Each year, I set new resolutions for making the coming 365 days a bit more tolerable, healthy and fun. I tell myself, “This year is your year. You will go to the gym; you’ll eat healthier; you will let go of bad relationships and make room for good ones; you will call your grandma more; yada, yada, yada,” and never, not once, have I stuck to all of my resolutions and fulfilled the wishes of January Kelly.
Instead, I do an excellent job of changing my life around until approximately February 15, when I realize it is too hard and I don’t have the energy or time. I give up on all of my efforts and revert back to poor habits. Because, let’s face it, living a healthy, happy life is actually a lot of work.
It takes people all of their mental strength and scheduling abilities to uphold a lifestyle that their neighbors and friends envy – a lifestyle that screams vegetables, protein, gym, travel and love. We all want this for ourselves and for those we love, but for whatever reason, it is extremely difficult to maintain this routine.
Perhaps you have trouble sticking to your goals, maybe you have chosen the wrong fitness routine, or it could be that you have four children, a husband, soccer practice and after-school programs. A lot of things in life try to prevent you from staying true to your dreams. But this year, you can turn everything around. You can be your January self, all year long.
Finding What to Resolve
My biggest issue with setting resolutions is choosing ones that make sense for me, ones that are not only achievable but actually need resolving. For example, this year I made the resolution of eating more vegetables (because I secretly hate them). Instead of setting the goal of eating one vegetable and fruit smoothie a day to increase my veggie intake in a delicious and nutritious way, I told myself that I have to eat vegetables with each and every meal like a true adult.
I made up this whole goal and plan to change my life around and make a 180 degree turnaround. I didn’t consider the fact that it is really hard to change your life and that it takes sure-footed steps, not one big leap. So, naturally, I failed at my resolution after only a short time because I wasn’t molding my goal to fit my lifestyle.
Setting resolutions is about finding the habits in life that bring you unhappiness or contribute to your poor health. Setting resolutions means being aware of your life, your health, your habits and your mentality and making decisions that benefit all of them.
For example – as a millenial, I know just how much I rely on social media to give me news, connect me to friends and family, and network myself with other professionals. 2017 brought to light just how unhealthy my social media habit was, not only for my mental health, but my spiritual health as well.
Therefore, I made the decision to spend no more than 1 hour a day on social media in 2018. This resolution felt like it was attainable and would bring me not only happiness, but time to invest in other, more meaningful, activities. I will now know the infinite joy that comes from taking a break from social media.
At first, I was worried that by spending less time on social media, I would lose touch with some members of my family. However, that simply was not the case at all! One of my relatives is currently working on a family tree so that we can trace our family history back as far as possible and I have been helping her out. To be totally honest, genealogical research is not my strong suit, but using online ancestry resources like these chicago tribune obituaries has actually been really easy. I had no idea that we had so many family members in Chicago until recently!
Although tracing your family history is always going to be bittersweet, it is so rewarding to learn about everyone that came before you. Furthermore, working on this family tree project together has helped us to get in touch with more family members than ever before by sharing our findings on social media! Above all, if you are considering putting together a detailed family tree, I cannot recommend using genealogical resources enough.
Giving Yourself Credit
It’s also important to keep in mind the amount of strength it takes to even set a resolution. Like I mentioned before, resolutions are about being aware of your life and your bad habits. It takes a lot of power to look at yourself, find a problem/something that needs resolving, and actually work on it. Giving yourself credit for the amount of strength you already possess will only make believing in your further strength to come even easier.
You also need to be able to feel pride even when you have to skip a day of resolving your life. For example, people who suffer from GERD often have sick days due to food and other consumed products, and they have to skip gym days or lunch dates with friends because of it. Let yourself have these break days during your year without feeling resentment. If you don’t let yourself take breaks, you can become overwhelmed and feel less obligated to complete your goals.
Be your own cheerleader when it comes to following through with your resolutions in 2018. When you are feeling like a million bucks, face your resolutions head on and begin a healthy routine. If you feel a little tired or down in the dumps, allow yourself to take a moment for mental health. Regardless of your day, pat yourself on the back for being mindful of the changes that need to be made in your life.
Preparing for a Positive Future
Achieving goals and reaching resolutions can be one of the most amazing moments in your life. It feels so good to tell yourself you have what it takes to do something difficult and finally discovering that you were right.
Don’t let anything stand in the way of you achieving your New Year’s resolutions. If you wake up in the morning with a sore back, don’t skip the gym, research mattresses for back pain and get on with your day. If you are out with your friends, order a healthy meal instead of giving yourself cheat days. Look at your future as a perfectly positive place and you will make choices in your present to ensure that positivity will come.
You have all the strength to achieve the things that you want for your life. All you have to do is choose, each and every day, to do the things that bring you happiness, bring you closer to your true self, and help you reach your goals. Make 2018 the year for keeping your resolutions and let go of old habits that keep you from achieving your dreams.
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