Every New Year we seem to convince ourselves that it will be the year, this will be the year that we finally live by those changes we’ve been trying to get ourselves to adopt.
We say, “it’s okay, I’ll start in January” and we build up this enormous expectation that we will indeed start in January. Which, the majority of us probably do, but then that permanent change we were seeking turns into a burden, and then a hobby, and then into another “it’s okay, I’ll start in January.”
In reality, a year is a very long time to hold yourself to do this thing that you so strongly believe will change your new year in some way. I’ve done it with the cliché “go to the gym at least 3 times a week,” or “cut out x, y, and z out of your meal plan.”
Do they work? Nope, I usually quit by March. And I don’t think it’s a question of work ethic or perseverance, but maybe more of just the reality that life hits us at all times of the year. So, today I’ve thought of five unconventional and realistic New Year resolutions that will hopefully help you grow as a person, and stick with you enough that they’ll become permanent routines of your life instead of another “I’ll start in January.”
1. Own your decisions, and be proud of them.
It’s time to start making certain decisions because you want to. Not because of other people who tell you that doing something this way will be best, or that doing something that way will make the most people happy. What about your happiness?
Yes, seeing other people pleased with your actions does feel good. But, you know what also feels good? Having complete and unequivocal control over what will happen next. The hard part is being proud of what you’ve done afterward. It’s not easy seeing people react in a manner you were hoping to avoid, and it will make you question the next time you have that option of choosing between what you want to do and what others think you should do.
It’s something that you’ll have to learn to deal with and accept, and to own and grow from. And if you have friends that keep badgering you because they think you made a decision that was wrong, or mean, or dramatic, or “stupid”, then go ahead and get you some friends that will love you for you and support you and your decisions.
Although, it is important to keep in mind that making your own decisions also comes with the responsibility of owning whatever the resulting consequences may be.
But I’m telling you, as someone who recently learned and accepted that I truly can make my own decisions and be happy with them, there’s nothing that makes you feel more confident going into each day than knowing that you’ll have more control over it than you think.
Why did I say no to doing someone a favor who in reality has never treated me like a decent human being? Because I motherf***ing can.
2. Get rid of the people in your life that make you question who you are every day. Drop 'em. Do it right now.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you should cut every person out of your life that has done you wrong. But, if there is a persistent person in your life that seems to be dragging around this toxic dark cloud over your head and their presence in your life seems to have more cons than pros, then I think it’s time to exert your energy towards other people that actually care about your wellbeing.
I told myself I was going start doing this a year ago and I have done it. But it is sad, and it does sting when you realize that a relationship you had with someone was, in reality, one that was more of a one-way street that was filled with responding to needs and wants and getting no reciprocation in return. It is not a good feeling. It actually overwhelmingly blows.
But, now I can give my energy and attention to the people who actually make me feel good about myself, to the people who actually deserve it, and to the people that I know for a fact will still be in my life after college.
3. Give yourself more credit.
You are more capable than you believe. As the year goes on and the days and the weeks seem to get longer, it gets easier to blame our inability to accomplish something on the fact that we’re tired, or that we don’t think we can do it, or that we’ve already had a long year (it’s March).
But, know and understand that you have more in you than you think. You are that smart. You are that athletic. You are that good of a person. You are that beautiful. So, here’s to a year of owning all of who you are and believing in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will?
4. Start doing the things you've always been too scared to do.
What do you have to lose? Seriously what is the worst that is going to happen? Someone will say no. Someone will laugh. Someone will disagree with what you said or did. Well, I hope I’m not the first person to tell you this, but people saying no, people laughing, people disagreeing with what you do, are things that will happen to you for the rest of your life simply because it is impossible to please everyone.
So you might as well please yourself. In reality, you’re only scared because of the possibility of the unknown. You’re only scared because you don’t know what kind of response you’ll get or what will happen next. But if you don’t do the things you’re too scared to do, then how will you ever know what could have happened? Not knowing what response you’ll get and not knowing what could have happened will have the same consequences.
So, send the stupid text. Ask your professor for help with your grade. Go apply to that job. Yes the worst that can happen may in fact happen, but life will go on. The next minute will pass, the next hour will fade away, and the next day will be a new day.
5. Be kind to everyone.
My life motto. Be kind to everyone. Even to the people that have treated you like the dirt beneath their feet. To the people that you thought of when you were reading New Year Resolution #2. To the people that seem to be out to get you. To the people that you cross on the street that you’ve never seen before. To the people that you’ve never spoken to, but hear strange things about.
One of my idols Roger Federer once said, “It is nice to be important, but it is important to be nice.” I don’t care how important you feel, how much better you feel than the person standing next to you, how much more deserving you feel than everyone else, how much higher you walk with your head, be kind to everyone. You never know what kind of day someone is having.
You never know the type of life someone has been through. I don’t care if you think you know. You simply don’t. So, be kind to everyone, because you never know whose day or life you’ll change just because you decided to share a smile, say “hello”, or ask “how have you been.”
Five unconventional New Year resolutions. They may seem easy or they may seem like you already do them, but after reading this rather lengthy article (sorry, I didn’t realize how passionate I was about new year resolutions), go through your day and apply one or a couple of these resolutions. I promise you will feel outstandingly better on this day than on any other day you had to remind yourself to go to the gym or to cut x, y, and z out of your meal plan.
Welcome 2018 and Happy New Year everyone.