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PHOTO: See Kay

20(20) Achievable New Year's Resolutions

When January rolls around, we are all guilty of making grand, pie-in-sky resolutions that end up going nowhere. So how do you break out of this vicious cycle of meaningless merry-go-rounds? Here are 20 realistic resolution ideas that you can stick to in 2020. 

1. Start small… or just start

Most people say aloud or write down their plans but they never end up putting them into action. Commit and then take the necessary steps to set yourself on the path to self-actualisation. Whether your goal is to lose weight, learn a new skill or start reading, it is important to kickstart the habit, and build it little by little until it becomes second nature.

2. Forgive yourself

When you face setbacks and roadblocks, the tendency is to dwell on it to the point of inertia. There’s no use beating yourself up and giving up at the first hurdle. The fear of failure is sometimes more debilitating than the failure itself. Pick yourself up, dust yourself and go again.

3. Consistency is key

Hands up if you’ve ever signed up for a new gym membership, got super hyped for it only to end up giving up after a couple of months and not turning up anymore because you got “busy”. There’s no point going balls-to-the walls and burning out almost as fast. It takes time to develop a habit and it’s all about consistency.

4. Celebrate small wins

Completed your school assignment? Go enjoy that Netflix marathon. Finished your first ever 5km run, treat yourself to some nice workout gear. Reward yourself regularly but make sure it’s in line with your goal. We’re not talking about a huge feast after every work out, okay.

5. Remember your reasons

Keep asking yourself why until you don’t question yourself anymore. Your purpose has to be so strong that it will carry you through every obstacle that you will face. For example, “I work out because I want to be healthy enough to care for my parents” or “I save money because I want to go on that year-end holiday”.

6. It’s okay to start over

Instead of treating January 1st as the start of your resolution, why not make every new day a chance to start anew? The only thing that should dictate the length of the endeavour is you, not the date of the calendar.

7. Smile

The number of muscles it takes to smile is considerably less than what it takes to frown. Similarly, it’s much healthier to channel a positive mindset than it is to be bogged down by negativity all the time. We’re not saying life is a bed of roses all the time. But how you react to the tough times is what will ultimately define you as a person.

8. Live in the moment

Social media has increasingly become an oxymoron. We care more about we are perceived online than establishing authentic relationships with the people around us. Just like how are more inclined to record everything that happens at a concert than actually enjoying it with our own eyes. Take a deep breath, and take in every new experience through the wonder of your own senses. It makes it that much more magical.

9. Switch up your routine

Life can become monotonous when we get too comfortable in our routines. Be it at the gym or going out dating, be open to switching things up once in a while and trying out new experiences. There is so much to explore and discover outside of our self-created bubbles that we sometimes lose sight of.

10. Declutter your life

Be it at your work desk, bedroom or even closet, less is always more. Getting organised by decluttering not only frees up space, it gives you peace of mind as well. Let this be the year that you finally get that store room cleared up.

11. Observe and listen

You learn so much more from listening. You slowly become more aware of the world around you. Everyone you meet has a story to share, be it a nugget of wisdom or a cautionary tale.

12. Practise kindness

The keyword here is practise. Yes, kindness is a choice, and it is also a habit that you can develop. Empathy goes a long way in shaping your perspective and how you treat the people around you.

13. Pay it forward

Never forget your roots and the people that have helped you get to where you are. If there is a cycle that you should be part of, it’s the one where you give back. Whether it is being a mentor to someone else or imparting knowledge to others who might benefit from it, your actions will do a whole lot of good in the long run.

14. Make memories

Commit to experiences, and not material things. When you look back at 2020, what will be the highlight of the year? That is solely dependent on how you define it. So, go forth, take the plunge and make the year memorable for you and your loved ones.

15. Surround yourself with people who inspire you

You are the sum average of the people you spend the most time with. Therefore, choose your company wisely. If you want to be successful in a certain areas in life, look to those specific mentors and friends that you trust who not only inspire you but also want the best for you.

16. Learn to say no

Speak out. People in general prefer to avoid difficult conversations but it shouldn’t be to the detriment of your well-being. If you are in a toxic relationship, break free. If someone is treating you unreasonably at work, voice it out.  If you have too much commitments pulling you in different directions, don’t be afraid to drop them. Don’t be a yes man.

17. Be responsible for your own happiness

This is an add-on to the previous point. No one is in charge of your own happiness but you. And it is important to protect that.

18. Be selfish with your time

Our time on this Earth is short. So, don’t waste it wallowing in regrets or saying yes to every single request. Be effective and maximise your time.

19. Learn to let go

You can’t control how people think, unfortunate situations that occur or random curveballs that life throws at you. When you learn to let go of things out of your control and focus on just yourself, it is a much more contented life.

20. Be grateful

Look around you. What you have right now, be it a family, job or the ability to go out and do the things you like. Not everyone is fortunate to be blessed with that. Sometimes we compare ourselves with what others have and what we don’t. But we fail to see the blessings that are already in our lives. May that change in 2020. 

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