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Here Is The Closest I Got To Making My New Year Resolutions Realistic

As we grow up, we come to believe that most promises are hollow; that people do whatever they want to, irrespective of their word. With time, we consider New Year’s Resolutions as a childish venture; one you would only believe under the delusion of inexperience.

But how rare is it that society offers you a clean slate? A strongly held belief that something ‘new’ is in the offing; that you have a chance to re-do your life. Be it childish, but in the history of time, this is perhaps the only man-made product that isn’t ruining us all.

Jocko Willink, a former Navy SEAL commander, author, and podcast host, has extensively spoken about why people fail to stick to their New Year’s Resolutions. People generally set abstract goals which are larger-than-life. “Become happy”, “Become wealthy”, but they rarely ever list “how”.

The key to achieving something is taking consistent baby steps towards it. If you want to be healthy, then start by reducing your sugar intake one day a week. Go up from there, and then expand. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your resolutions won’t work under pixie dust either.

Suggested read: 12 New Year’s Resolutions Every Couple Should Make

Here is the closest I got to making my new year resolutions realistic:

1. Switch off when angry.

woman angry_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License 

In 2017, I had a lot of cause to be angry, and I followed up with several. I’m grateful for most of them, because they helped me stand up for myself. But there were a significant few I could have avoided if I was more careful. Being angry or holding a grudge drains more of my energy than contribute to any positive solution.

So, here’s what I’m going to do in 2018: When circumstances or people make me agitated, I’m going to move away for a while. This means switching my phone’s data or power off for an hour at the least, or physically leaving the zone of confrontation. Most of the horrible situations I found myself in, could be prevented by some calm, rational thinking.

2. Say one good thing to somebody, every day.

I am often crippled by the thought of not being verbally grateful enough. I carry a Universe full of gratitude for every human being and milestone I have been blessed with. But I should probably say “I love you”, more often; say “I am grateful for your existence”; say “you made me happy when I needed it the most”; say “you carry so much light within you”. It is wrong for us to expect others to figure out the workings of our mind. You know best about how you feel, so practice saying it aloud.

So, here’s what I’m going to do in 2018: I will get better at verbally communicating my gratitude, and not take for granted the fact that everybody automatically gets it.

3. Make my “thank you-s” louder.


Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License 

For years, I have consciously made myself say thank you to every shopkeeper, every watchman, every attendant opening the door for me, every anybody who does anything for me. Over time, I have grown more conscious of the surroundings, though. And, not in a good way. You see, my country has too many native tongues for English to be the main medium of communication. A couple of un-acknowledged “thank you-s” made me feel like I was being unnecessary. Gradually, some of them dropped to a whisper sometimes; limited to being merely a self-imposed ritual.

I have considered switching to my native tongue, if that’s what it takes. But I cannot say “thank you” in Bengali without sounding pretentious. The very fact that most people don’t use that word any more, makes me feel out of place. At one point, I even believed that switching to Bengali for the sake of the shopkeeper would seem condescending.

See what an over-thinking brain can do? It ruins things that are perfectly simple, and don’t require the complications you have conveniently created.

So, here’s what I’m going to do in 2018: I will say thank you. Loudly. Anywhere. To anybody. As many times as I damn well please.

4. Set aside 30 minutes each day to reply to text messages.


Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License 

Anybody who knows me, knows I am a horrible texter. My capabilities of maintained conversation defy any adjective whatsoever. To be perfectly clear, the truth isn’t that I don’t wish to or appreciate speaking to most of them. I just cannot. Or rather, I haven’t been able to.

Being an introvert at heart, texting isn’t my A-game. What do you do when you have exhausted your desire for communication, but cannot cut the discussion midway? You go offline. That’s what I thought. But I’ve only recently realized that every conversation should be brought to a close, and I should not leave people hanging. There are messages I see in the widget, reply to them in my head, and get back to them two months later. That is unhealthy, and downright unfair on my part. If somebody has taken time out of their schedule to communicate with me, the least I could do is respect it.

So, here’s what I’m going to do in 2018: I will take 30 minutes each day to clear my inbox. At the end of 2017, I got into a fix when I realized I had 120 unopened chat boxes. That isn’t going to happen this year. (I also have to get better at answering the phone, but I’ll leave that for 2019.)

5. Ask myself “does it matter?” when I use the excuse of societal opinions as a hindrance to my work.

ART BY MEGHALEE_New_love_times

Image source: Meghalee Mitra

It took me a lot of time and many self-talk sessions before I launched an art-page for my doodles. 100% of it was because I felt completely unworthy. How dare I, as an amateur artist, demand space in the Newsfeed of others? Some weeks, when all I’ve done is share doodles, I’ve noticed my follower-count go down. Maybe they were just here for the jokes and the outrage. But does it really matter?

So, here’s what I’m going to do in 2018: I will ask myself a couple of questions every time I let my self-bashing hamper my work. “Who are you doing this for?” “Is this how YOU feel about yourself?” “So what if they hate it?” “Do they matter more than your desire to create?”

Suggested read: 10 bizarre New Year traditions from across the world

6. Do one act of self-love, every day.

woman blowing bubbles_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License 

I have been an advocate of loving yourself for as long as I can remember. How then have I failed at it so miserably? It is important to understand that a doctrine does not stand on its own. It needs to be imbibed via actions. Otherwise, it’s just a fancy concept you carry as a badge.

In 2017, I let myself be destroyed, and learned to build myself up from the wreckage. Granted, that I would never have risen a step beyond that debris if it hadn’t been for my parents and my friends. Loving yourself is not going to be easy. Sometimes, it is the most difficult thing to do. How do we choose ourselves when we have been taught to lay our lives down for others, all through human consciousness? You take baby steps. That’s how.

So, here’s what I’m going to do in 2018: Every day, I’m going to consciously do one act of self-love, at least. It could be something as small as remembering to feed myself, or something as big as prioritizing health over work. Now, I know that after a long term of self-abuse, I’m probably going to forget this clause sometimes. But I also know, that at the end of the year, I’m going to be much healthier than I am right now. One only has to begin.

7. Unfollow and remove toxic people.

Most of us don’t realize how much our surroundings influence us. This is why patients are advised to get a “change of air”, sometimes. Re-painting your room to a warmer color can show immediate effects on your mood.

People work the same way. The more negative, or abusive people you surround yourself with, the less happy you turn out to be. Toxic human influence is as bad as injecting an expired drug. It kills you from the inside.

So, here’s what I’m going to do in 2018: Every time I see something that strongly bothers me on my Newsfeed, I’m going to unfollow the post. If the user continues to bombard my mental space with such negativity, then I will promptly unfollow, unfriend, or block them. There is nothing petty about finding an avenue to peace.

This policy applies to the three-dimensional world too. Nobody is allowed to ruin my mental health any longer.

8. Make more realistic to-do lists.

Every workaholic will agree when I say that we experience a perverse form of pleasure by pushing ourselves beyond our limits. While it is okay to indulge in hyper-goals on a few days, it is an extremely unhealthy routine to put yourself through. I’ve tried to rectify that with my new year resolutions this year.

Every body has different health requirements. It is important to understand what your body needs in order to function. I require a minimum of 8 hours of sleep in order to feel fresh. In 2017, I think I granted myself that luxury on 20 days or less.

So, here’s what I’m going to do in 2018: I am going to accept that I’m not Hercules, and set myself a to-do list that human beings can achieve. The best way to do that is to allot time periods to your tasks, leaving significant margins between the slots. Now you know how much can be done in 24 hours.

9. Write for myself.

ART BY MEGHALEE_New_love_times

Image source: Meghalee Mitra

The thing about turning your passion projects into jobs, is that you get stuck in a commercial bubble. Previously, whenever a good idea struck, I’d turn it into a poem, story, or a rant. After a little over 2 years of freelancing, it takes me less than 10 minutes to mold that idea into an audience-specific topic and a selling strategy. I never realized that I had completely stopped writing for myself.

So, here’s what I’m going to do in 2018: Airplane Poetry Movement has launched a program whereby, the ones who sign up, have to write 100 poems this year. The kind people at APM will issue prompts every week, and mail writing guidelines too. This is more than one could ever ask for. I am and will be trying my best to stick to this plan. The best part is, even if I don’t make it to a hundred, I will still have written something. Anything is better than zero.

10. Create one project I’m proud of, every month.

While browsing through the inter-web, I stumbled upon a listicle that enlisted habits of hard-workers. One tweet read “Don’t half-a$$ anything with your name on it.” I remember it distinctly as being a life-changing moment, because it was then that I realized the gravity of the footprints I leave behind me. Over-working Freelancers always take on more than they can possibly complete. But we do it anyway. And, sometimes, it compromises on the quality of the product. I have also given years of my life away to organizations I did not care about, and who in turn, cared even less about me.

So, here’s what I’m going to do in 2018: Every month I will create a project I am proud of. It could be an article, a painting, a doodle, or anything new that I can come up with. And, I will do it for myself.

Suggested read: The Most Inspiring Self-Help Books You Need To Make Your New Year BETTER

Following through with my new year resolutions will not be easy, I know. But anything worth having never came easy, did it?

Here’s to self-discovery and months of productive healing.

Featured image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License 

Article Name
Here Is The Closest I Got To Making My New Year Resolutions Realistic
Following through with my new year resolutions will not be easy, but anything worth having never came easy! Here's to months of productive healing.
Meghalee Mitra

Meghalee Mitra

My introductions have always been "I'm too awkward for this." My exercise routine comprises oscillating between being serious and bat-shit-crazy, laziness, and hyper-activity. I love words, live for food, and am always looking for magic.