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My New Years Resolutions (And How I’m Actually Keeping Them)

Happy new year everyone! This is a bit late, but it’s only because us writers have been partying 😉 Just kidding. Kind of. Anyway, I made some new year’s resolutions–and I KNOW you might think that nobody keeps these things–but the psychology of a “new year” can absolutely push you to make positive changes in your life.

The only reason why many people’s new year’s resolutions don’t work is because they 1. make unattainable goals 2. don’t take small steps to achieve these goals. That’s really it.

These are my new year’s resolutions, and the steps I’m taking to achieve them. I feel that many of them are pretty general, and can be applied to many people our age. Maybe I’ll inspire you.

Live in the present.

I find, especially being in high school, it is difficult not to constantly be thinking about college and my future–whether it be the freedom of college life or what in the heck I’m going to write on that essay. I daydream about traveling a lot and I get a little sister sad when I realize I don’t currently have the money or the time.

One day I know I’m probably going to miss high school, or at least, not having to be an adult. Turning 17 has definitely helped me make this realization: I only have one year of being a “kid” left, and I should be making the absolute most of it. It’s hard when you have crap tons of homework and you’re literally exhausted 24/7 because you are doing too many APs and extracurriculars (or watching too many YouTube videos or TV shows late at night, either one), but you should take time for your family and your friends–both of whom you will hardly see after you graduate.

This is harder to make “steps” for–it’s a process, but it’s just something I’m keeping in the back of my mind this year.

Enjoy life now, and know that it is going to be even better in the future. 🙂

Stop perpetuating stress culture.

I could probably write a whole article about this one (and I probably will), because this is something we are all guilty of. “I got 6 hours of sleep last night” “Oh? Well I got four!!” Stress and sleep deprivation is not and should not be a competition. Getting less sleep does not make you a harder worker. Bragging about getting no sleep is not helping anyone, especially not yourself. Complaining about how much work you have to do (even if you really do have a lot of work) is not productive. Any time you feel compelled to complain, try it into something more positive. Turn “I have SO much work to do, I’m going to be up all night” to “I’m going to go home and be productive today.” Try it. Your mindset really does make a difference.

Start a journal.

I’ve started doing this and I’m already three days in and pretty proud of myself since I am TERRIBLE at this. I have tried to keep several journals in the past and failed, but I’m determined this year.

Journaling is 1. therapeutic /reduces stress 2. A document of your life 3. SO fun to look back on in the future 4. GREAT content to refer back to for college essays. Don’t feel like you need to start on exactly January 1st. Don’t feel like you have to document past events. Don’t even feel like you have to write in it every day (although I would recommend writing every day at first.) Just go out and buy yourself a nice (expensive) journal and some nice (expensive) pens. (I say expensive because once you’ve spent money on something you feel more compelled to follow through with it). Once you’ve done that, write at least one sentence about your day. Write as much or as little as you want. Keep doing that, and it will get easier as you go.

Spend less time on your phone.

Our generation spends a terrifying amount of time on our phones. If you’ve gotten the new iOS update, you can see exactly how much time you’re spending. The average adult spends nearly 3 hours on their phone a day. Say you spend 8 out of 24 hours a day sleeping, and 16 hours awake. 3 divided by 16 = 0.1875 or nearly 20%. The average person spends nearly twenty percent of every day, and therefore twenty percent of their entire lives, on their phone. This is even higher for teens. 4 hours a day = 25% of your life, 5 hours a day = nearly 33% of your life. 6 hours a day = 37.5% of your life!!!

Life is short. We should be living it through experiences, not through a screen.

The steps for this are easy. Instagram now has a reminder you can set up to tell you how many minutes you’ve spent on the app. I set mine to five minutes, because after five minutes on Instagram I’m probably wasting time. You can also download screen tracker apps like Moment, and set screen time goals. Also, turn off your notifications for all those nonessential apps. Try turning off Snapchat notifications. Detach a little. Use time not spent on your phone taking to real-life people, reading, or doing something productive. You will be so much happier in the long run. I promise! Real > Fake.

Be more punctual.

Yes, I’m that late friend. Only by an average range of 2-15 minutes, but it’s still a problem. I’ve already started setting my alarms earlier, and setting reminders to force me to leave my house 10 to 15 minutes than I usually do when I’m leaving to go somewhere. I want to go into a field in the business world, where punctuality is extremely important. I’ve decided I better start now.

Try new recipes.

This is a fun one! It can be your parents’ new years resolution too. Go to Delish or another cooking site and print out some recipes. You can also buy a cookbook! (I’m kinda obsessed with the Anthropologie ones hehehe) Make them yourself or give them to your parents. Experiment with what you like and don’t like, and change the recipes to your liking. If you’re a picky eater, it might make you more adventurous. If you’re not, it will open up your palate a little more. You can also start eating healthier by picking healthy recipes, if that’s a goal of yours. Cooking more at home is healthier, cheaper, and often tastes better. It’s a win-win-win.

Now go tackle some of these little positive life changes (or make some of your own) and show the world that you CAN keep a new years resolution.

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