You Don't Have To Have A New Year's Resolution This Year

You Don't Have To Have A New Year's Resolution This Year

New year, same me.
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2017 is coming to a close and 2018 is just around the corner. The new year is a time to reflect and think of what you could make better in the new year. But why do we have to set a goal for ourselves at the beginning of the year when we could do anytime during the year?

As a college student, I have set goals along the lines of not procrastinating on assignments or staying in shape during the school year. So when it's time to ring in the new year, I am on break. That means there are no assignments for me to procrastinate on and what makes you think I am going to get a gym membership for a month when I could be eating the rest of the Christmas cookies before I go back to school?!

It's awful that the New Year is right in the thick of the holiday season. When sweets are still floating around and big, family meals are served constantly. For anyone to say, "I am giving all of that up because of my New Year's resolution" is crazy! For those people who can do it, props to you! You have a lot more self-control than me. But is it really so bad if I don't have one right at the beginning of the year?

If you know that you want to improve on something in the middle of the year, why not start then? I know that some people need that day to say that it is time to change. And realizing that you need to change a part of yourself is a huge step in knowing yourself and your potential! But if you see it happening well into the New Year, it's okay to make a resolution to fix it then.

For me, all of my much-needed-improvements happen during the school year. It may be too much procrastination or not taking time for myself. Either way, I want to make myself better. Instead of waiting for the new year, I start during the school year. I think whenever it is appropriate to make something better, you actively work on it.

I don't think people should be pressured to make a New Years resolution when they are just enjoying themselves. If you are happy with the way you are right now, there is no reason for you to change. You are you and you know yourself the best. If you are proud of who you are (and you should be), there is no reason to change.

I think the saying "new year, new me" sets any human being up for failure. Because we are human, we slip up. Don't feel horrible if you want to improve on the same thing you wanted to improve on last year. If you didn't reach your goal, that's okay. Consider it a long-term goal that is taking a little longer than expected. It doesn't matter how long the journey, it's the destination that makes it all worthwhile.

Cover Image Credit: Jerry Kiesewetter

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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When Should I Eat?

You should typically eat when your body tells you to, not your craving or friend.

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Do you find that you are not hungry for dinner when you sit down at the usual time? How about lunch? Or breakfast? Or even when you snack? For me, it is usually dinner time when I feel this way. Perhaps after the first dish, you work up an appetite and go up for seconds. Later, you think, "why did I do that?"

We have been trained to eat three square meals at certain times of the day, at least I was. It is something our parents did and their parents. But here is something I have learned, not everyone should have the same eating patterns. Digestive systems differ per person and each individual requires differing amounts of calories for every day. For me, I have a sensitive digestive system. I have learned the hard way when I decided to eat seconds or eat when my body said it wasn't hungry.

Recently I have changed my eating pattern after reading Mark Divine's "The Way of the SEAL." To those who don't know, this book has heavily influenced my life and I wrote an article about it. In one section of the book, he gave a quick suggestion on eating habits. He said that the three square meals a day comes from the Industrial Revolution days when people had specific schedules. He said that the body should be fueled as needed through eating. Not only did it benefit his health, it freed up his breaks at work to focus on other things. At the same time, he states that it is okay to break the rule once in a while to enjoy life.

Even though his book didn't focus on nutrition or eating habits, this small section caused me to analyze my patterns. I realized that I was having calorie-rich meals when I wasn't hungry and that it usually caused indigestion. Plus his advice just sounded like common sense, eat when you're hungry. So I decided to start doing this. The result: I felt healthier and experienced less indigestion. And something seemed right about it.

If you consider it, our body sends us many messages on what to do. When to go to the bathroom, when you're cold, etc. People typically listen to their body in those situations, but not so much with food. The obesity epidemic in society is evidence of that. Obviously, there are other factors that have caused the obesity problem, but self-control with eating is not encouraged enough. Therefore, I believe people should check for a hungry message from their body before eating. As much as it will cause some odd schedules for meals or quick snacks, it will be beneficial for health. And checking the quantity you eat is important as well.

Another important part of eating is what you eat, which is one we hear about frequently. Another personal observation I have made is that when I eat healthier foods, especially fruit, my mood can get more positive. Probably because healthy fruits and vegetables don't give me the sick feeling after eating a sugar-filled brownie. Believe it or not, a healthier diet can improve mental health according to a study in New Zealand. So why not eat healthier to be in a better mood during the week?

I am not a health nut nor am I against enjoying life with a piece of cake once in a while. But I feel strongly about eating the right foods at the right time. I have gotten weird reactions from some people when I don't eat lunch for a long time or I talk about my eating patterns. I don't care since I know it is good for me and others. For some people, they need three square meals a day at certain times because that is when they are hungry. Like I said before, everyone has different eating patterns. Yet most of our eating should occur to satisfy hunger, not just for the sake of taste or socializing. If every person decided to eat healthy foods in the right quantities based on hunger, I think the health of the nation would improve.

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