Keeping Your New Year's Resolution

5 Ways To Help Keep Your New Year's Resolution

Ever struggled to keep your New Year's resolution? Well, you're not the first. Read on!

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Going into the New Year, we often create expectations for ourselves. I'm sure you have generated some New Year's resolutions that you were initially excited to do, but never were able to follow through on.

For example, every New Year I tell myself that I'm going to try to cut out junk food from my diet. I happen to be quite the stress eater, as well as possess the largest sweet tooth in the state of California.

While I may keep this resolution in the beginning of the year, this only ever lasts for so long. As soon as the opportunity arises to eat junk food, I usually- *cough* -always... take it. Generally it's because my sugar craving mind alway comes up with the many absurd reasons and excuses to eat junk: eating a beautiful-looking cupcake because 'it's my friend's birthday party,' or eating a box of red vines along with a medium-sized bag of popcorn just because 'I'm at the movies.'

By the end of the year, when I'm beginning to think up the New Year's Resolution I want to make, I always find myself sticking to the same one that I was unable to complete the prior year.. What I realized from this unfortunate pattern is the following: 1. My resolutions are probably way too broad 2. I find too many excuses to pardon my resolution, like "oh I'll just try to be healthier next year." 3. I should be thanking the Gods that I have a somewhat fast metabolism.

However I know I'm probably not the only one in this boat.

And yes, while I may not be the best person to take advice from, after deep reflection (and sufficient Google research) I came up with 5 ways to be able to actually keep your New Year's resolution.

(I, as well, will be testing these this year…)

As previously mentioned, we don't have to wait until January 1st to better ourselves. But anyhow, happy New Year to you all, and good luck (and have fun) with keeping your resolutions!

1. Narrow down your resolutions

If your resolution is too broad, then you probably (but understandably) will give up on it. For example, a resolution like "to be happier" is way too broad to specifically go about. In this case, maybe try to think about one thing you could do or change in your life to make you happier, and focus on that aspect instead. If you pin down one specific goal, it'll be much easier to accomplish.

2. Plan ahead

In order to go through with your resolution, you should make a brief, but legitimate plan for how you'll approach it during the following year. For example, for my resolution, I could make a plan to limit the amount of junk I eat per day, to the point where by the end of the year, I'm barely eating any. But since we're all human and make mistakes, these guidelines are easier said than done. (Or maybe it's just me?) Anyhow, just by being aware of the amount of junk I eat, I'll end up eating a phenomenally smaller amount of it.

3. Write it down!

Write your resolution on a post-it note or on something that will stick (both literally and mentally...haha!), and put it somewhere you'll see it every day. (Perhaps on your bathroom mirror or your desk.) This way you simply won't forget about it!

4. Have fun with it!

Either treat yourself if you're staying on top of your resolution, or team up with a friend, and have him or her treat you! The latter option is a plus because you can both be accountable for each other's resolutions and progress, and could help make the experience more efficient and enjoyable. On top of that, you won't be the one paying for your reward. ;)

5. Start right now!

Don't. Give. Up. If you break your resolution, or simply just forget about it mid-year, it's never too late to pick it up again. All in all, the concept of a New Year's resolution is just a way for us to better ourselves in some way, shape, or form. It's never too late to fix a bad habit, pick up a new hobby, or just change some aspect of our lives. You also don't have to wait for the next January 1st to make a change-- the new year is just an excuse for trying something new. So heck- if you're reading this in the middle of the summer for whatever reason, start your next New Year's resolution early!

Good luck (and have fun) keeping your resolutions!

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Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.

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Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

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We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

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In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

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My First College Gal Pal Road Trip Was Amazing

Every girl should have one good girls trip.

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In some way or another, everybody has a list of things they want to do in their lives before it's all over. After all, we're human. There's adventure to be had in every life. One thing I have always wanted to do before I grew too old and grey was go on a road trip with my gal pals to the beach. A couple weeks ago, I achieved this memorable milestone, and it allowed me to open up to new surroundings and experiences.

On this trip, I went with two of my friends from college, Kait and Lindsey, to visit my roommate Elizabeth in Virginia Beach. This was pretty big for Lindsey and I because neither of us had been to Virginia Beach before. Thankfully Elizabeth and Kait knew their way around the city, so we never got lost on our way to and fro.

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