Ah, New Year's. A time of year when, as a person in the health and wellness industry, I find myself deliberately avoiding all social media accounts. I know it will be a barrage of 'new year, new you' quotes, resolutions and goals. It's like my phone starts to yell at me to improve OR ELSE. All the power to you if you’re planning on achieving new things and becoming your "best self" — whatever that means for you. But for those of you who are skeptical of new year pledges, I wanted to offer a little list of realistic resolutions that everyone can feasibly achieve on the first day of 2019. You'll be able to tick everything off this list, effectively nailing 2019 before January 2nd rolls around.
1. Take Three Consecutive Deep Breaths
Three breaths in a row where you fill up and empty the lungs. Feel the miraculous transformation of your personage as the air molecules of an unsullied 2019 enter the body. I guarantee a genuine sense of "I'm basically a hero" will follow. If not that, then at the very least you'll be more relaxed. Goal number one achieved!
2. Hug Someone
Make sure it's for at least 15 to 20 seconds. This is when the brain releases oxytocin — a feel-good hormone that has all sorts of good benefits. So find a person who won't be weirded out by prolonged eye contact followed by a hug that defies social norms, and feel the good feels that follow.
(Image by Hian Oliveira)
3. Listen More, Talk Less
Active listening is the new black. Or at least it should be. We spend a lot of time talking, mainly about ourselves. It's amazing what listening to someone else without the intent of interrupting, correcting, or interjecting can do. Listening to another person with the sole purpose of simply hearing what they have to say — maybe even repeating back to them what they said with an air of compassion — can be a total game changer. It can pull you out of your own little world, and bring the person you are listening to a sense of being seen and appreciated. Start with someone that doesn’t annoy the heck out of you for best results.
4. Try Not to Take Yourself So Seriously
According to current thinking, the known universe is approximately 93 billion light years in diameter. There are just over 7.5 billion people on Earth. It’s highly unlikely we are the center of these statistics. So the next time you fart in public please keep in mind the minutiae of your existence. I’m not saying this to dishearten you, but liberate you from taking yourself too darn seriously. So eat cake, tell a joke, take that well-deserved nap — the sky is a 93 billion light year limit!!
5. Name One Thing You Are Grateful For
Forget a list of things you are grateful for. Name just one thing. Sit and think about it for a while, and observe how this contemplation can completely change your countenance, usually for the better. Whether it’s cat memes, your mom, your favourite food or song, sit with the feeling of gratitude this one thing elicits, and let it warm you like a hot towel fresh out of the dryer. (Coincidentally, warm towels are definitely something to be grateful for.)
So there you have it. 5 things you can realistically accomplish in one day, setting you up to kick off the year with a great start. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves! Start small, be kind to yourself and take it one day at a time. Because who knows what 2019 holds! That’s the terrifying fun of it all.