How To Make 2018 Your Year

How To Make 2018 Your Year

And how to be the best you possible.
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I think for a lot of people this time of the year stirs up a lot of self-reflection. With the upcoming new year, there is the idea of a “better you” that is expected, the hopes to make the next 20-something “your year.” But the same always happens, we set high standards, not stepping stones, and when February rolls around, and the newness of the new year starts to fade, so does the progress. How do we stop this? How do we make sure that we keep to our path to be the best you possible, and what even is the best you possible?

I once heard someone say that “Idealism is the biggest joy snatcher.” Let’s break that apart, because this encompasses just what is going to stop this progress. By definition, an ideal is that which is satisfying to one's conception of what is perfect; that which is most suitable, most desirable. Simply put, idealism is living a life that is saturated with “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts.”

Especially around this time of the year, you might find yourself saying things like, “She shouldn’t have drank that much,” “He should’ve spent more,” “They should’ve spent more time with us.” “I should’ve went with them,” “The cancer shouldn’t have come back.” “I should have said I love you more.” “I should be skinner.” “My boss should’ve given me that raise.”

With all of these statements full of comparison and discontent, there will never be satisfaction. These statements show ideals. They show the way we wish things were, the way they “should’ve been.” But that isn’t the way they are.

These ideals are stealing your joy. Sitting stagnant wishing things were different leads to such a lifestyle that doesn’t allow you to be in the moment. Live in the life that you were given, with the time that you were allotted. Is not the best you possible one that uses the moments for their most impactful purpose?

By working to combat this feeling of not your best, we must decide. Decide whether or not to work or to waste time. My dad always says that “choice, not chance, determines one’s destiny.” Not wasting time doesn't mean that moments have to be spent doing homework, or constantly working on your next due date, but rather, also spending this life doing what is the most fulfilling. Maybe sometimes that means getting coffee with an old friend in order to catch up, because they need it.

Maybe that means going to bed early so that you can wake up refreshed and ready to combat the next day. Or maybe that means taking a run to take care of your physical self. Take a road trip with your best friend, stay in on Friday night, save your money, go visit family. Any of these things can be using the moment to your advantage.

This year, consider making that your resolution. Be intentional, be grateful, live in the moment. Embrace your moments. Learn to spend time, not waste it. Learn to live on purpose, not on accident.

Now, go make 2018 your year.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Getting Over Your Fears

It is so hard but feels so good all at the same time.

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I am the type of person who does not have normal fears. I don't mind spiders or snakes. But I have some fears that are so irrational and make zero sense. Yet they're still there. Over the past year or so I have successfully gotten over a few of my biggest fears and feel super proud and powerful knowing I can do things on my own.

The first one is finding a good doctor, in a new state.

It is so hard to find a doctor when you are used to YOUR doctor that you have seen your entire life. And you are far away from home and do not have the help of your parents. What do you do? Where do you go? Who do you call?

The answer is, you ask everyone. Any person you know who is in the area, ask. You will get a HUGE variety of answers and when you find the right answer, you will just know. You will be able to feel it, like damn that is the doctor I need to see. And then you call and make the appointment and feel a huge huge weight off your shoulders.

Unless you are like me…

Then you just feel more anxious because you hate new doctors, almost as much as you hate getting your haircut. Which is ironic, because one you're going to be a doctor and two whenever you get your hair done, you do something different whether it be color or cut or even both.

But the doctors are a little more serious.

So I recently had a relatively urgent doctors appointment (don't worry, I'm not dying) and I drove myself there and sat through the entire appointment and drove home all by myself. It was awful. I may have teared up once while inside.

But I DID IT.

I drove home, and I was super tired from everything and being anxious all day but also super super proud of myself for getting through everything and actually accomplishing something I wouldn't usually do.

On a much lighter and more humorous note…

Do you know how people are TERRIFIED of spiders, or snakes or rats? I am terrified like will cry and run, absolutely terrified of…

Frogs.

Yes, frogs.

And honestly, the next step is to try to at least be able to be in the same area of a frog without becoming incredibly anxious. This will hopefully allow me to be much more comfortable with so many different outdoor activities and even better at my current job.

While facing your fears is terrifying and super super hard it makes you a much more well rounded. You can do things you never thought you would be able to do and feel accomplished.

It is like when I crashed my car, I was afraid to drive again when I got home. But my mom knew that I had to drive because if I didn't drive immediately after I probably wouldn't have. It was both terrifying but also so important and imperative to my everyday life.

The point is to just do something that scares you every day, even if it is small and seems "dumb". You won't regret it.

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