I’m assuming you don’t live under a rock, but in case you missed it, it’s now 2022. With a new year, comes the age-old tradition of New Year’s resolutions. Before you say anything, I know. You’re thinking, ‘New Year’s resolutions? How original.’ But I promise I’ll make this short and sweet.
New Year’s resolutions have been around for thousands of years, long before the common expression ‘New year, new me!’ – Which we hear incessantly year after year. While resolutions have always revolved around saying goodbye to the practices of the past and looking towards a promising future, in more recent years, we see a more toxic interpretation of New Year’s resolutions. This is not to say New Year’s resolutions as a whole are a toxic concept, in fact, I think New Year’s resolutions can be an unbelievably productive thing.
Clearly, if you wish to make changes to your lifestyle or mindset, there’s no need to wait until the new year. That being said, we all know it’s way easier to start a personal journey when everyone else around us is doing the same. January 1st is a symbolic day of new beginnings, so how can you go about choosing yours? There are some dos and don’ts I suggest for going about this process.
Adjust your way of thinking when it comes to resolutions. Rather than focusing on goals that lean more towards putting yourself down physically, focus on ones that will lift you up mentally.
The most common resolutions like dieting – which I won’t get into, considering I could write an entire dissertation about how unhealthy it can be – and exercise are obvious. Think about incorporating more physical movement into your routines with the intention of gaining enjoyment rather than losing weight. If you love riding your bike or have always wanted to learn how to rollerblade, slowly work it into your week!
Another incredibly great way of being mindful and valuing how you can grow is by incorporating ways to pursue the betterment of your mental health. Journaling has been incredibly helpful for me, but what I’ve come to learn is not to apply the intense pressure by expecting myself to do it every day. Work it into your routines however you see fit. Entries don’t need to be long or meaningful, they can be as simple as writing down one thing that made you smile or something that upset you that day. Getting any thoughts down on paper can really provide some peace of mind, and be fun to look back on in the future.
If writing or excessive movement isn’t your thing, I totally get it. There are all kinds of options that are out there for you to try – yoga, photo/video journaling, collage, puzzles, painting. Just finding literally anything that makes you happy and making it a regular part of your life can result in some insane benefits. You don’t even need to pick just one. Commit to trying new things, or revisit old hobbies.
Okay, so maybe this wasn’t short, but hopefully, it was sweet. Don’t push yourself beyond your limits when pursuing a New Year’s resolution. Be kind to yourself. You are the one person you spend every day with – yes I’m going to be corny here – but make sure that you are kind to that person. There are so many ways in which we devalue ourselves without even realizing it, so my only hope is that everyone reading this tries to take some extra measures in reversing those behaviors.
Last but not least, I wish you all a safe and happy New Year.