Once again we have arrived at that time of year when the idea of the ‘New Year’s resolution’ seems ubiquitous. It’s the talk at the water cooler, segment after segment on all of the morning news shows, and appearing in headlines on nearly every internet search engine home page. When I think about it myself, it does feel like the perfect time for change; the perfect time to make resolutions. After the past six weeks of holiday indulgences—too much eating, too much drinking, too many late nights, too much money spent—it does feel like the time to simply get back in gear.
So we have all of the generic resolutions sitting in a virtual bank, there for the taking by anyone and everyone, particularly those who haven’t put much thought towards the idea and are still searching once January 1 comes around. Lose weight, save more money, quite smoking, yada yada. These are perfectly legit of course, because any change we strive to make and eventually succeed at is worthy of praise, but I love to hear the well-thought-out, creatively conceived resolutions, that no matter how lofty or lowly they may be, get us out of the stagnant rhythm we’ve been stuck in for all of last year’s 365 days.
Some favorites I’ve heard:
Take more fashion risks. This one comes from a friend who in my opinion has minimalist dressing down to an art. Her natural beauty helps of course but even in the simplest of ensembles, to me she is stylish. Regardless, this is one of my favorites.
Go back to painting…or writing…or sewing…To take time in the day/week/month to sit down doing something you love. When we spend most of our time at work, or for some of us, in school, it’s easy to let our passions fall by the wayside.
Do one thing a month that you’ve never done before. This is one of my own—sort of along the lines of The Bucket List idea. When I think about it, most of what I do is routine and there is a lot I have never even thought of. I might start with finally taking a tap dancing class (which I haven’t done since seventh grade) and once the warmer weather comes I will walk across the Williamsburg Bridge.
Be more positive at least once a day, even if only for three seconds. We all know it’s true—being positive just feels better. It encourages us to be more productive, it impacts the people we share our time with and it allows us to feel more fulfilled. I actually know a person that started a practice of waking up every day and telling himself “This is going to be the best day of your life.” And when I asked him a few weeks in how it was going, he replied that he hadn’t had a bad day in three weeks!
Reconnect with your special people. This is a combination of several I’ve heard about getting back in touch with old friends and spending more quality time with your children. One friend mentioned having always looked for some extravagant event to attend on New Year’s Eve but this year ended up staying at home with her daughters playing board games. To her surprise she said it turned out to be the best New Year’s Eve she’s had in years.
Withdraw money only from your own bank’s ATM. This to me is so simple it’s funny. It puts a creative spin on the ‘saving money’ resolution and it’s totally achievable; it just takes some effort.
Read. I know that after a long day at work, and maybe an hour at the gym, if I’m feeling motivated, it’s hard not to want to just close my eyes and go to sleep. But reading brings us knowledge, and as they say, knowledge is power. I’ve heard a lot of people tell me that they’re aiming to read one news magazine a week so to keep up with current events, especially since we’re in an election year. A few others have said they’d like to read more just for enjoyment. One friend actually said that for all of her general reading she’s going to try to do so in German. This of course only works if you have at least an intermediate-level understanding of the language! (I shall try in French).
The list could go on and on, but I myself must get back to working on my own resolutions. This blog is one and hopefully will keep you reading, as I am shooting for one new post a week. I have to order my subscription to Newsweek as that is another; head to the gym to get back on track with running; create my ‘Things I’ve Never Done Before’ list, and do my best to stay positive throughout the year. Here’s to 2008!