It seems only yesterday when Pokemon Go was just released; when the Olympics has just started in Rio, when Leonardo DiCaprio, against all odds, has finally won his first Oscar Award. Yet without us realizing, time has flown by without leaving so much as a hint, and once again, we are left with unfulfilled goals and resolutions, questioning what we could have done better this year.
Nonetheless, crying over spilt milk is but a pointless endeavor. As Philip James Bailey put it beautifully in his poem, “We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths; In feelings, not in figures on a dial.” It is crucial that we understand that we should set out to achieve something in our limited time, or we might as well not do anything at all. If you are still undecided on what you want to achieve in this new year, you might want to take a look at the following ideas!
1. Focus on your family, your friends instead of your phone.
How much time has passed since you peered down to that glimmering, colourful layer of glass? How long has it been since you take a proper look at your father as he slowly hobbles across the garden, instead of walking straight and brisk as he has always done? When is the last time you took your significant other on a date, without replying to those seemingly endless amount of texts?
Perhaps it is time. Time to put the phone down, give your mother a hand as she prepares dinner, laugh along with your friends and give your kids a hug and your wife a kiss.
2. Leave or set clear boundaries for the toxic people and manipulators around you.
We have probably all been guilt-tripped before, coerced by the dejected tone of lines like this: “Oh sure, go ahead, I’ll just cope with this all by myself. It’s not like I comforted you two years ago for a whole month after your breakup.” We are aware of how these people always seem to have a problem with everything, blaming the world for not giving them what they want. Then they frame it in a way where you are the only person who would see the truth together with them and support each other.
These people are toxic, because they never see past themselves. They devour your attention and care, leaving you with little energy to care and fend for yourselves. Take the initiative and cut them from your life. If they are close to you, then set up clear boundaries to specify what kind of behavior you would tolerate.
3. Pack for a trip and travel alone.
Staying in a place for too long turns a person stagnant. Our ideas, mindset become compressed into the small box we call “home”. The benefits travelling offer are enormous – but most importantly, to travel is to escape from the familiar, and acquire new eyes and perspectives. It is to see the same things in a different light, and provoke curiosity even upon seeing the most mundane things. Once we have seen different cultures, practices and people, it frees us of the mould we have fitted ourselves into and makes us a better person.
4. Spend time with people who are there for you.
How many ups and downs have you experienced this year? How many times have you been thankful for having a shoulder to lean on, or someone to hold you and tell you “it’s okay”?
Human beings may be social creatures and have higher intelligence than other animals, yet even we do not offer our help and care to everyone. Therefore, cherish the ones who made time for you, took care of you, and treated you with love and make time for them as well. After all, if they supported you at your worst – they deserve you at your best.
5. Face your negativities and let them go.
From a tender young age, we were taught to suppress our negative emotions – namely anger, envy, fear, sorrow, and so on. We were told that showing these emotions present a side that people dislike.
However, for many of us who watched Inside Out, it might be easier to comprehend that we need a balance of emotions for us to function normally as human beings. One can only be peaceful with oneself when he/she understands the roots of his/her negativities – and allow them to dissipate in the wind.
6. Pay close attention to your goals.
Too many of us enjoy the thrill of writing down new goals but fail to follow up on them one that period of determination has passed. As a result, plans are never achieved, diets never completed, gym time never increased.
But not all hope is lost! The trick is to make these goals reachable, and ensure you are motivated to complete them every day. By breaking down your goals into small and achievable tasks, setting due dates and rewarding yourself for each completed task, and measuring your overall progress, you are on a one-way highway towards accomplishing your goals!
7. Focus on yourself.
There is nothing more important than living for yourself. To quote Dr. Seuss, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one in you life that’s more important than your own self. Live because you are a miracle for yourself, and for others. Live for your wellbeing, your happiness, and stop comparing your life with others.
A new year has come. But it does not have to be the same as the last one – get up, get out, and get moving!