Thoughts on the little actions we can take to have a more fulfilling new year
From New Year’s Eve, many people find themselves in houses of worship; singing, praying and testifying as they crossover into the new year. What better way to start a new year than in the house of God right? Some others ring in the new year in the club, at a party, concert, or dinner. And then, some welcome the new year at home. Whichever way one enters the new year, likely, one does so with some anticipation for what the new year will bring.
Many believe that how you start the year sets the tone for how that year will turn out, so having an idea of changes to be made or some sort of plan usually seems like a good start. For many, the New Year signifies an opportunity to reset so people typically make resolutions. To start afresh, one needs to decide on the things to do or not do, or the things to do more of or less of.
It’s easy to maintain one’s resolution for a few days or maybe even weeks but like most things one hasn’t properly considered and planned for, we tend to fall off the wagon and lose hope quickly. Many new year’s resolutions often also involve drastic changes, so we end up setting ourselves up for failure before we even start. Any wonder why we often fail at keeping true to our resolutions?
But what exactly is in a new year and why do we often wait to make changes then? I wonder about this at the start of every new year. At my last count, there were at least ten different new years around the world, with the Chinese, Ethiopian, and Islamic new year’s being most prominent. Personally, waiting for a new year to make life changes is not something I believe in. Every day might as well be a new year so why wait for a magical day to begin making changes in my life? If I try today and I don’t succeed, I might as well try tomorrow instead of waiting for another year.
Whether you choose to wait till the new year or make any other day your new year, you can make simple resolutions and take small, consistent actions every day to guarantee better results in life. You can start by focusing on each of these areas:
Being Spiritual: Communicating with God requires no ceremony, we all have equal access. We don’t need to be in an exact location, wear specific types of clothes, or follow a regimen. We just need to speak to God and trust that we will be heard. Building this relationship is critical, especially because we are in trying times and our earthly abilities will not always see us through our challenges. We also need to associate with like-minded people so that we can strengthen one another.
Eating Right: Health is wealth and one of the easiest ways of maintaining good health is eating right. From experience, I know that changing what and how one eats can make a significant difference. Ensuring that one eats a balanced diet and limits junk food can improve one’s health. I used to think that cutting out some food groups was the secret to losing and maintaining weight. In reality, it’s more about eating in moderation and ensuring you include fruits, vegetables, and lots of water in your diet.
Getting Physical: As we get older, our bodies begin to age and one good way of slowing down this process is by maintaining moderate to high activity levels. You don’t even have to go to the gym, just start taking long walks, stretching your body, lifting things, and sitting down for shorter periods. Going out under the sun and sweating also helps. The more active you are, the healthier you will become.
Being Social: I watched a TedTalk once that followed a group of people throughout their adult lives from childhood. One key finding was that the people who lived the longest and happiest lives, had a well-defined social network, essentially family and friends they were in touch with. They had people they shared activities with and maintained communication with. We have to be more deliberate about maintaining the relationships around us.
Earning, Saving, and Investing: Since money doesn’t grow on trees, we have to find means of earning so we can meet our needs and also wants. Earning money is good, finding ways of making money produce more money is even better. Many of our financial woes come from not understanding our financial situation and/ or living above our means. We should have a clear idea of what our expenses sum up to so that we can plan our finances better.
Supporting Others: What goes around comes around, some people tend to call it “karma”. Whatever you call it, looking out for other people helps us also look out for ourselves. Whether we are starting a pet project or giving our time or resources to someone else, contributing to making society a better place has its rewards. There are so many people who need the skills and experiences we have, and require a helping hand, or maybe even a listening ear. We could learn to reach out to others more often.
Learning Something New: A lot of people stop actively learning once they are no longer within a school environment. Even at work, many people either do not take learning seriously or do not engage in learning at all. The world is moving at such a fast pace, many of the things we knew before are fast becoming obsolete. You can broaden your worldview by questioning everything, engaging in stimulating discussions, listening and watching analyses of issues, and of course, reading diverse literature.
Making Memories: The sad thing about this is that we often think we need to have tons of money to enjoy life. In reality, we only have to spend time with the people we love and document those events. Creating fun things to do at home, visiting new places, or creating new things together, and taking pictures and making videos to keep those memories for posterity.
As you take action on each of these areas, remember not to sweat the small whilst also doing things at a measured pace. Your major competition is yourself, no one else. Let’s root for one another as we act on our resolutions and just maybe, we can make the world a little bit better. And just in case you do not remember, this is the way I see things today.