Every year it feels like there’s this overarching, looming pressure to take on something new, a “new year, new me!” mentality, to embark on these giant resolutions that are 1) often a repeat of the year prior and 2) perhaps a bite bigger than we can chew. …And then we feel guilty around the middle/end of the year when it feels like we’ve made little to no progress on said resolutions [though don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people who have their life together and make sustainable goals and reach them– boy, do I applaud those people!].
But I stumbled on this article the other day– a collection of TED talks that had themes to them that suggested a different way of embarking upon the New Year.
So instead of hitting the gym for the first 14 [or 2, in my case– LOL] days of January, or completely cutting carbs out of your diet, try one of these things [I gathered some of my faves here]:
- Take someone out to lunch with whom you completely disagree. This is SUCH a great idea because the foundations of understanding other people is listening to them first. This could be grimace worthy, or you could treat it as a chance for personal growth and an expansion of yourself and self-concepts! [:
- Schedule time every week to be bored. UGH I LOVE THIS ONE. I’ve already talked about how important going out and taking time away from the screen/pressures/work is, so I’d be super excited to continue this in the new year. This might also be the hardest one, especially when it feels like we all have a million things to do on our to-do list and we don’t know how we’re gonna fit it all in. But MAN the benefits and peace of mind are worth it. Especially when the weather starts getting better, I definitely want to get outside more often, go places without having a real destination, and just allow my mind to wander aimlessly.
- Talk to a stranger every week. In the Starbucks line, the library, the cashier checking out your items… In the latest book I just read [The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon], there’s a very robust acknowledgement of the idea of people feeling invisible in day-to-day interaction. We all have more in common than we think, and the gesture, when done repetitively just might boost our aptitude for small acts of courage and build self-esteem AS WELL as brighten the recipient’s day. Plus, hiding in the self-involved bubble of ourselves is boring.
- Do one thing that scares you–something that you know will result in rejection. Sounds counter-intuitive. But HEY if there’s a way to numb the feelings of rejection and have more confidence in my actions, requests, daily dealings, appearance, etc.– I have to fall on my face a couple times to make sure I know how to get back up. This is another one of the hardest ones, I think, but in all honesty, possibly one of the most rewarding.
So there’s that. I feel like I could write up this list of things wrong with my character, spending habits, weight, whatnot… but quite honestly, some of those things on my list can feel too big, too hard to wrestle with. Taking on small challenges such as the ones above might seem a bit more plausible.
I also read somewhere that, in theory, you shouldn’t have more than 5 things on your to-do list at one time, as anything more than that can be overwhelming, and a huge part of what makes us feel productive is the feeling of whether or not we completed the things that we set out to do/wrote down on our to-do list. The cool thing is that a New Year’s resolution can literally be anything– from making your bed in the morning, to stepping outside for 5-10 mins every day. Don’t let them swallow you, don’t let them consume you– have fun with them, and enjoy all of the learning they have to offer [:
Also, just gonna leave this here: https://alifeofproductivity.com/conduct-an-end-of-year-productivity-review/ [;