05 Feb Buckle up for another ride around the globe!!
After making the champagne toast in a sparkly party dress, as the clock strikes midnight on the 31st of December, everyone screams the same exact thing ‘HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!’
That’s when the New year, the new mentality kicks in. What did most of us think at this point? ‘It’s a new year, a fresh beginning, a new chance. It’s time to put a stop to all the bad habits, time to move on, time to achieve everything you’ve always wanted, time to bring out the best of yourself and the list goes on. So, on the 1st of January as a habit, most of us sit down to do one main task. To write down our New year RESOLUTIONS!
First, we would all reflect back on the past year and feel happy, sad and maybe even a little bit guilty about everything we have done and we couldn’t do. Then opening up a fresh page of a new diary we would write down everything we want to do this coming year, and some of the most common ones would be to eat healthily, exercise daily, lose weight, wake up early, quit smoking and drinking, take up a new hobby, learn something new, be more productive and of course world peace. And just like that, we all jump into the new year feeling the best of ourselves and ready to conquer the world. But for how long does that new year feeling, the feeling of a fresh start actually last? One week? Or maybe one month? For how long do you actually follow those resolutions that you promised to yourself that you are going to follow for the rest of the year? And finally, moving forward by 365 days at the end of the year do you actually feel content with how you have spent the past year? Are you actually satisfied with how you have spent all that time? Well, that is up to you to think.
Flipping it up a little bit, there is also another group of people that think of the new year as just another year. The 1st of January is just another day. The fact that the earth has just completed another round around the sun doesn’t really mean anything to us, does it? What’s the difference? I guess you would take down the calendar in your room and put up a new one. That’s it right? It's going to be just the same. So why bother? What is the need to make resolutions, goals and plans only to follow them for one month and just fall back into your old life? To look back at the end of the year only to feel guilty and disappointed. Why go through all that when you can stay without making any plans and just live life as it comes?
No plans, No goals, No resolutions = No disappointment ………… or is it?
These are 2 mentalities that we can see during the new-year time and I’m sure that most of you all might fall into one of these. So, are new year resolutions actually needed, or are they worthless? Is there actually a benefit in setting these goals, or is it something that only ends up stressing you out?
The answer depends on how you set your goals. And for this, I would say there are 3 golden rules.
In order to achieve something or reach some point, first and foremost is that you actually need to know what you want to achieve and what point you want to reach, and then plan accordingly. You have to plan your attack. This does not mean that you have to plan out every small detail of your life. That of course is not possible. There will be things that come in your way which you will have no clue about but still will have to face them while moving along. But having no plan at all will make you a hamster running on a wheel, not knowing where you are, what you’re doing or even when to stop. So I would say yes, a plan is necessary.
How to actually make a proper plan? Something that is effective, something that you can actually stick to? There comes the second rule. Be realistic and not optimistic. First and foremost, it is very important that you see yourself for what and where you actually are and accept it. Then set your goals in a way that you can actually see yourself achieving them. For example, if you are someone who has a very bad sleep schedule and you go to bed at 2 am and wake up at like 12 noon setting a goal saying that you will wake at 5 am is obviously not going to be possible at once. That can definitely be your long term goal but in order to achieve that start with baby steps. Go to bed an hour earlier than you normally do and wake up an hour earlier. Continue doing that for some time, and eventually, you will get there. Always climb the steps in order, and never try to jump straight to the next floor.
Lastly, always learn to reward yourself. Be proud of yourself. Something that we all can agree on is that we live in a generation where there is so much competition and we all are in this one big rat race where we never actually look back and see how far we have come. We always compare ourselves to others rather than taking a look back at the change we have made in ourselves. Learn to be your own competition. Fight with yourself and not with others. Most importantly learn to take a pause and give a pat on your back for the change you’ve made. Remember, we feel happy when others appreciate us, but we will not be in content as long as we can appreciate ourselves.
We are at a new year and yes, it does give us a chance to make a fresh start and to achieve all that we wish for. But at the same time, it is important to keep in mind that even though it’s a new year, nothing has actually changed. Every day is going to have 24 hours just like it did the past year, and nothing magical is going to happen. Rather a new year should be a new mentality. A new mindset to try to do everything a little bit better than you were. To become maybe not the best version of yourself but try to take a small step towards that. You might not have achieved your dreams the past year and maybe you might not be able to achieve them fully this year, but try to move closer to them, enjoy the process, be happy and proud when you see yourself moving one step closer and appreciate that. Most importantly enjoy and value the small things around you. Your family, your friends the people whom you value, and that value you. It might only be a handful but I would say that’s all you need. Be grateful for what you have.
Let's all live this year to the fullest so that we can look back at the end and be proud not just for achieving our goals but most importantly for the changes that we have made along the way.
Rtr. Tharushi Gajanayaka
Rtr. Subhavi Kariyawasam