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Six New Year’s resolutions you will actually be able to follow

Erika Schwartz, Staff Writer

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Well, it’s that time again. The dreaded New Year’s resolution season. By some miracle, some people are actually able to keep their resolutions after the first two weeks.

I am not part of that small percentage.

I have declared my New Year’s Resolutions every year for as long as I can remember, but I’ve never once kept them the entire 365 days. Although I believe many people think the point of making resolutions is to keep them every day for the year, I have started to realize there is no possible way for me to do so. We cannot, in any way, shape, or form, predict the future and know how we will react to every single situation or struggle we are faced with in the next year.

So, there is no way we can expect ourselves to adhere to our goals every day. It is simply setting us up for failure. I really just don’t think we are programmed in a way that allows us “stick to” something every hour of every day.

So, in the spirit of being optimistic, (but not overly optimistic, apparently) I give you six New Year’s resolutions you will actually be able to confidently say you kept at the end of 2018.

1. Be truly present in every moment.

Here is the short and condensed version: Make it a goal to feel everything. Refuse to let anything slip through your grasp without feeling it in your soul. It’s easy to take things for granted and fail to realize how important certain moments are. So, make it a point to really feel every moment. Breathe it in. Let it soak in to your pores. Let this be the year that you finally feel grounded, and fully, fully aware.

2. Make real, positive effort to be healthier.

Rather than saying “This year I will lose 30 pounds” or “This year I will work out every day” or “This year I will eat healthy every single day,” promise to make a true effort to obtain a healthier you. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make fitness goals of your own, just don’t make them your resolutions. Honestly try to sleep more, go to the gym more, choose leafy greens more, take care of your mental health more. The goal is to say: “Overall I made a true effort to be healthier than I was last year.”

3. Practice Kindness.

I would consider myself to be an overall nice person. But there is a large difference in being nice and being kind. Kind is accepting someone in class who has wild ideas and opinions. It’s refraining from judging the person who wears pajamas in the cafeteria or smokes outside of the dorm. Kind is trying (and I mean, truly trying) to understand an opinion of someone else.

4. Be a better listener.

I know for myself, it is easy to think about myself all the time. When I have a bad day, all I want to do is talk about my woes and everything that ruined my day. Instead of going on and on about yourself and your goals and your shortcomings, vow to be a better listener. To your parents. Your best friends. Your significant other. Your teachers/professors. Your worst enemies. People who annoy you. Make an honest effort to truly hear them and what they have to say. You might learn something.

5. Be more thankful.

Being thankful is more than saying “thank you” or sending a template impersonal “thank you” note. Pledge to be more deeply grateful for things you do have, rather than what you don’t. Realize the opportunities you have been given — seize them!!! Don’t let even the smallest act go unnoticed. Even when you can’t be anything else, you can be thankful.

6. Strengthen your beliefs.

At the end of the day, I hope everyone has something they believe in. Whether it be religion or science, truth or life, lightness or darkness — the one thing that will get you through times of struggles and brokenness is your beliefs. Turn to the thing that gives you hope in times of hurt and sun in the coldest places. Make a true and honest effort to turn to whatever it is that warms your heart in times of need and feeds your soul when it is hollow.

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Six New Year’s resolutions you will actually be able to follow