5 Practical New Year’s Resolutions to Try
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As school starts back up and winter break ends, people start deciding on their New Year’s resolutions, if they decide they want one at all. Many have habits of not following through with their resolutions, and a reason for this is that their goals are too broad. “Losing weight” may seem like a nice resolution in the beginning, but it will be difficult to achieve without setting a clear ambition, like attending a Zumba class every Wednesday. Do you have trouble following through with your goals? If so, here are five practical resolution ideas to try for 2017:
1. Use your phone less. As society relies on technology more and more, it can become overwhelming to be on a cell phone so many hours of the day. Try committing to spending less time on your phone than you did last year. It can be freeing to be off the grid and in reality.
2. Smile more. Is school stressing you out? Smiling might help to shine a more positive light on the homework, projects and presentations you need to work on. According to a 2012 case study conducted by psychological scientists Tara Kraft and Sarah Pressman from the University of Kansas, smiling actually can influence our physical state. Participants in the case who were told to smile had lower heart rate levels after completing stressful activities compared to those who were given the same stressful task but were not specifically told to smile. Those who were not told to smile had a lower percentage of people who completed the task with a positive outcome. It costs nothing to smile, so don’t be afraid to show your kindness to peers on your way to class. Next time you’re walking in the hall, try smiling at someone instead of looking the other way!
3. Don’t over commit. As it starts to near the second half of the school year, it is easy to get overwhelmed with extracurricular activities, schoolwork and keeping up with friends and family. It can be easy to succumb to the pressure of saying yes when someone asks something of you, and this can be because it’s what we want to hear. It seems like the easy way out so that there is no confrontation. In reality, this in the long-run increases the risk of not having time for the things that matter most to us. Next time you’re put in the position of making a commitment, consider these questions, and you’ll be one step closer to achieving your New Year’s resolution: Do I have the time to fulfill this commitment and perform at my top potential? Will this take away from the things that matter most to me? Is this commitment something that will benefit my goals and values?
4. Have humility. Accepting criticism as graciously as we accept compliments can be a challenge. But by owning up to your own mistakes and admitting when you are in the wrong, you are allowing yourself to have an open mind. As the famous quote from C.S. Lewis goes, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” Life is too short to be hiding from the truth and being spited by your own stubbornness.
5. Don’t reach for google. According to Business Insider, the average amount of Google searches per day has grown from 500,000 per day in 1998 to over 2.3 million searches per minute in 2016. This number may not seem surprising, and it may help some support their claims in how reliant we as a society have become on Google. But in a 2011 experiment published by Science Magazine, when turning to the internet for an answer to a difficult question, people have lower recollection rates for the actual information and instead solely remembered where they found the answer. During 2017, try to improve your brainpower by resisting the urge to search for an answer straight away.