Forget Resolutions - Start a New Year’s Evolution!
I have never been a huge fan of making New Year’s resolutions. Everyone always seems so motivated the first few weeks of the year, but by Valentine’s Day, we’ve slipped back into our old habits. Maybe it’s the type of promises we make to ourselves, like hitting the gym more often or giving up chocolate. Last year, I was determined to make some changes and actually stick to them, so I called them ‘challenges’ instead of resolutions. I guess I just respond better when someone says I can’t do something or I am given an unrealistic goal. In January, I set out to get in shape and run a half marathon. I am happy to report that a year later, I not only completed a half marathon, but also a 15k and several 5k races, too. As for the getting in shape part, I was down 70 pounds before the holidays rolled around, but a few have crept back on. I’m not worried though, because I plan to challenge myself again this year and start a New Year’s evolution! If you’re tired of breaking your resolutions, consider joining me by accepting the following challenges for 2014.
1. Pamper Yourself
I am horrible about making time for me. I always put my friends and family first. This year, I am challenging myself to schedule time each week to just relax and unwind. I plan to enjoy a bubble bath, read a book (for fun!), and even take a nap during the middle of the afternoon. I even enrolled in a massage membership to ensure I pamper myself at least once a month. Heck, I may even try meditation or yoga classes. I know this may sound a bit selfish, but I have learned that if you continue to do everything for everyone else, you’ll eventually burn out. When that happens, you’re not going to be able to help anyone, including yourself. Give yourself a break, even if it’s only 30 minutes a day. I promise that it will improve your mental and physical well-being.
2. Fuel Your Passion
When I was in high school, I was very involved in theater and music. Somehow, I let school and life get in the way. I still love singing and do it every chance I get: in the car, in the shower, or at karaoke night. This year, I’m challenging myself to audition for a local play or musical. I want to feel that rush when I’m out on stage performing in front of a live audience. If I get really adventurous, I may even enroll in a stand-up comic course at my local comedy club. I love making people laugh and have often wondered if I could do it as a profession. I may fall flat on my face, but at least I won’t be saying ‘what if’ anymore. I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone this year and attempt something new, or revive an old activity you really enjoyed. Follow your dreams before they fade away.
3. Stop Procrastinating
Do you have a bad habit of putting off things you’d rather not deal with or pushing back tasks that seem really boring? Me, too; that’s probably why I’m always stressed out. It’s sort of like when I was a kid and my mom would serve me dinner. I’d eat all of my favorite items first and leave the nasty stuff for last. Unfortunately, that just ended up making my time at the dinner table much longer than it needed to be, and leaving a bad taste in my mouth for hours. I didn’t figure this out until recently, but if you tackle the unpleasant things first and save the best for last, you’ll enjoy it so much more.
4. Make New Friends
It’s so easy to just continue to hang out with your best friends. They know everything about you and you know everything about them. After a while, you might even feel like you’re married to them. Spending time at the same bars and restaurants, or just watching a video at home, it can get boring at some point. Now, I’m not suggesting you dump any of your besties, but it might be time to add something new to the mix. A great way to meet new people is to sit with someone who is eating alone, or check out a new club. Don’t be shy; ask that cute guy to dance or buy him a drink. Did a new neighbor just move in? Ask him or her out to lunch. Heck, you could even strike up a conversation while you’re standing in line at the grocery store. There’s always room for another friend in your inner circle!
This New Year, don’t set yourself up to fail by placing unrealistic expectations on yourself. You’re a work in progress, and like any great masterpiece, it will take time to get everything just right. Happy New Year!