There is still a while before the holiday season and we have all the time we need to prepare for the year ahead. Last Christmas was not like what it has always been and I hope that’s not the case this year. But hope alone is not good enough so I decided to think about my new year’s resolution in advance. The habits I want to develop and the undesirable behaviors I want to abandon for good. For me, this is the beginning of a small journey I want to share with you so that you may, too, kick off the next year on a bright note.

Work on Relationships

If, like me, you have lost someone dear to you recently, you may have experienced the feelings of regret and the thoughts of how you wish you handled some things differently. We often take the simple joyous things in life for granted. We let little things get in our way to more meaningful and fulfilling relationships. I want to develop a forgiving mind to be able to let go of small things and see the glass half full—in things and in people. I want to be more proactive in loving and caring, and in reaching out to those who are struggling and lend a hand. Happiness is only real when shared.

Be More Grateful

We can’t always have the things we want in life. It is very easy to get lost in the things that we think make us happier, but they only distract us from noticing the valuable things we have. A life well-lived is a life full of gratitude. We can start by appreciating the little things, perhaps a warm cup of coffee in the morning or hearing the pleasant chirping of the birds outside. Nothing is too small to be grateful for.

Be More Conscious of Health

In the midst of hectic daily routines, study overload, and fast-approaching deadlines, it can be hard to prioritize our health. Making small changes in our lifestyle can make a huge difference. Getting a good night’s sleep is a strong first step. No more binge-watching Netflix series until 3 AM in the morning. Getting enough sleep boosts learning and improves concentration. We also need to incorporate more workouts into our weekly schedules. Higher physical activity means a healthier body and a healthier mind.

Stop Procrastinating

If I was still writing a letter to Santa, I’d ask him to get me something that would help me overcome my procrastination problem. I have lost count of the times that I had to rush restlessly just to make the deadline, cursing myself why I haven’t started sooner. Whether it’s laziness, distractions, or lack of discipline, this is a habit that I should break. They say to solve a problem, you must first be willing to accept it. I need to manage my time better. To start, I’m scheduling my every day and prioritizing the most important task to be done first. As unpleasant as some tasks may be, the sooner they get done, the better I feel about myself for achieving it, the more in control I feel, the more pleasant the next tasks become. I have been in this cycle before; I just need to be careful not to break it this time.

Be More Open to Adventure

Experiencing new things opens up possibilities and adds flavors to life. Stepping out of our comfort zone is what actually helps us grow. I’m making a list of the things I haven’t done, cuisines I haven’t tried and places I haven’t explored. The priority is with more accessible options. You don’t need to be a globetrotter to be an adventurer! Not at first anyway.

Live in the Moment

If there is one thing that the pandemic has taught me, it is that things can change drastically pretty fast. While it’s important to have a plan for the future, there is no point in obsessing over it. We should take advantage of every moment that comes our way. It may take time to master the skill of living in the moment, but the benefits are innumerable. It takes away anxiety and stress, fosters gratitude, and improves relationships.

I hope things take a turn for the better as I try to hold my end of the bargain, and I hope that the new year will be full of growth, health, and happiness for you, and your loved ones.