This post might be a bit late, but when it comes to improving yourself, why does the clock have to start on a certain day? You’ve had all of January to look on as your friends struggle with their new resolutions, and you’ve had time to relax and refresh from the holiday stress. As we start the new year, it’s usual to reflect on our successes, failures, what ifs, and what-could-have-beens. If last year wasn’t been one for the books, don’t fret! Now you get to wipe the slate clean and start the year afresh, and for a lot of people that means writing down resolutions and changes that they would like to make to their lives. Of course, sticking to these personal promises is a lot more difficult than simply making them in the first place. It’s not impossible though. Below we’ll take a look at five new year’s resolutions you can actually commit to.
Dyeing your hair
Hair color plays a vital role in your personal identity, whether it’s current or one that you wish to build. It’s one of the first things someone notices about you and can affect first impressions. Because of this, dyeing your hair can often seem like a hurdle to overcome, but I urge you to do it! Not only is it a liberating feeling, but it’s a cornerstone of change, and can help you see that change is good, not impossible, and set in motion a chain of events that could lead to bigger and more immediate changes in your life. Even if you’re too scared to go from brunette to blonde, or black to red, you can always opt for semi-permanent hair colors that come out after a few washes. While not as indelible as permanent hair dye, it’s still symbolic and powerful.
Work out – but don’t overdo it at first
The problem with selecting staying in shape as a new year’s resolution is that people often hit the ground running, buy all the sports gear, buy the gym membership, immediately start hitting the weights five times a week – only to fizzle out very quickly. This doesn’t mean you should exclude working out completely. Instead, include it on your list but approach it in a more measured fashion. Exercise is something you have to work up to and acclimate your body to. Start slow. Commit to going to the gym twice a week. Once you have a steady rhythm going add a third day. When you start to feel comfortable with that, add a forth. This way you can use the results you will start to see as encouragement to work harder without burning out. Remember, it’s about the journey, not the finish line.
Set aside more time for yourself
This is perhaps the most achievable goal on the list. Set aside a little time for yourself every day. It could be five minutes or two hours – it doesn’t matter. What is important is that you take some time to reflect, catch your breath, and center yourself without any distractions. Use this time to meditate, read or maybe sit down and listen to music. This is your time, be selfish with it.
Have an adventure – it doesn’t matter how big or small
This doesn’t mean you have to go backpacking by yourself through Europe or go bungee-jumping off of Bloukrans – it could, but it’s not a necessity. Your adventure could be anything from a hike in the woods to skiing in the mountains or kayaking through some rapids. The point is to do something that gets your blood pumping and your adrenaline flowing – at least a little bit – but you don’t have to go to the most extreme measures if you don’t want to.
The goal of this list is to make you happier in the long term, right? So smile. There’s evidence that points to smiling having a direct correlation with our current mood, and that smiling more can have a positive effect on how happy you feel. Even if it’s tough, when it’s a cloudy day and things aren’t quite going according to plan – smile, and know that you have the power to change your own happiness.