Bidding farewell to “the year that was”, people usually look forward to a new beginning and a bright and prosperous New Year with much joy and vivacity, hoping the coming year to be one which will usher in all goodness and glory.
Keeping in view the newer tidings we make certain resolutions or promises to ourselves. These resolutions though mostly popular in the Western Hemisphere; but slowly gaining ground globally also have a long history behind them and have been made since time immemorial.
The Babylonians at the beginning of every New Year used to make promises of returning borrowed objects and to pay their erstwhile debts in front of Gods. The Romans too made promises of self-escalation in front of the God Janus.
In a complete parallel religion, the Jews throughout Rosh Hashanah ponders upon the bygone year and at Yom Kippur seeks and offers resolutions and forgiveness. The practice of New Year resolution is most strongly influenced by the Christian Liturgical season of Lent or the Lenten sacrifices, pondering upon ones lacunae’s and focusing on self-improvement.
Let us then have a look at the Top 10 New Year resolutions made and broken and the ways and means to stick to them.
- Lose Weight and Get Fit – The common problem ailing maximum number of the global citizen is unnecessary accumulation of fat in body. There are lot of people who over the festive period accumulate fat due to excessive binging. Thus the first resolution for those people should be to shed those extra pounds and get fit. To do so one needs to have a steely resolve and hit the gym or hire a personal trainer, go for walks, curb fat and carb intakes. Above all it needs a firm dedication to oneself to remain fit and not fat. Create a chart, download an app in your phone and give yourself a reminder everyday about your target and milestone.
- Quit Smoking – James Bond had looked uber cool with the cigar in his hand wooing femme fatales in uber cool locales. Not anymore. Smoking causes cancer, heart attacks, breathing ailments and stroke. Passive smoking (that is inhaling of the smoke) may cause asthma and several other breathing disorders. Thus smoking is equivalent to killing oneself gradually. Now that you have decided to kick the habit is in itself commendable. How to quit? Steely resolve is the first requirement as the body craves nicotine. One can try E-Cigs, Various types of medicines available in the market as Chantix or use Nicotine patches. But over and above everything you need to tell yourself I will not smoke. So to quit this; you are your best friend.
- Learn Something New – Shakespeare said “Knowledge the wing, wherewith to fly to heaven”. And nothing can be truer than this. There are so many unchartered territories, unlearnt things, unheard of music, unread books, unlearnt languages, unseen places and people and unlived life. Mahatma Gandhi had said “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. Thus take a New Year resolution of learning something new. This can include a new language, culinary skills, basic engineering tricks, to adventure things like paragliding, parasailing, mountaineering, trekking to aesthetic attributes like singing, learning to play a musical instrument, art and craft like origami and then the list is endless. Thus plan and enroll for one today.
- Eat Healthier and Diet – The resolution of healthy eating and dieting is directly related to the earlier mentioned New Year resolution of losing weight and getting fit. The foundation of good health which is really equivalent to wealth is nothing but refraining from smoking, physical activities and eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet. A healthier diet will include balanced intake of carbohydrates heart-friendly vitamins, minerals and high quality proteins. Apart from taking to these healthy diets it is also of utmost importance to monitor the quantity of food intake. It is strictly advisable to consume lesser quantity of food in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle as we are prone to consume all kinds of processed food in our modern and hectic life. Thus it is extremely important that one diets under able guidance and consumes healthy and nutritious foods.
- Get Out of Debt and Save Money — Lure of consumerism is such that one cannot escape. The lure of upgrading to a bigger car, a bigger condo, a better locality, a newer cell phone, a designer handbag, labeled clothes all lead to the excessive usage of plastic money. Plastic money is nothing but credit cards. The first step to address this issue is to acknowledge that you have a debt and that is in itself a problem. Once you acknowledge that can only then a solution be ventured into. Tell yourself that I will not buy things which are beyond my means, which I cannot afford. Stop spending money from a time and an income you are yet to arrive at your future. Thus stop spending borrowing money from future to buy things for the present. Just destroy your credit cards and throw them away. Well, if this seems too harsh, at least stow them away to some place from where you can’t flash them out in a jiffy! (That way you have access to them in case of dire need) Assess your lifestyle and make a list to cut out unnecessary things making a hole in your savings. For example if you were eating out on every weekend, start cutting it down to one weekend or two in a month. Open a savings account where you will forcibly put some money every month for saving.
- Spend More Time with Family – The consumerism and the toll of modern day activities are robbing us of our family centric times. With the forever growing list of to-do s professionally and even personally spending time or even quality time with our families are taking a back seat. There are different things that different people do when we say spending time with family. For some it may mean going out with family once a week, for some it may mean playing a game together or for some it may mean having a heart-to-heart conversation or sharing about their day at the dinner table or over a cup of coffee. Irrespective of what you decide to do, the crux is that there should be more interaction and more activity that you need to do to spend time with your family in order to make it a well-knit, rather close-knit integrated family.
- Travel to New Places — Travelling to new places and exploring newer terrains has amazing benefits in terms of life and learning’s. It would be most prudent to remember the famous quote by J. R. R. Tolkien from his Lord of The Rings trilogy, “Not all those who wander are lost´. Indeed so. All those who wander gain an amazing insight and perception of life and towards one’s inner self. It is your commune with the greater God and universal self. You can travel to unseen places to learn about the lives gone by, you can travel to Machu Pichu to see the relics of the Mayan civilization, travel to the Great Wall of China and revel at the wonder that man created. Travelling will widen your world and take you away from the triviality and mundane humdrum of everyday life. Create a plan, start saving, take baby steps to attain your goal of travelling to a hitherto unseen place every year.
- Be Less Stressed – Stress, as they say, is a silent killer. Stress according to Dictionaries is a stimulus or a frame of mind which disturbs or derails our physical and mental equilibrium or harmony. Stress arising from Professional reasons or personal reasons can lead to various physical ailments like stomach ache, constant headache, sleeping disorders leading to depression. To avoid stress we can plan to take up a distressing workshop, do an Art-of-living course, take up a hobby, meditate, write a journal of the journey that’s been, exercise, talk to others, or seek counseling.
- Volunteer — A worthwhile New Year resolution could be taking up a Volunteering cause. Humanitarian activities as working for your local old-age home, or a disability center or community library or volunteering for a fund-raiser for a natural disaster management team are always a worthwhile activity. Through these volunteer works one yield to a greater calling and have a better commune with the Greater God provided we can do it religiously and do not give it up mid-way.
- Drink Less – Drinking is often medically safe and also recommended in some cases. But it is also always recommended to drink in moderation. Not only does drinking in moderation allows you to be in complete control over your mental faculties and react to situations with alacrity, it also helps you to savor and enjoy your drink, improve your mental state, and also helps you in saving money. Thus to stick to this New Year resolution one needs to make a firm commitment to oneself and their loved ones to limit their alcohol consumption to an agreed upon quantity. One should not drink alone or when depressed, because it may make one loose the perspective. So it is advisable to be in touch with your loved one or close friend or be with one while drinking and not to drink under depressing state of mind to avoid drinking more.