It’s January 8, 2014 and probably half of us have given up on our resolutions. The reason being? We knew they were unrealistic when we semi-committed to them on December 31. My resolutions of years past included things like, “no sugar” and “exercising daily.” Cue the chuckles.
I’ve changed my outlook on resolutions this year. We create them with the intention that they will likely make us happier or healthier, no? If I cut out carbs, I’ll lose 10 pounds and then I will be happy. If I run four miles a day I’ll be in shape and then I’ll feel better about myself. These expectations we put on ourselves are well meaning but they might make us more unhappy than when we started if these goals aren’t fulfilled. Setting yourself up to fail is a quick way to begin the year feeling defeated and worse yet, lead to giving up entirely.
They tell us, “Happy New Year.” Well how do we really make ourselves happy? Starving ourselves and slaving away at the gym? Not quite. A happy 2014 for me is quality time with family, less complaining and learning a new skill. These may not be as tangible as losing a few lbs. or burning x calories, but your spirit will feel it all the same. So today I’m thinking about some REAL resolutions that will actually make you happy:
1. Take a walk once a week and take a picture every time of something that makes you smile. You’ll be amazed at what you start noticing. If you see a rose, smell it. If you see a horse (like I did the other day), give it a pet—just make sure it’s friendly!
2. Catch your complaining: Nix the negative. This can be a challenge for me since sometimes I complain subconsciously without even noticing it. Be aware of what you say and truly think before you speak.
3. Designate your time: Using your phone and laptop to work is essential. However, using them at 11:00 pm when it’s time to rest or employing them as devices to avoid social conversation is not necessary. Work hard during the intentional time you set aside and then truly, set your devices aside.
4. Eat sugar: in moderation. For all the sugar addicts out there (ME), you don’t need to cut yourself off. That will make you unhappy in no time. Instead, I’ve decided I’ll have a sweet four days out of the week, once a day. Of course I cheat on this but it helps me become more conscious of what I’m choosing.
5. Watch less, read more: I’ve noticed in 2013 more than ever that many of us are reading less and less. It’s easier to be mindless watching a movie or a show and sure, there’s a time and a place for that. But focus your enjoy toward a story that you can delve in. It’s worth your time.
I hope you all have a very HAPPY New Year and that your resolution lasts all the way through the year, not just the first three days of January.
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook