5 New Year's Resolutions That I'm Doing—And You Can, Too!
Yes, it’s February 2017. No, it’s not dated to talk about New Year’s resolutions. After all, shouldn’t we all still be thinking about our resolutions? It might be trendy to bring them up on January 1st, but it’s valuable to discuss progress a month later.
Only a minority of people (8%!) actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Most years I’m in the majority but this year has been different and I want to share my experiences with you.
Whether your resolutions have fallen by the wayside or you’re ready to create some new ones, I hope my experiences help you. If I can do it, you certainly can too.
Resolution #1: Sleep
I don’t always sleep well. Many nights, I find myself waking up and grabbing my phone to watch YouTube videos of Elon Musk or Charles Barkley on Inside the NBA.
I thought about a simple solution to this problem. What if I just removed my phone from my bedroom? It wouldn’t be so easy to grab my phone when I couldn’t sleep. Though simplistic, it worked.
The first few nights after I banished my phone from the nightstand, I did reach for it out of habit. Then, I stopped reaching for it. My body stopped relying on my phone to help me fall asleep.
And if you’re wondering how I wake up in the morning, alarm clocks do still exist.
Resolution #2: Stuff
I have too much of it. Though it’s not a Mariah Carey-level of stuff, it’s a lot. Because I’ve been living in the same apartment for 14 years, I haven’t had to confront the depths of all of my stuff for quite a while.
Once I knew that my abundance of things bothered me, I decided to learn how to fix it. I watched the Netflix documentary Minimalism and I listened to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Yes, Marie Kondo got to me. I donated at least half of my wardrobe the following weekend.
Getting rid of unused possessions provided a new kind of mental freedom. It was rewarding to take action on something that bothered me.
What was even more rewarding was that, even in a small way, I was helping those in need. We all have things in our closet that we hold onto for years—just in case one day we might need it. But what about the people in need who could put those things to use tomorrow? I highly recommend cleaning out your closet and donating all of those clothing items that you haven’t worn in ages.
Resolution #3: Standing
We have a standing desk at the Perfect Search office, but in the two years we’ve had it, I hadn’t used it once. For some reason, I thought I wouldn’t be productive if I stood while working. That was all in my head.
Now, I use the standing desk whenever possible. Even though this is a small change, that doesn’t mean the benefits are small. It actually makes me feel energized and more productive than sitting.
I didn’t expect a simple habit shift to have such an impact on my physical and mental well-being; because it did, I feel inspired to take on more small changes in my life.
Resolution #4: Yoga
Hot yoga, to be specific. If you know me, you know I’ve talked about doing yoga for years—but I never did it. After hearing how important stretching is for good health from several doctors, I decided to make a commitment.
To make sure that I really went to yoga instead of just talking about it, I mentally prepared with a few Google searches. I learned what to expect and that I should bring a lot of water. (Glad I did that.) By researching yoga, I was able to diminish my insecurities about it and actually go to a heated Vinyasa class. And I’m so happy I did.
Now, I’m committed to going twice a week. It’s challenging but I already can feel the benefits.
Resolution #5: Alcohol
That is to say, drink less of it. Between the fall and winter of 2016, I had so many birthdays, vacations, and special events to celebrate. Coincidentally, celebrations often come with drinks.
I hadn’t celebrated that often in a long while. Yes, the Cubs World Series run is partially to blame. Still, I figured that if the Cubs could end a 108-year-old drought, I could make a change as well. I decided to do Dry January and it has really paid off.
As a matter of fact, I believe that abstaining from alcohol has been an underlying factor of success for all of my other resolutions. I sleep better, I’m more productive, and I’m more inclined to go to yoga. I highly recommend trying it, even just for a short while.
So far, my 2017 resolutions are going well. I’m excited to see how they progress and how personal improvement will positively affect Perfect Search.