Why We Need New Year’s Resolutions?

Article published on Dec. 29, 2014
Article published on Dec. 29, 2014

New Year's resolutions are a good way to take a break and turn "old habits" into better practices that make us feel happier about our lives.

Most people need to take some time to rethink how they are doing common things on a daily basis and to ask themselves what they can do to improve practices or habits, to feel more energised and live in a healthier and happier way.

Writing resolutions is a good exercise in taking time for yourself and doing an introspective review of what is working and what is not. But, most importantly, be honest with yourself about what can you do in the long term to improve certain skills or qualities and fill certain gaps.

Don’t ask yourself to reach goals that you don't want to commit to for the long term, simply because it would be like jumping 3 steps ahead, or because it's not really part of your personality. So, here are 10 tips for writing attainable New Year’s resolutions:

1. Take time for yourself. End of the year means final exams, reviews, annual reports, parties, etc. But if it's not now, when are you supposed to have a moment truly for yourself to have this internal talk about what's working and what is not? "Time does not exist" but it is a need in human nature to have deadlines and anniversaries; in one word: Calendars. Create special moments to make time for what is important. After all, what is more important than YOU? 

2. Annual clean up. Take the time to clear your home of things that no longer serve you, and organize the things that do. According to Feng-Shui Philosophy, getting rid of those bulky, unnecessary things that we tend to accumulate through the years helps to enhance the energy in our environment that directly affects us. Some experts recommend classifying everything by things to “keep,” things to “donate” and things to “throw away.” 

3. Be more positive. Being positive can do wonders for your mood and lifespan. There are enough negative things happening in the world (conflicts, poverty, and insecurity) to be adding up. Thinking for the best turns out to be the "lucky" factor in different situations. If you are distilling negativity, your cortisol levels will increase and might betray you. So get rid of stress by not even thinking of the worst scenario as first option.

4. Interact more face to face. Smartphones, tablets, apps, social media; all this marvellous technology available at our fingertips is taking someone else's place when it comes to human interaction, especially when you are living abroad. It is the easy way to keep in touch with family and friends although it is taking you out of getting involved in the new country/community with lot of opportunities to enrich you from a personal point of view. So why not give it a try!

5. Improve your healthy habits. Eat healthier and get more sleep. Everyone knows this, so why don't we just do it? Give a try with short term objectives that may bring you into the right path without sacrificing indulgence.

Instead of going to bed at midnight, set-up a reasonable hour to relax and go to bed. Follow small rituals that make this easier, have a cup of tea, read a book...before going to bed try a comforting activity that may help the transition from daytime activities into some rest. Same for eating habits; try to add more veggies into your daily habits, like having soup, which is a good source of vitamins and may fill you up before the main dish. 

So what's up when it comes to writing your resolutions?

6. Write down your objectives. First of all, take a piece of paper or open a note in your Smartphone or IT gadget. It is proven that when you write down your goals, the commitment level is higher than just thinking about something and later forgetting about it. Also, if you write down tasks or objectives, once you reach them, you can tick them off and your hormonal system will reward you with precious dopamine that will make you feel good about keeping those resolutions.

7. Think about areas you know you can easily improve. If you are already exercising 2-3 times per week, try to add one or two more sessions to your daily routine. Reaching your objectives will increase your dopamine levels, which may give you the incentive or reward to keep on improving your results.

8. Keep your skills up to date. If you are looking for a career improvement or simply want to get a job, try to keep your skills up to date by following some courses that may help you boost your skills. There's no age for learning, so enrol in language courses, update your career with the latest trends, or just try new disciplines that you feel attracted to.

9. Plan a new trip or a fun activity with your family. Sharing new experiences or fun activities with our loved ones creates solid relationship bonds that might increase resilience when adverse situations come. But just do it because it's fun and it's good to try new things with your family!

10. Whatever you do, do it because you love it! You will give the best of you, simply because you like what you are doing. So, get involved in most of the activities that make you happy. And for those you like less, be pragmatic. We have only one life to live, so let's start by ENJOYING!

Proofread by Danica Jorden