Unlike my friends, I had calm and composed December. I had taken a sabbatical from work and cocooned in an Indian town that did not know what Christmas is. I did not party till wee hours on the 31st and slept early with my toddler. And I even woke up early in the morning to witness the rising sun and experience the chill of the winters. As I am not fond of making New Year resolutions, I had a regular January 1st.
For me, every single day of the year should be begun with zest and fervor to achieve the unachievable. Not just me, many of my friends believe that New Year resolutions are a passé. They are defunct. In this age of busyness and surprises thrown in every hour of the work, sticking to age old New Year resolutions is just not possible.
“I do not believe in New Year Resolutions”
While talking to one of my friends who works in a corporate, I was enlightened about the concept of new age New Year Resolutions – that to not resolve on a yearly basis. Instead, many people around the globe are resolving on a weekly or monthly basis. This gives them more freedom and flexibility. Do you know that people are more stressed at present than they were ever? This is because they are competing 24 x 7 – they are in a rat race. The competition is to look good, travel more places and post the pictures on social media, to lose weight and fit in a one piece, to earn more and even to gift more. And amid this competition, they have to also compete to set New Year goals. This becomes an additional work – to set new goals, to try to achieve them and then to stress on the fact that you were not able to achieve them. Instead, chuck the plans of making New Year goals. Instead, relax and lounge on your sofa to think of better things to do in this world.
“I Resolve to Be Better”
I have a better suggestion for you. Instead of wasting your December in hunting for a New Year resolution, why not break down this habit in easy and simple steps. Yes, resolving is good for you but do not make it an annual affair. Instead, plan to resolve on a monthly basis or even a weekly one. I had recently read a post on social media. One of my friends had resolved to stay happy for 100 days. She used to find a source of happiness everyday – be it her pet, nature, food or anything simple. This friend posted her source of happiness and a picture regularly for 100 days on her profile. And when I talked to her, she was actually very happy by doing this. She had found a unique way to resolve for her betterment.
“Real Resolutions of Real People”
I talked to some of my friends from different strata. These people are those who do not believe in New Year resolutions but make one regularly, may be quarterly, monthly, weekly or even daily. Based on their innovative responses, I have compiled a list of the resolutions that are very unique.
“Will save electricity, water and money”
Now, how many people resolve like this? I have come across many resolutions, but most of the people avow to improve themselves in the coming year. So, when Deependra Gupta, belonging to healthcare industry, told me this, I felt good. With limited renewable sources of energy available, people like us can make a difference in the world by resolving not to waste them. People who are not able to afford water or electricity do this on an everyday basis. However, we choose to use these resources negligently as we can easily pay for them. Such resolutions that are taken for others or the Nature in general, not only make the person feel good, but the community in general. This resolution had a butterfly effect – even I started using light and water consciously.
“Will not buy new clothes”
When I heard this, I was quite amused. Aayushi Tulsiyan, working at a corporate, avowed not to purchase clothes. This is so true for many people and I hate saying this, especially girls or us, women. With so many types of clothes available, we have been experimenting with our styles and adding a dimension to our fashion sense. So, when earlier wardrobe staples were just blue denim, a white shirt and a saree, now it is much more. Now, you got to have a little black dress, a floor length skirt and a mini one as well, corporate wear (even if you are not working in one), bikini (even if you are not going to flaunt it), a scarf / stole / duppatta and the small list has become a big one. When she resolved not to buy any clothes and not to be starry-eyed on seeing the offers, I seconded her. Filling your wardrobe is not required. Instead, mix and match the clothes till they start looking dull after several dry-cleanings. Do not feel ashamed in repeating the same outfit to the party. When Duchess of Cambridge can do this with élan, we can too.
“Will reconnect with lost friends and family”
While going through the posts on our social media wall, how many of us actually stop and stare and share our thoughts on the pictures, views, status of our friends? If we like the picture or the person, we ‘like’ it. But we do not call them saying ‘Wow’ you had an amazing holiday, tell me more about it. And more than this, how many of us are in touch with our school teacher or granny’s sister’s son, the way we used to be. So, when Milinda Natu, Professor of Visual Arts, revealed her resolution, it felt pretty good. She says, “I am going to try to get in touch with all those who I knew ages back but have lost touch with – like reconnecting with the lost ones; some of them lost over 30 years back. I already did that with 3 people and it was an emotional journey. They were ecstatic that I should have taken the trouble and the new bond is just amazing.” Getting in touch with people who were a part of our BAE – Before Anyone Else Group is a great step. This makes the world one happy place.
This is the shortest resolution that I heard this year. While this seems to be simply written, it is more complex than ever. In the world wherein everyone is pretending to be someone else, wherein competition is a way of life, wherein happiness seems to have become limited to social media likes, being yourself is a difficult task.
When Prassana Hullikavi, former Deputy Director of Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication and a learning consultant, revealed her resolution of being herself, it seemed to be the right thing to do. She says, “I will be myself, pause and look at the world gently.” This is not just a New Year Resolution, which will be forgotten next year. But this will become a way of life and have a ripple effect on everyone around her. Maitri Paliwal, a professional, seconds to this. She says, “I wish to live the way how my soul wants to i.e. my desire to write, to dance, public speaking, take out time for myself from all the routine activities”.
“Will achieve my everyday goals”
Isn’t this superb? Instead of living one full year in New Year Resolutions, Dr. Pradnya Madkaiker Ajmera, a practicing dentist, says, she will live one day at a time. This way, we can enjoy every moment. She says, “My resolution this year is to focus on fulfilling small goals everyday other than one big goal for the entire year. This will help me live each day positively and happy.” Even Srikant Nair avowed to “Have a meaningful day.” With nothing planned for tomorrow, we think of making the most of the present – the day we are going through. By rushing to fulfill our goals for the next day or next week, we forget that there is this present which is slipping out of our hands speedily. Living for today makes you happy and content and this is what this goal is all about.
“Will try not losing my calm early”
When Kiran Rao, an Indian screenwriter and director remarked about rising intolerance in the country, her concern was met with the reaction that she had expected – intolerance and hate comments again. I feel not only India but people in general have become intolerant. We are not able to understand the point of view and context in which something is said. Everything is being taken on face value. While we blame each other for this, it is our onus to be tolerant. Even if one person corrects his or her attitude, things can be corrected on a greater level. So when Veronica Peer Patki, a professional, avowed to be more tolerant as a resolution, it made great sense. Her calm demeanor will surely have a positive effect.
Sneha Bagrecha says, “I will explore one city every month” and Shruti Nair says, “I will keep my mind filled with happy thoughts and invest time for gardening!” Vikram Parashar says, “Knowing the purpose of my existence, with a smile.” Ajay Vaishya says, “I will read one book every ten days” Interesting, isn’t this! From longer annual resolutions, people have moved on to shorter ones that can be achieved and analyzed.
How to Practice and Perfect Simple Short-term Resolutions
On New Year’s Eve, I read a witticism. It said, “Attention Regular morning walk-ers!! There would be rush on the roads in the morning for the first week. This will eventually die down.” This explains that the enthusiasm of New Year resolutions dies down in the first week itself. The things that seem important at night do not seem to be so important when you wake up in the morning. The woes of the previous day and the promises made are forgotten after a long night’s sleep.
Instead of making long-term annual resolutions, if you go for short-term ones, it will be easy for you to achieve them. Plus, there are many benefits as well. How? Read on…
This is the age of short and sweet. Are you able to eat the entire Bruschetta at once? Nah, you answer. The same way, keeping and achieving shorter bite-sized resolutions are easy to achieve.
Flexibility to Change
If you have resolved to “To go for a walk this week”, but you are not able to do so, you can easily alter the resolution to something else the very next week. This way, the burden of not achieving New Year Resolution will not haunt you.
Unlike wasting your December in deciding what to resolve for in the next year, you do not think much when you have to avow weekly. You resolve based on your present habits and requirements.
You can be creative while thinking of new resolutions. You can include others and make a resolution buddy, wherein both of you can play a catalyst to achieve each other’s resolutions.
A Transformed Person
So, in the first month, you avow to start donating something every week. In the second month, you promise yourself to take your parents to dinner. The benefit is that in the second month, you continue donating because you were happy doing it. And in the third month, you donate, eat out with your parents and even start teaching to less-privileged kids. This way, you will be a transformed person at the end of the year.
If you are strict with your New Year Resolutions, this post might seem funny to you. However, keeping and achieving promises made to ourselves is tougher at times. We can change our lives for the better through shorter resolutions that are fun and achievable as well. Happy Resolving!