Thursday, January 1, 2015

10 Things To Do In The New Year!

Every year we feel pressured to make a resolution for the upcoming year. We tend to vow to be better at something, to stop doing something or to achieve a goal we are not prepared to accomplish, and every year we give up and vow to do better next year. Why do we wait until December 31st to try and be better? Why not spend every day being the best possible version of ourselves? Life is ever changing, we are constantly growing and learning from our experiences, be it successes or failures.  As the new year begins, I do not choose to make a resolution, I choose to do these 10 things today and every day.

Be Happy
Happiness is thrown around more often than not when people are asked what they are looking for in life. Why are we "looking" for happiness? Who would choose to go through life unhappy? Well, surprisingly, a lot of people! In this day and age of "never enough", many people are left unhappy.  We constantly compare ourselves to others and want what they have, a better job, a bigger house, a smaller waist etc etc etc! Enough! Stop scrolling through your news feed being envious of people you haven't talked to in years. Happiness doesn't come from another person, monetary things or success, it is a choice from within. You could have everything you possibly ever wanted, but at the end of the day you aren't what you have but rather who you are, so make a conscious choice every day to choose to be happy and you will be happy. 

Be You
As I have gone through life I have become aware of the many sides of ME. The happy side, the funny side, the sarcastic, stubborn and OCD sides. I also realized that there were many times in my life when I wasn't being ME. I was the girl I thought the boy would like better then me, the girl
I thought would have more friends then the regular me or the employee that didn't speak up about her opinions and became that "yes" girl! They say with age comes wisdom, I envy the people that seemed to know who they were early on, but I also value the journey that brought me to this
realization. Too often, we conform to be what we think others want us to be. I think this goes along with being happy, I don't know anyone who is truly happy not being themselves or anyone who is unhappy being their true self. So let the freak flag fly!

Be Spontaneous
Life can get boring! Relationships can become stale, work gets tedious and "bagel Thursday" becomes redundant. It's like listening to your favorite new song on repeat, it eventually gets old. So, throw a wrench in it! Liven things up, shake it up a bit. Whether it be something big or small, break free of the routine. Say yes to something you normally wouldn't, do something that scares you, make immediate plans you can't cancel, or do whatever it is you just thought about while reading this! 

Be Loyal
Whether it be a friendship or any type of relationship you want to know the other person is loyal to you. Being loyal means always being there for the other, being faithful, honest and having the other persons back. I think it's safe to say that no one can claim they have never talked about someone behind their back. For whatever reason, as a society, we seem to have different rules when it comes to ourselves verses others. Don't believe me? Watch 10 minutes of any reality show! The same person who complains to their friends about so-and-so talking about them behind their back is trashing that same person to his or her friends. Granted it's TV, but it pretty much mirrors real life. Being a loyal friend, spouse, or relative doesn't mean you are always perfect at it. There have been times in my life growing up when the people around me have made a comment or observations of one of my friends and I just kind of let it go, or went along with. I by no means meant ill will by it, nor did I usually feel the same way, but I think at times I felt pressure to agree with that person for whatever reason or just not say anything and hope the topic changed. As I got older I developed more of my own voice, I also considered how I would feel it the situation was the other way around. I learned that I don't always have to agree with the choices my friends make to be loyal.

Be Confident 
Be confident in your choices, your voice and your decisions. Stand up for yourself, take risks, be courageous in your opinions and ideas. You are unlike anyone else and you should embrace that.  Don't try to conform but rather stand out. Too often, we don't achieve our full potential or we give up. Don't let others dictate what you do and don't let "NO" deter you. If no one thought outside the box we wouldn't have things like electricity, telephones or even computers. The greatest success comes from big ideas and even bigger failures. The key is to be confident in yourself. This is something that I have become better at over time.  
Be Nice
I don't think people generally choose to be mean! Think about this, you're running late for work, your dog is taking much too long to do it's business (longer then any normal day when you have time to spare), you hit yourself in the nose with the mascara wand while rushing to do your make-up (costing you another 5 minutes to fix), your gas tank is empty so you have to stop on your way, you  spill coffee on yourself as you try to merge on the highway and then you get stuck behind a slower then slow vehicle! Wow, you are having a rough morning! You know that, your bff who you just texted knows that, but you know who doesn't? That lady crossing the street who caused you to slam on the breaks in order to avoid hitting her as you made a right turn, prompting you blast your horn
and yell some very not nice things, because even though you have a green light the cross walk says WALK! As far as shes concerned you are a very unhappy person who may well benefit from an anger management course. Now granted, that's not an everyday situation, lets hope. We have all found ourselves in situations where the stresses of everyday life end up being directed at someone else.  Obviously no one is in a good mood 100% of the time, but don't pass that negativity you are feeling on to others. I truly believe in the idea of "paying it forward" Pay it forward is an expression for describing the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of to the original benefactor. Likewise, I think you can help spread negativity through interactions with others. Humans have chameleon-like tendencies, if you surround yourself with unhappy people you will be more likely to be unhappy and pass that feeling along. Surrounding yourself with happy, optimistic people leads you to be happy and spread positive energy to others.

Be Excited 
Who wants to hang out with a Debbie downer? Just because you came in second and not first doesn't mean there is no reason to be happy. Celebrate the little things, acknowledge small victories and achievements. Don't dread the future or change, be excited about things to come. Be excited for others! Just because your friend got married first, or your younger sister got pregnant before you, you shouldn't take it as a personal setback. Share in their joy and enjoy the special moments for others as well as yourself.

Be Healthy  
Every new year we resolve to lose weight. That's why commercials for weight loss pills, weight loss programs and fat free foods seem to play every five seconds starting January 1st. It's also why every gym in your area is offering crazy membership deals and seem to be crowded 24 hours a day. Well, until about February or March, then everything pretty much goes back to normal. We set ourselves up for disappointment by trying to go from 0 to 100. Being healthy is not necessarily about losing weight, but rather about taking the best possible care of your body. Like the old saying goes, you are what you eat! Our country has overtime shifted from "real food" to artificial ingredients and processed chemicals as forms of nourishment. Food companies are more concerned about the bottom line than their consumers. Your body is your temple, and such you should treat it that way. What we do today affects our future. We tend to not think about the long term consequences of our actions and instead focus on the now. From what you eat, how much you drink, if you smoke, your activity level, to your emotional well-being, the choices we make today play a role in our future health.

Be Adventurous
Life is short, so enjoy it! I like to think of life as a ride at an amusement park. You can play it safe and ride the classic old wooden coaster, it's fun, it's exciting at times, but its also predictable. Or, you can strap yourself into that new, scary looking, adrenaline pumping roller coaster, even though it intimidates you. You can feel excited and free as it twists and turns, never knowing what will come next, even throwing you threw a loop at times. We can't grow or learn if we never break out of our  comfort zone. Explore new things, follow your dreams, throw caution to the wind and take risks even if you know you are likely to fail. I believe that everyday on this earth is a gift and tomorrow is not guaranteed. I don't want to play it safe, wait until I'm 65 to start enjoying what life has to offer or travel the world. There is no right way to live your life, but I truly believe the journey of your life should be an adventure.

Be Honest 
We all have a tendency to lie about the little things. We grow up being told to tell grandma how much we love that awful sweater we wouldn't be caught dead wearing. It starts by trying to avoid hurting others, it then becomes a way to protect ourselves "I did the report but my dog ate it". Over time it becomes easier and easier to lie without trying "Sorry I'm late, there was traffic," "I can't come, I already have plans," "I won't be at work today, I think I'm coming down with something". We allow ourselves to "fib" for our own convenience but don't allow others to do the same to us. Even the smallest lie leads one to feel betrayed. We can not expect others to be honest with us if we continue to blur the lines of truth. No relationship or friendship can survive without trust, and once someone looses their trust in you, it can sometimes be impossible to get back. We have all heard that honesty is the best policy, even though we might not always like the truth. Honesty towards yourself is just as important. We need to be honest with ourselves, about our goals, our short comings and the choices we make. What good does it do to lie to ourselves? Deep down we know the truth anyway! Embrace your truth, learn from it and grow from it.

 Strive to be the best person you can be, surround yourself with positive people, start each day trying to be better then the last, learn from your mistakes while growing from your experiences, and of course, HAVE FUN! If you take life too seriously, you'll never get out alive.