With the closing of one calendar comes the fresh beginnings of another, a chance to hit “refresh,” an opportunity to start anew. A time for reflection and humbling contemplation, the New Year’s Eve countdown 10, 9, 8…. 3, 2, 1 a chime for change, rebirth, and redemption.
Faced with any ending, our nature is optimistic. We peer past the last flicker of daylight with hope that the darkness will once again be overcome by the sun.
Standing at the precipice of a fresh year, a new day, or even at the knife’s edge of this exclusive and endangered moment, we are presented with the chance to breathe, act, effect, and love.
This year, make a resolution to resolve conflicts of any form by building on the strengths that your past self has cultivated. Establish routines, commit to habits, and solidify connections that will nourish positive growth and change, not only within yourself, but also in the environments around you. The world needs you, your loved ones need you, your community needs you, you need you.
The best way to influence change in others and the environment is to embody fully and passionately whatever it is that you hope to cultivate and nurture in the world. Your most powerful tool of influence and inspiration for others is your own life.
Below we have compiled five resolutions that will hopefully energize and inspire you to help the micro and macrocosms of life in 2018, but this is just the start. We encourage you to create your own list of ten goals that will help you be your best self, and in effect, the world a better place.
- Drink more water – Studies show that ample water intake improves brain capacity and function, increases energy, and aids in weight loss and boosts overall health. First things first, take care of yourself.
- Learn something new every day – This may seem ambitious, but it could be as simple as subscribing to a new podcast, reading National Geographic, or listening to an opposing political news source (scary right?). Learning not only exercises your brain, but when you understand the mechanics of a car engine or why gold is so rare, you appreciate more in life, and we all know that more appreciation equals more happiness.
- Wake up earlier and do more of what moves you – Several studies have shown that students who wake up earlier have statistically significant higher GPAs. Additional research shows that early risers are more proactive, are more successful, and are more optimistic. Who doesn’t want some (or all) of that? Make a list of the five things that you enjoy doing most, whether it’s singing, quilting, taking baths, or pumpkin chucking, write them down and carve out time to do more of what makes you happy – which might simply mean hitting the snooze button less.
- Invest your money – Having your hard earned cash sitting in bank accounts where others are profiting off your dollars (yes, banks invest your money in funds and loans, and benefit off of interest and fees they charge you, making profits off of your money that are not shared with you) is a waste in more than one way. Put your money in stocks (on average, you will earn 7% per year), or take the plunge and buy instead of rent (think of a mortgage as forced savings). Being financially secure allows you the freedom to do more of what you love and the liberty to invest your money in causes that are near and dear to you that will also improve your community – like a local shelter or arts program.
- Speak your truth – As Audre Lorde wisely wrote, “Your silence will not save you.” We are entering 2018 at a unique time in history, oppressed groups are gaining rights, women are finally finding some justice for centuries of sexual abuse, and dominate groups are no longer able to silence and ignore the masses. If you are uncomfortable, say something. If you have an idea, speak up. The world cannot wait for the next Martin Luther King Jr. to arrive, we need change, and we need it now. In 2018, we will answer the call.
Wishing you merriment, courage, and progress in the year ahead.