2017 was an overwhelming year for me. I traveled to a new country, ran my first 10k in five years and moved into my first apartment. I also pulled my first all nighter to study for a test, cried myself to sleep and experienced that gut wrenching feeling of being "lost". Throughout it all, I learned to confront my biggest doubts and fears, gained a greater appreciation for the world and figured out who my true friends are.
In previous years, my New Year's resolutions have been really vague or misguided. My only resolution for 2017 was to "try new things" and though I did ultimately challenge myself with new experiences, I had no clear cut way of measuring my personal growth as a result of these experiences. As the year came to a close, I spent a lot of time reflecting on what did and didn't go well for me. Ironically, I realized that most of the negatives could be fixed simply through routine reflection.
I bought a new planner and created a mindmap of my top goals for 2018 along with some of the steps I would take to achieve these goals. This mindmap provided me with the framework to draft some meaningful New Year's resolutions. To me, a meaningful resolution is one that promotes a growth mindset. In a nutshell, this means that the resolution enhances motivation and productivity. If you're interested in learning more about the growth mindset, here is a great article that really helped me as I was writing my resolutions!
Resolutions for 2018
- Set a bedtime. Something I struggled with this past year was my sleep schedule. Every time I stayed up late to finish homework or study for a test, it would set back my bedtime for the rest of the week. As a result, I would wake up feeling extra cranky or unmotivated to begin my day. This year, I resolve to be in bed by midnight every night.
- Meditate every morning. In 2017, one of my "new things" was yoga. I started up yoga as a simple pre-workout for cardio but decided to make it a part of my morning routine once I discovered its stress-reducing effects. This year, I resolve to practice at least 10 minutes of mindfulness meditation before my morning yoga.
- Read 12 new books. Growing up, reading was my favorite pastime. I have many fond memories of summer days spent gobbling up books (and Frappuccinos!) at the Barnes & Noble café. For the last few years, however, I have not made as much of an effort to incorporate reading into my life. I told myself this was because I barely had any free time, but part of me always knew that I could make time for books by cutting down on Netflix binges. This year, I resolve to read at least one new book a month. Right now, I'm reading You are a Badass by Jen Sincero and I absolutely love it so far!
- Try one new recipe every week. In 2018, I hope to cut back on eating out/ordering in by coming up with creative, healthy and delicious meals that I can prep ahead of time. I spent some time yesterday making a list of meals, snacks and sweets I want to make this year.
- Take a few minutes at the end of each day to reflect. One of the most effective ways to promote a growth mindset is to engage in routine reflection. What went well for me today? What will I do differently tomorrow? By taking some time each night to record honest responses to these questions, I will hopefully have a new short-term goal to strive for each day until I am on track with my resolutions.
What are some of your New Year's resolutions? Let me know in the comments below!
Happy 2018, everyone!