Every new year, people are jumping into resolutions, lifestyle changes, weight goals, and the list goes on. I used to do the same. After watching the ball drop on the TV, I would make a list of personal goals... they'd always be the same: feed my turtle regularly, run every day, sit straighter, be neater, stop procrastinating. Last year, I spiced it up with a "happy jar," which I maintained until beginning college. I hope to continue writing down positive memories in a mini-notebook, and I'd highly recommend it-- it's not only beneficial for optimistic thinking and memories keeping, but also motivates you to find memorable things to do. Though I think the new year can be a great time to start fresh and make positive changes, from past experience, the changes are often temporary; by the end of next year, I'd again be a hot mess with the same old list of goals.
However, I think I did pretty well this past 2015. I exercised consistently, ate much healthier, and created better study habits (the slouching is still a work in progress). So I'd like to share some tips, and none have to do with "new years resolutions."
Tip #1: Do not think a new year means you can shed your former self. The "man-made" year may have changed, but time is a continuum. You are a continuation, a mosaic of every decision, experience, and habit since your first breath. You may not be proud of every choice former you have made, but hopefully from the mistakes, you have learned something valuable. Therefore, change is also gradual. You cannot change into your ideal vision of yourself overnight. Change is possible, but it takes commitment. Be ready to commit.
Tip #2: Keep your expectations reasonable. It is good to have goals, but make sure they are realistic. Make sure you can keep the promises you make to yourself. Overly high expectations will cause unhappiness. Don't forget to be happy, even when there is little to be happy about. A change in expectations can make a world of a difference.
Tip #3: Make self improvement a way of living. If you really want to become a better version of yourself, make consistent improvements embedded into your life. Be open to new ideas and experiences, do not fear judgement or vulnerability or the unknown. The only way to improve is to embrace change...and sometimes that means stepping out of your comfort zone.
Tip #4: Enjoy the process. Trust me, the end result is not what makes your achievement worthwhile. It's the sweat and tears, the sacrifice and grit, that make you scream with joy when you realize how far you've come. So instead of dreaming about the future, live in the present, and appreciate where you are right now, because it is present you that has the power to create future you.
Hope these tips help you guys. Stay awesome, and have a fabulous, memorable, heart-throbbing 2016.