail deal. They’re progressive. There is something about making a list of expectations and desires for the next year that gives you excitement for the year to come. It’s powerful and you, dear Hunni, deserve to have the best 2018 possible. Get your pen and paper out and show us how you’re going to make it.
– Alexandra, Manager, Hunni’s Coquitlam