“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”
― T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
The one thing harder than sticking to a resolution, is making one. As 2016 finally decided to leave, after much pleading, it’s time to welcome 2017 with open arms. Here are 30 new year’s resolution ideas for all 20-somethings.
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1. Start somewhere
I’ve read several posts about how the 1st of January does not “magically” change anything. But, what it does, is give you a new beginning. It’s like wiping a ledger clean. The illusion of a “new year”, is to tell you that you can start afresh. All those dance classes you never found the time to take, every doodle who didn’t think you could make, every song you always wanted to learn how to play, this is your chance. Start here. Start now.
2. Baby steps
Your life is longer than a day. When today seems too much for you, remind yourself that there will be a tomorrow; that all the things on your bucket-list aren’t meant for one day; that while it takes a giant leap to reach the moon, it was made possible by baby steps. There’s no rush.
3. Give yourself cheat days
Having a regime is extremely necessary, but so is taking time off. “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy.” Don’t be too hard on yourself, and allot yourself necessary and sufficient breaks.
4. Follow ‘Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne
This book is an experience. Byrne takes you on a month long journey into your soul, and you come out a different, much happier person. It’s a must-read for every single one of us drowning in the kind of stress we didn’t sign up for.
5. Notice little things
“’Cause nothing really matters, except the little things.”
It’s the little things that really make life what it is. A small gesture, the fact that your friend remembers what you said two months ago, an old friend checking up on you, a warm smile from a stranger, all of these have the quality of turning a bad day around. Notice them, because they carry more love in them than any grand monetary expression ever will.
6. Be grateful
This is perhaps the most important of all the new year’s resolution ideas. Say ‘thank you’ and mean it. Every time. There’s nothing such as being “too grateful”. Often, we take things for granted and forget that we’re actually super privileged. For every meal you don’t have to cook, every fee you don’t have to pay, every friend who stuck by you, and all the good things that nature sends your way, be grateful.
7. Find Coelho’s moment
Paulo Coelho says that there’s a moment of happiness in each day. It might pass you by unnoticed, and mostly it does, but if you’re aware enough, there’s one moment of calmness in each day; a split second, when you’re looking out of the window, and you realize that everything will be okay. Look for that magic, in all your days.
8. Let other’s think for themselves
We are so overcome with everybody else’s opinion of us, all the time, that they’re technically out of a job. Don’t take away the one form of entertainment that they have.
9. Be your own person
Belong to yourself, first. Ayn Rand said, “To say ‘I love you’, one must first know how to say the ‘I’.” We pledge our lives away too easily, to our careers and human beings. This year, learn to be your own person, to take your own decisions based on what you deem right, and stop depending on anybody else to make you human.
10. Hate less
The world, today, is steeped in hatred. I know it sounds like pep talk when I ask you to take the harder way and try liking other people, genuinely, but understand that all the wars being fought arise out of hatred. And, while you may not be killing people physically, I wish you could see the mental picture.
11. Make a difference
No, I’m not asking you to donate millions of dollars to charity. By all means, if you have that kind of money, go ahead. However, for the rest, you can make a difference simply by smiling back at a stranger. A girl in Delhi was pregnant with the child of somebody apart from her boyfriend, and wished to commit suicide, rather than telling her mother. When people all over the world read her SnapStory, they sent all their love and support to her, and guess what? Not only did she live, she also told her mother, and they went together, in peace, to get her treated. A small gesture goes a very long way. Remember, you matter.
12. Let your humans know they matter
Take some time to tell your best people how much they mean to you. I do not understand the stigma attached with excess display of affection. Tell your people you love them in every sentimental way possible. Who are you holding back for, anyway?
13. Give time to your family
“There is no home like the one you’ve got/ ‘Cause that home belongs to you.”
There’s nobody like family. Irrespective of the issues you might have with them from time to time, they are your bedrock, your corner stone. This year, piece some time out of your jam-packed schedule, and spend it with them. Phone and Work Thoughts on airplane mode!
14. Party hard, exercise harder
I am all for partying. In fact, I’d like to do that for a living (please?). Our 20s is the time when we abuse our bodies the most. We drink more than we can handle, party harder than we can take, eat the wrong kinds of food, etc. Remember that you have to be alive to see the result of all the hard work you do in your 20s, and they won’t happen overnight. Do you really want to die before you can afford that sea-side villa?
15. Start saving
We’re the #MonthEndBrokes. Our generation barely knows what it means to ‘save’ money for the ‘future’. I didn’t either, until this happened: I desperately wanted to buy a certain book, but had obviously run out of money for the month. I was at my grandmother’s house, cleaning my cupboard when I chanced upon a dusty old clay model of an apple, and it seemed really heavy. It’s only then that I realized it was my Piggy Bank from 10 years ago, which had double the money I needed right then. I actually ended up putting the jar back and not spending a penny.
16. Rule the wild, don’t let the wildness rule you
I have never judged a person for their taste in alcohol, their inclination towards weed or cigarettes. And, I have always expected the same acceptance from people around me (Hahaha!). My mother always says, however, that it’s okay to do something as long as it doesn’t get the better of you. So, while you go wild, make sure it doesn’t trap you in it.
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17. Live today
“Die another day”, seriously. In trying to plan for the future, we forget to live in the moment. In worrying about a meeting, we realize the only part of the day we’ve lived is 9pm, over and over again.
18. Let go of the wrong
Often, some toxic thoughts and/or relationships become such integral parts of our life, that we almost treat them as habits. This year, recognize the elements that pull you down. It could be your job, a food item, a routine, a person, anything at all. Weed them out, and while letting go isn’t easy, it’s definitely rewarding.
19. Turn your ‘what if’ into ‘yay/oops’
“If you never try, you’ll never know/ Just what you’re worth.”
Take risks, plunge in, and see your ‘possibilities’ to their end. Irrespective of where you end up, you’ll have one less unanswered question in your life. Let the lights guide you home.
20. Give yourself time
Space, is essential. Being caught up in the humdrum of daily life, we forget to really listen to ourselves. Take some time off, every day, and spend it with yourself, watching TV, binge eating, or just simply sitting, idly sprawled on the couch. This year, get to know yourself better.
21. Find a life outside your degrees
Your scores don’t define you. As much as institutions and coaching centers advertise otherwise, they’re only doing that to earn revenue. Don’t be foolish enough to think a 96% score makes you a brilliant person. Find a life outside your degrees. Take up that ballet class you wanted to when you were 6, or cook that thing you saw on TV, maybe write that story that’s been speaking to you. Find your calling.
22. Dream big
The only things untaxed in our lives are our dreams. Why hold back? Dream as big as you want, across as many galaxies as your heart desires, never let anybody put reins on your demands from life.
23. Count your blessings
Here’s an exercise. Buy a jar and decorate it any way you want. Then take colored chits, and every week, write the best thing that happened to you during those 7 days, and put them into the jar. As the year ends, you’ll have bundles of good memories to fall back on, and realize that life is actually pretty good.
24. Remember that others need your permission to pull you down
Your mind is like a house. Only you have the permission to grant entry. I see so many people being torn down by bullies and snide comments. While I cannot go slap each one of them, I can remind you that you have the choice of shutting them out, of making them so insignificant that their words feel unworthy of having an impact on you.
25. Stand up for something/someone
Take a stand, choose a side. Your opinion counts, so let it be heard, even if it’s unpopular. I’ve always stood up for the fact that sorrow is not a competition, and every time somebody says, “Listen to my story, it’s worse”, I tell them that this isn’t a race. Do I get hatred for it? Yes. Does that stop me? No. If you really believe in something, go ahead protect that idea.
26. Fight for what they said you couldn’t have
Don’t let anybody tell you that you cannot. It takes the tiniest of beliefs, to move mountains.
27. Learn that happiness is a choice
Our generation struggles with a great onslaught of depression, albeit, of varying degrees. While you cannot choose to sidestep depression, trying to stop it affecting you, works wonders. I was watching a movie, in a lot of sadness, when I realized my sadness is baseless, and I can choose not to be sad. For most of us, depression becomes a habit. Don’t let it take you.
28. Be real
The next time you try donning a mask in a gathering, understand this: The show that you put up, goes to complete waste because everybody else around you is busy managing their own shows too. Don’t put in so much effort for people who don’t accept you for who you are. They are not worth hiding from.
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29. “Just Do It”
Remember that start-up you’d planned two years ago? Or, that painting that’s still half (un)done? Or that ring, in a corner of your drawer, waiting to be on your partner’s finger? What if I told you that now is the time? This year, just do it.
30. This year, fall in love with yourself
“Love thyself, thyself is awesome.”
Put your name on the top of your priority list, and be the best friend you always wish you had.
I hope you find peace in this New Year’s resolution ideas. And, this New Year, I hope you find all that you’re looking for. Especially, a lot of happiness.
“It has been one of the greatest and most difficult years of my life. I learned everything is temporary. Moments. Feelings. People. Flowers. I learned love is about giving- everything- and letting it hurt. I learned vulnerability is always the right choice because it is easy to be cold in a world that makes it so very difficult to remain soft. I learned all things come in twos: life and death, pain and joy, sugar and salt, me and you. It is the balance of the universe.
It has been the year of hurting so bad but living so good, making friends out of strangers, making strangers out of friends. . .
We must learn to focus on warm energy, always. Soak our limbs in it and become better lovers to the world, for if we can’t learn to be kinder to each other how will we ever learn to be kinder to the most desperate parts of ourselves.”