Towards a better New Year

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2017 is slowly but surely coming winding down. Most of us can safely say we’ll be ringing in 2018, by God’s grace, with a sigh of relief. To say that this year was a strain financially and even socially is an understatement and I can almost guarantee that most of us are trying to figure out how to do away with excessive baggage and be happier in the New Year after enduring so much in 2017.

The world we will wake up to on January 1, 2018 won’t be the same world we entered exactly one year ago. You never really notice how the atmosphere has shifted until you look back over the past 365 days and realize that considering the events of the year that’s passed, there is simply no way we can move forward without feeling changed in one way or another. Except you’ve been in a comma for the past 365 days, events that have happened are bound to have changed us in one way or another. Unfortunately too, 2017 introduced the world to a lot of heartache, natural disasters, and man-made tragedy across board. But my hope is that we can all find solace in a clean slate and learn from our misfortunes moving forward.

We often make resolutions drawing from experiences and hoping to be better and happier. Here are a few realistic resolutions you can make in order to ensure you’ll be happier in 2018.

Be more grateful for life’s little blessings

2017 started out rocky, and it eventually exploded into a never-ending stream of tragedy and when the negative is all that surrounds you, it’s really easy to lose sight of the parts of your life you should actually be grateful for. Itemize the things that you gained, appreciate how you grew, and recognize what you’re appreciative of. It will help you gain a little bit of perspective on life and as you continue on throughout the New Year, make it a habit to list the things you’re grateful for every now and then.

Make your own contribution toward a better world

It was Mahatma Gandhi who once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” And it was John Mayer who wisely noted, “We’re still waiting for the world to change.” If nothing else, 2017 was definitely a wake-up call to the world that even though we’ve made significant progress, for every one step forward, we’ve often taken two steps back. There’s still so much work to be done, and we are all at least partially responsible for the world we live in. In order to create change, we have to ask ourselves how we can go about doing so, and put these thoughts into actions, even if they seem small.

Focus on your passions

Whether your dream is to be a famous singer or simply to make it through a tough semester at school, we all have dreams and passions that we would ideally like to achieve. I’m not saying 2018 is going to be the year that all of your dreams come true, but then again, I’m not suggesting otherwise, either. It’s all about how seriously to take your dreams and how wildly convinced about them. More often than not, it’s our passions that ignite genuine feelings of joy. So spend time investing in your interests, or look for new hobbies and interests that will elevate your future experiences.

Move your body more

Working out is obviously a great goal to set for your health in the New Year yet you don’t have to be an extreme bodybuilder to reap the mental health benefits of exercise. If you’re a natural gym rat and lift weights regularly, more power to you. But if you’re not into weight lifting or working up a sweat on the treadmill, ditch the fancy gym membership and opt to jog around your block, or simply take a few minutes to stretch it out. The whole idea is to get your health and mental state in a productive well-being.

Take time to meditate and reflect on your emotions

Personally, I think one of the best ways to overcome a period of overwhelming negativity is to become better aware of how you are personally feeling. Understanding your emotions and why they occur can help you compartmentalize your overall thought process and how you react to and cope with difficult situations. You’ll find that some issues are not worth giving up your sanity, happiness and even your life for, if only you’ll learn to take your own emotions by the wheel.

Disconnect from anyone and anything that doesn’t bring you joy

I can personally testify that we often accept what we think we deserve, whether good or, most especially, bad. But in 2018, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and realize that sometimes, you really can change the course of your life if only you can be bold enough to admit what you want and go for it. We are all products of our environment. If you surround yourself with people who cling to negative mindsets, or who are constantly criticizing or taking advantage of you, it’s time to start fresh and cut the cord on that toxicity. Trust me, you don’t need it.

So as we enter to the New Year, take this time to reflect over these resolutions. Feel free to add whatever is peculiar to you or challenges you’ve faced in 2017 and be determined to wheel that turn around for a happier you in 2018. But whatever it was worth, 2017 had to happen but will you let it happen twice?

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