365 days in a year and it’s only on Day 365 that we get this huge wake up call – Good lord, I need to be a better version of myself next year.
New Year Resolutions are tricky, because you don’t want to set the bar so high that it’s unachievable (and laughable), or so low that it makes not much of a difference either way. These are my New Year Resolutions, so join me?
1. Keep Fit.
Probably topping the list of everyone’s New Year resolutions (and probably the sole consequence of our festive binges) is the resolution to fully utilize that gym membership we’ve had for half a year now. It gets hard but here’s what can help:
Make it a deal.
If you want to have fried chicken for dinner, tell yourself to hit the gym first. If you want to catch that Happy Hour on Friday, tell yourself to go for a run first. Package your workouts with a guilty pleasure so you’ll find yourself feeling less guilty about enjoying something.
Even if you feel exhausted. Even if you’ve had a tough day at work or school. ‘I’m too tired’ tops the list of excuses for not working out. Change into your workout clothes and put on your running shoes. It’s hard to change your mind once you’re dressed for the activity. If a run seems too demanding, take a brisk walk for 10 minutes. Chances are, getting the fresh air and your heart pumping harder will increase your likelihood of working out after the walk.
Any work out is a good work out.
It’s okay if you feel like you didn’t run fast enough. Or if you didn’t work out hard enough. Or if you didn’t soak your clothes through with perspiration enough. Don’t let yourself be demoralized by any work out that you managed.
Diet? What diet?
Some people try to eat clean, while some subscribe to the once a week indulgence tactic. It’s all about lifestyle choices- so don’t deprive yourself of food that you enjoy. Chocolates, ice cream or fries - any food indulgence is fine as long as you balance it out with a healthy diet. Don’t forget to include your greens and have lots of water.
It’s just a number.
And that number doesn’t matter. Constantly weighing yourself to mark any changes - loss or gain - will only drive you crazy. As long as you’re happy with how you look and feel, that number on the scale shouldn’t matter. Setting the habit of weighing yourself in the morning not only stresses you out but also starts you on a negative note for the day.
2. Focus on You
It sounds like such a self-centered thing to do but it’s not. You can’t help others when you’re not in any state to do so. Ensuring your well-being puts you in a better place to helping ensure others’. It’s not wrong to want to do something for yourself.
Learn to say no
Pity dates and an ever-growing pile of work are the results of never saying No. You’ll never have time to yourself if you keep saying yes to everyone else.
Scene 1. It’s a team project and the work’s split up evenly. The deadline’s approaching and your teammate sends you a text, “hey, help me out with my portion of the work? I’m so busy right now.”
It’s surprising how many of us feel the moral obligation to say yes to others all the time. It’s okay to say no too. You’ve got your own share of work and other commitments to deal with and people will understand that. Being firm and saying no won’t make you out to be a bitch, I promise.
Scene 2. You get a text from a guy asking you out for dinner on Thursday. You check your schedule. You’re free. But you’re not interested in this guy. But he’s so persistent…
Reply him and let him down nicely. Pity dates are not just a waste of your time, it’s a waste of his time too. Do both of you a favor and just say no.
3. Be happy for others
One of the most damaging things to do to yourself is to constantly compare your situation with those of others for your validation. Success can be measured in many ways, and people are always coming up with new yardsticks to measure their success with others.
A sense of achievement when you notice more followers on your Instagram profile over another’s. A sense of accomplishment when you realize you draw a higher salary than someone else.
This isn’t a slice of cake where someone else’s bigger share only leaves less for you. You don’t stand to lose anything when someone else does better in these situations, so why get upset?
Validation that stems from constant comparison is validation that will never last. There will always be someone else with more followers on Instagram or with a higher salary. What do you do then?
Stop the constant comparison and learn to be happy for others.
Here’s to a better year, and to being a better person.