WOO 2015, BABY!
It’s another year that has come and gone. Moment of silence for 2014…
As twenty-something year olds we do not tend to think of New Year’s Resolutions as much of a thing for us. Maybe go to the gym more often, don’t waste our money on so much alcohol, try to buy at least one fruit or vegetable at the grocery store each week, and a few other small ideas that never continue past February. There are a few things we twenty-or-so-year-olds should consider, though, to make our life the best it can be in this very moment.
- Stop Worrying
Especially if it is to the point of anxiety. Yes, it is stressful at this point in life: getting ready to graduate from undergrad, did just graduate, trying to find your way through this real world. Whatever stage you are at, things are pretty stressful. Money, relationships, school, work, family, friends, money again (It’s always that thin, green little piece of paper that hits the hardest. I thought trees were supposed to be nice and peaceful?) But if you worry about every single thing for every single moment, then your future is going to be pretty miserable. Face the facts now: you will always have these stresses in life. Just think about how many adults and retirees have these concerns, and all of them have made it pretty far in their life just fine. If you don’t have one or two of them, you will have the others for sure. If you focus so much on these right now, you are not leaving yourself much space in your brain to focus on the present. Always planning for the future never leaves room to live in the now.
- Start focusing on the little things
A lot of people say, don’t worry about the little things in life, go big or go home! Well, that is not always the best thought process. If you focus so much on the grand scheme of things you will miss out on a lot of random opportunities and little moments in life that are worth a million times more than that final goal. So you have a set career path for yourself, good for you, but don’t let that dictate your every, waking moment. If you focus on the daily things and the small steps to take to get to the final goal, you will enjoy and appreciate your journey so much more. Focus on the friends you can make because you never know how they will help impact and help you in the future. Focus on the little jobs you have to take to pay rent/tuition/bills because you never know if you will climb the ladder in that business or organization or if those people will help your future career in some way (you always need good references no matter where you apply to work, so may as well as be a good employee so your boss can basically help you get out of that job).
- Complete projects
Don’t just half-ass things anymore. You are a grown up, have some respect for where you are in life! Don’t set a goal and have a timeline only to give up halfway through. Even if it is the smallest project ever, like loading the dishwasher or reading a book or doing a diet or learning a new hobby. Do not give up on yourself. Even if you end up hating whatever you did, at least say you completed it. Motivation seems easy when it’s the beginning of a new idea or activity, but it can quickly disappear if a speed-bump gets in the way too early. Losing motivation is twenty times easier than having it, so don’t let it slip away too quickly because it will take so much more effort to start up again. If anything, make it routine until you have reached your goal or the end of you timeline. Routine is good for us humans. If it’s routine, we consider it a natural part of our life, and it gets done with more ease. So, whatever it is that you want to do in this New Year, just complete it. You will be so proud of yourself and realize that can do so much more than you ever thought. (And let’s face it, we love to prove other people wrong. So if anything, complete the project to say “I told you so” to someone else. That’s what keeps me going, honestly.)
- Do one new and random thing
Is there a place you have always wanted to go? A hobby you always wanted to try? A person you always wish you could know better? There is always one thing in every individual’s life they wished they tried, trust me. So find yours (or find multiple!) and get out there and do it. No excuses. If it requires money, well then make a reasonable timeline and work until you save enough to go to that new place. Complete the project and do something new (boom, steps 3 and 4 done. You make me so proud already!) I always said I loved photography so I went out and started my own photography business. I wanted to write for people my age, so I went out and started this blog. I wanted to run a race, so I went out and completed my first 5k not too long ago. I made things routine, and I set reasonable expectations for myself. I didn’t say I’d do everything in one month; it has taken me months and even years to complete all these things. I never gave up and kept it routine and reasonable enough so I knew I could accomplish it. Another thing to remember is: it doesn’t matter how small or unpopular this new and random thing is; if it is important and exciting to you, then do it. I don’t judge at all when it comes to people accomplishing their dreams and eliminating regrets! I have faith in you and I don’t even know you.
- Smile more
I know too many people who go around life and don’t enjoy it. I also am lucky enough to know people who laugh and smile at everything; those people are truly living. First of all, smiling is biologically good for us. It releases endorphins…(all you Legally Blonde fans finish that line for me). Smiling can literally change your mood in seconds. Next time you are really mad or sad, force yourself to smile through clenched teeth and all. I have done it and promise you it will help in some way. It won’t be some dramatic 360 degree change in your mood, but you will either laugh at how funny you look smiling angrily or you will realize whatever is bothering you isn’t the end of the world. And giving someone a smile can be the best gift. Smiling to complete strangers cannot only make you feel better, but also you never know when that stranger just needed a simple smile from you. A smile can go a long way in life (except if you are breaking up with someone; for your safety, probably keep yourself from smiling until later, okay?)
Second, laugh more! I recently read an article (which I am sorry to admit I don’t have handy to cite for you, but the link was on Pinterest somewhere) that mentioned how laughing can actually help your metabolism. Have you heard “laughing so hard I got a six-pack”? Well you could have laughed so hard and so much that your metabolism mutated and sucked up all your fat. I guess that could be a thing now! Anyway, laughing is good for you, too, and can in no way negatively impact you or your health. So let loose! Find whatever makes you laugh and stick with it. Don’t be afraid to joke with people or to laugh at a joke you hear.
- Care more
Find something or someone you care about and really show it. If it’s an organization or a talent or a person who really has a hold on your heart, then get out there and do something about it. Show that person you care by randomly calling or writing to. An old-fashioned handwritten letter can go a long ways this day in age. If it’s an organization you care about, get involved and don’t be embarrassed by it. If it exists, it means other people are like you! Showing a genuine care for something or someone can satisfy us so much. It can really makes us think we are doing something right with our life.
- Don’t compare yourself
Okay this one is the hardest, but one everyone should really consider and attempt to do! There are so many “expectations” for us as graduates, young adults, newly employed, unemployed, single young adults, engaged young adults, married young adults, etc. Whatever the title you want to give yourself (or someone so kindly gave you), don’t compare yourself to others. We are all individuals, we all have our own story to write, we have our own experiences to live with, and we all have our own path. No one in the world is identical to you (not even twins): you have different thought processes, different goals, different experiences, different ideas, and different futures. If you get stuck comparing your life to others then you are mentally blocking yourself from greatness. Sometimes it’s hard to not compare yourself; for example, if a lot of friends you know are getting engaged and married but you still haven’t had a relationship that lasted longer than a couple months (or days), then you will drive yourself mad comparing yourself to them. And it literally will not change a thing! That’s what is so ironic, you can compare and compete against others in your life, but in the long run things just happen when it’s time. You will meet the person when the time comes; you can’t speed up life and meet them earlier. Just like you can’t pull out of hat what life you will be given (that’s why we all need to be Divergent. Choose your own path, all you Tris-folks out there). Your career choice will come together like a nice puzzle piece based off of your past experiences and the people you meet along the way.
So I know seven things is not that much compared to these other lists of long New Years resolutions, but at least these are simple and virtually cost no money. You can always set more specific resolutions (i.e. go to the gym, lose some weight, save a specific amount of money, do well in school, get a promotion, actually find a job, not waste money on alcohol (hah) and etc.) but using these 7 things can help you reach those goals. I promise you that life will seem better and you will appreciate it more. Be happy and proud of where you are at right now, but most of all do not give up now. If you give up, you will only curse yourself later. Don’t be that person at the family gathering in 40 years who is always grumpy, hates life, gets mad at everything and everyone, and scares the littlest family members. Be the happy aunt, uncle, parent, sibling, grandparent who everyone loves to see! Do it for yourself, and me (make me proud followers and readers!)
XOX Happy New Year, hello 2015!