First off, I’d like to wish you all a happy new year! I can’t believe I’ve been blogging almost 8 months, and I’m so excited to be starting 2014 with you all.
I wasn’t thinking I’d write a post about the new year, but I kept seeing posts popping up about resolutions and blogging, and I thought I’d share some of my ideas for resolutions that I’ve tried or want to try that help you think more positively and avoid that mid-January guilt when resolutions can start to fall apart.
I’m going to start this post with a confession: I’m usually not one to make new year’s resolutions. I don’t think we need an excuse to think about bettering ourselves. But this year was an important year for me, and I have an even crazier year coming up as I graduate college, so it seemed like if there’s ever a time to focus on change, it’s now.
I came up with 14 things I want to work on in 2014. Most of the items on the list are ways to help me slow down and appreciate the people around me and events in my day-to-day life. It’s often tough to remember to think positively when there’s so much regular stress and routine. But I’m not trying to move mountains, here. The key is that these items are doable, and they have no deadline. These are things I want to do for myself and know I can.
Here are some ideas for resolutions that don’t take much time, but can really improve your thinking:
- Make a “happy jar” – All you need to do for this is take a few minutes at the end of each day and record your favorite moments (anything that made you smile, feel proud, etc.), and put them all into a jar. It’s amazing how many of these little moments we experience each day and forget soon afterwards. It’s also a lot of fun going through them all when the year is over! I did this last year, and this year I want to be more detailed and creative with my notes — you can use tickets, birthday cards, doodles, craft paper, pieces from magazines, and anything else you can think of.
- Do your own 365grateful project – I stumbled across a blog post by a photographer who decided to take a photo each day of something she was grateful for, and she was completely floored by how much it made her appreciate everything around her. I’m trying it this year, too, and I can’t wait to upload my photo each day. Sometimes it’s hard to choose just one, and if you miss one it’s not a big deal at all. I’m uploading all of mine to Flickr (you can use their app or the web), so I have a place that’s just for these photos.
- Spend mornings away from social media – Over the past few months I’ve noticed how much time I lose every morning by reaching right for my phone to check every single social media account I have. I’ll wake up ready to get started, but after a half hour or so on my phone I suddenly can’t seem to get out of bed. Instead, I’ve been getting up right away, journaling, or working on my thesis, and it has already made a huge difference on my mood.
- Collect tickets, movie stubs, and other trinkets – This may go with the “happy jar,” but it also might not. It takes much less time than the previous ideas but still gives you a lot to look back on at the end of the year. This one would be especially good if your resolution is to get out more.
- Find your inner storyteller – If one of your resolutions is to think creatively, even during the most stressful times, a good activity to make a habit is to take events in your life or your friends’ lives and rewrite them. Looking for possibilities will help you feel less stuck in your daily routine and maybe even give you a laugh when you need it most.
I hope these ideas are useful or can help you think of at least one positive action to adopt for the new year (and beyond!). What are your new years resolutions?