I’ve never believed in the statement, “New year, new you.” People become too fixated on ushering in the New Year with a reinvention of themselves; an effort that often plummets like the ball over Times Square. I see the new year not as an opportunity to re-create one’s life, but rather to build upon their current strengths and take an honest assessment of their weaknesses to identify areas for improvement. A “New year, better you” approach.
It’s hard to be honest with ourselves about the things in life we just don’t have a strong enough grasp on. In a world of oversharing, our Facebook feeds are filled with the successes and achievements of others. People are quick to post the moments they are proud of – from engagements, to pregnancies to promotions; providing a platform for us to share in the joys of our friends and family. However, it’s not too often that we share the things we are not so proud of – losing a job, refusing to give money to a homeless person on the street or going into debt. But the fact is, we all have areas of weakness and the new year presents a fresh opportunity to evaluate where we go right and where we go wrong. The positive changes we make now set the stage for a feeling of fulfillment on December 31, 2015.
As I look to the future, there are several areas of life I know I need to get in order but again, a flip of the calendar does not mean everything must change all at once. I’m proud of my achievements and the life I live but I also understand that making small improvements now will light the way for the road ahead. These are the areas I choose to focus on for 2015:
- Commit to fit – I know, I know. Sounds like I’m contradicting myself – new year, new body! But that’s not what I’m going for here. I exercise fairly regularly but feel no guilt if a skip a week (or month). As a women in my (errr..late) twenties, 30 minutes of activity a day is necessary and it’s inexcusable to not make it happen. It’s not about looking better, it’s about being better in the long-term. What 30-minute exercise routines do you find effective?
- Know what you’re putting in your mouth – Remember when you were a child and you’d put some foreign object in your mouth, only to be scolded by your parents? As adults, we don’t have anyone looking after us to make sure we’re only putting healthy things into our bodies. There are so many studies emerging about the damaging effects of over-processed or hormone-injected foods and for me personally, it’s time to become educated on what should and shouldn’t be part of the meal plan.
- Focus on finances – I’ll be the first to admit that I have a serious shopping problem. While I never pay full retail, I fool myself into thinking that I save money through bargain shopping when in reality, I end up buying more than I would have at full price. I was never good at math, so maybe that’s in part to blame, but I know that managing my finances is one area I must improve upon to safeguard my future. This year, I am committed to understanding my finances, budgeting (ew) and investing in the opportunities that lie ahead.
- Make time to make memories – It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and forget to stop and smell the roses, as cliché as it sounds. I am making it a point to set aside more time with those that I love and when possible, taking adventures with them because the sad truth is that one day, memories may be all we have left.
- #PIFProject – Philanthropic stories are abound during the holidays; people are acutely aware of the season of giving. But as the holidays pass, as do the frantic donations of time and money. To pay it forward in 2015, I will hold myself accountable to complete a minimum of one charitable act a week. It bothers me to even write that I must set aside time to do this; it should be something we as humane individuals inherently do, but the truth of the matter is time and life get in the way. Not this year.
What aspirations do you have to become a better you in 2015?