Bashing the notion of New Year’s Resolutions has become mainstream; people have become increasingly jaded and disillusioned. With threats of global warming, weather catastrophes, and the continued support of psychopaths leading our countries on a downward spiral, resolutions can seem downright laughable.
I’m one of those people who believe it’s the small things that create big change in the world. Start with yourself and it will spread to family and friends, and outward.
- Remember to say please and thank you and to make eye contact with the other person when you say it. I’m surprised how many people have forgotten how to be polite, but I sure appreciate it when they remember. It’s called being civilized.
- Set your weekly workout schedule ahead of time for every day of the week and treat those workout times like a doctor or dentist appointment; don’t cancel!
- Add a new fruit and vegetable to your daily diet and try some new ones, like sautéed asparagus with herbs (takes minutes to make) or mixed berry salads in the morning. Pay attention to how much better you feel after eating healthier for one month and you’re likely to continue.
- Omit one negative thing from your life. That might mean the ‘friend’ who constantly complains, the late night social media habit of scrolling for 30 minutes before bed, or the habit you have of nitpicking your spouse. Drop it and replace it with a healthier activity, such as a new funny friend who always makes you laugh, reading a great book before bed, or habitually complimenting your spouse every time they do something thoughtful, like bring you coffee in bed.
- Start putting away change or skip the weekly coffee and snack habit and put that money in a savings account. You’ll be surprised how quickly money stacks up once it’s not being spent on things you don’t really need.
- Instead of leaving all those assignments until the last minute, why not plan to have them done a few days early? Give yourself earlier deadlines to meet and you’ll find yourself submitting completed papers ahead of schedule, stress-free.
- Gain perspective on your little worries and problems and join volunteer opportunities as they occur in your community. You may discover new friends and find you’re worrying less about school and feeling better about helping out vulnerable people and animals that need a helping hand. A sense of purpose can alleviate sadness and lack of motivation.
- If you live far away from family members, make sure to check in with them from time to time. A phone call, a text, or even an email is a meaningful way to let someone know you’re thinking about them and want to stay in touch.
- Map out what courses you’ll need to finish your degree. Consider your timelines to take courses, your budget, and how to work it around your other commitments. Attaining a degree seems more do-able when you see it on paper.
- Take time to be by yourself. Take a long Epsom salts bath, close the door, and do a restorative yoga meditation before bed, or go for a long walk (or snowshoe) on a local trail. Being by yourself recharges your brain and gives your body a chance to relax from the tensions of work and study.
- Be mindful of your habits that pull you away from your goals. Ask yourself why you spend three hours binge-watching Netflix and whether it’s adding to your overall life satisfaction. Perhaps the twenty minutes spent scrolling social media could be better spent refurbishing that chair you’ve had sitting in the garage. The results will be the answer. Twenty minutes every night add up to 140 minutes every week—you could be creating a masterpiece!
- Constantly picking up and tidying can be exhausting, especially when you have messy roomies or family members. Set up a weekly tidy up schedule and stick to it – leave the mess alone and remain focused on your studies.
- Find a part-time job that allows you the freedom and flexibility to continue your studies. There are a variety of part-time online jobs that allow you time to work toward your educational goals and keep the bills paid.
- Let go of grudges and perceived slights of others. Nothing is more freeing than not being affected by other people’s emotional baggage. Sometimes other people do things because they are suffering. Don’t let their negativity spread through you; let it stop with you and keep your emotions in check.
- Give up a toxic snack or beverage, like pop or chocolate bars. Choose to consume more water, vegetable juice, or oatmeal and feel your blood sugar (and emotions) even out.
- Set a better schedule that works for you. If you despise mornings, sleep in later and stay up later, or vice versa.
- If you’re perpetually late for everything, try setting all your clocks ahead by ten minutes and make everyone happy by being on time for a change.
- Seek out internship opportunities for the career you’re working towards. It may open up many new doors in your field you weren’t aware of.
- Plan ahead for your next vacation. Travel opens up a whole new world and perspective after you’ve had your nose in a pile of books. Write down restaurants, activities, and points of interest you want to visit. Draw up a budget so you can travel worry free. Airbnb offers affordable accommodations anywhere in the world. Now you have something to work toward and look forward to.
Keep in mind that improvement in one area of life affects others. When you improve your health, you improve your relationships and have more energy for working better too. When you improve your time management, you can fit in more leisure, like reading an inspiring book or meeting up with a friend.
Each day, it’s beneficial to ask yourself the right questions: How can I make a difference in my or someone else’s life today? What can I do today that will get me closer to my goal being accomplished? What action can I take this week that will help me to succeed? Whether you choose to eat a giant plate of poutine for lunch or make a giant salad to enjoy instead, you will be left with the outcome.
Although inspiration and hope are at an all-time low these days, we are fortunate to have life coaches and countless articles on the internet that truly inspire healthy change. Check out www.elephantjournal.com, www.goodnewsnetwork.org and www.positive.news for a glimpse into a healthier, happier world. Take action on your own and discover what amazing changes occur for you by the end of 2019.