24 December 2016, by Flora Isabelle
First, I got to mention that I hate new year resolutions. Mainly because… I’m not very good at keeping to them.
I’ll lose 5kg this year.
I’ll save $10,000 by December.
I’ll quit chocolate.
Who am I kidding? After a good 30 years, I have finally come to realise that I am better off NOT making any New Year resolutions. But having said that, I still keep a list of reminders that I go through at the end of the year, as I review the past 12 months and ask myself if I could have made my year better and how I should treat life the coming year.
1) Decide (roughly) where you want to be in life
Do you want to start that ice cream parlour you’ve always dreamed of? Or do you want to be in a job where you can enjoy flexi-work arrangement so you can spend more time with your children? Or it could be something like wanting to pick up a new language?
Then ask yourself what are you doing to get there. You don’t have to be there by the end of 2017 but if you’re looking at eventually starting your own business, ask yourself if you have been saving up. If you have been talking to people about it. If you have been doing market research.
If you want to pick up a new language, when do you plan to actually sign up for classes?
Just sitting around and talking about it will just make the years go by.
2) Eat a little better
Like I said earlier, I find it ridiculous to make claims such as I’ll stop eating ice cream or I’ll never touch fast food again. I believe in eating anything and everything – but in moderation. And I’ve started paying attention to the little things that could make me healthier… such as telling the Uncle siew dai (or less sugar) when I order my teh peng and drinking more water throughout the day. I also try to say no to extra bacon when having my weekend brunch so it’s not like you have to cut out sugar, oil and carbs entirely for your life to “live healthy”.
3) Talk less, listen more
You know how our parents always told us why we have two ears and one mouth? So we will listen more and talk less? Yup. I see the value of paying more attention to what people are saying – we often hear (what we want to hear) but don’t listen. By listening and trying to understand what the people around us are saying, friction and hence arguments can be greatly reduced. Especially with our loved ones – the husband and I now have a “rule” that we do not interrupt each other mid-conversation and I’d like to think that our relationship has since improved.
4) You don’t have to say Yes all the time
I used to feel really bad when I turn down lunch invites with my co-workers – not because I don’t like them, in fact, I like them so much I spend A LOT of time with them in the office beyond the standard 8 hours – but I just want to, you know, have an hour to myself and just enjoy silence, my thoughts and a good book. You should stop making decisions based on what you feel OBLIGED to – you can say no and you don’t owe anyone an explanation or apology about it. But be polite about it of course.
5) Don’t wait till 1 January
You do not have to wait till a special day for things to happen.
If you feel like picking up yoga – or any other change in your life really – why wait?
So here’s wishing you all a great 2017!