A few years ago, my husband and I made a New Year’s Resolution to go out with as many of our friends as possible. We made a list of all our buds and made an effort to invite someone out at least once a month. It was the most fun we’ve ever had honoring the new year. As we checked off each person, we talked about how enjoyable it was to get together. We didn’t get to everyone, but that wasn’t the point. The point was to do something we really liked doing but somehow rarely made happen. We’ve all seen how crowded the gym gets from January to February every year and how the press of people disappears by March. Rather than setting ourselves up for disappointment, let’s resolve to do something that makes us happy!
Here are a few ideas:
- Make a list of people you’d like to get to know better. Have a dinner party or invite them out and make it happen! The goal is to increase how much time you spend with people you like, not to accomplish reaching the end of the list.
- Resolve to try a new restaurant at least once a month. We all get stuck in a rut – branch out! This pairs nicely with #1
- Spend less time with people who bring you down. Wean yourself off of the negativity. Be sure to pay attention to how much relief is associated with a decrease in exposure to these people.
- Find one hour a week to do exactly and only what you want to do. If you have to, start with five minutes and work your way up. ONE HOUR A WEEK – I spend more time than that getting myself worked up about stupid stuff on social media. You can fit it in. If you have to, have a signal to the people around you that you are having “me” time (a special shirt, a sign around your neck, a hat, etc.). Kids are notorious for wanting to interrupt things like this. Turn it into a game that if they respect the signal, rewards happen after (you could potentially have alone time AND ice cream – just sayin’).
- Learn more about something that interests you. Read an article or book, attend a seminar or even better – find someone who knows about the topic and invite them out to lunch.
- Get more sleep – set the alarm on your phone for 30 minutes before you’d like to be in bed. When it goes off, wrap up whatever you’re doing and head for dreamland. If your state participates in Daylight Savings, this is a perfect time to make the change. Your body is already confused about what time it is!
- Find a place out in nature that is really beautiful and close to home: a park, a beach, a view of the mountains. Go there at least once a week, turn off your phone and just sit for a few minutes, breathing deeply. This is especially helpful on the way home from work. Leave your worries there so you can enjoy your time at home. If you can, make it a habit to go there and take a walk to decompress. *Gasp* you’re exercising!
- Drink 1 extra glass of water per day. Hydration is almost never a bad thing.
- Snuggle – your pets, your spouse, your kids. Good things happen in our brains when we make physical contact with our loved ones.
- Declare a pajama day. Pick a day and refuse to get out of your pajamas. Laze around the house, watch TV or read. Doing this is fun whether you are by yourself, with your spouse or with your family. Eat leftovers. Do nothing productive. Realize that just being is sometimes the best thing you can do.
Whether you decide to make a resolution or resolve to make no resolutions at all, be sure your vow makes you happy. There is no point in resolving to be miserable next year. If you don’t stick to it, who cares? The only person you’d be disappointing is you. Forgive yourself for what doesn’t work and enjoy the rewards for what does. Remember that loving yourself and taking care of yourself are the best resolutions of all. Happy New Year, Everyone!
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the DrAndyRoark.com editorial team.
Dr. Cherie Buisson is a veterinarian and lecturer who lives in Largo, FL. She spends her time in feline-only practice, hospice practice and teaching other veterinary professionals about hospice, euthanasia and compassion fatigue. Dr. Buisson is the owner of Helping Hands Pet Hospice in Seminole, FL as well as the founder of A Happy Vet.