Have a Happy (+ Reasonable) New Year!
Three…two…one…HAPPY NEW YEAR! Dec. 31 is the day we say goodbye to our “old” selves and prepare to start anew on Jan. 1. It’s the same each year – we tell ourselves that we will lose weight, save more money, quit that one bad habit – all to create a better, stronger, improved version of ourselves. But, do those “resolutions” really stick around?
On average, only 8 percent of people stay committed to their New Year’s resolutions. Why is this? It could be because we are creatures of habit and breaking habits is challenging. Maybe it’s because these resolutions are too extreme. Or, maybe it’s that we create resolutions just because everyone else is doing it. Whatever the reason may be, we can all agree that creating a long list of things we want to change about ourselves and our lives is daunting.
Instead of adding unnecessary pressure to your life by trying to accomplish an overwhelming “fix it” list, work to change your mindset. Resolutions should be something you look forward to! This year, consider coming up with a theme for your resolution. Most people find it easier to accept change if it becomes a part of their lifestyle, not just another item on their to do list.
My theme for 2017 was “create.” I wanted the year to be focused on creating memories, new friendships, professional connections and opportunities to impact other people’s lives. This approach made change seem possible and exciting. And I knew it would make me happier in many areas of my life. I got to spend the year thinking creatively, traveling and meeting new people! I simply opened my mind to the possibility that if I saw every encounter I had or every opportunity I was given as a way to create a moment, an experience and impact, I would be more fulfilled and, in turn, happier.
There is nothing wrong with setting specific resolutions, but if you’re having a hard time coming up with ideas or want to try a new type of resolution, check out some themed resolutions:
- Financial responsibility: The idea of saving more money always sounds great, but taking the steps to do so can be challenging. Instead of cutting corners to try to save money, look at your current spending to see if it aligns with your financial status. Are you spending your money responsibly? Are you living above your means? Saving money doesn’t mean that you cut all things fun from your budget; you simply evaluate where your funds are going and ask yourself, “Is it worth it?”
- Wellness: Define what wellness means to you, and develop ways to bring wellness to your everyday life. We can all improve our health, fitness and mental well-being. Explore ways to bring yourself clarity and happiness.
- Gratitude: Show appreciation for the smallest things in life, and you will quickly learn just how much you have to be thankful for. Having gratitude can magnify the goodness in life and open many doors of opportunity.
- Service: According to Gandhi, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Make an impact through acts of service. This could be within your neighborhood, church or professional endeavors. Serving others is a humbling experience and, for some, a way to learn more about themselves.
- Experience: Let yourself be open to new experiences in the new year. Try new foods, travel to a city you’ve always wanted to visit or go to a movie by yourself. Creating new experiences for yourself will give you a strong sense of independence, enlarge your world and maybe even give you a new hobby!
Each year, we strive to better ourselves and while self-improvement is important, don’t forget to appreciate the things you’ve accomplished this year. When you show yourself love and respect, you are already starting the new year off right.
By Kim Lewis,
Senior Project Manager, Kappa Delta Sorority