New Year is the most exciting time of the year as it brings with it the opportunity to rebuild our life and recreate a more healthy, productive, smart and better version of ourselves.
But, New Year resolutions are often like the box of super-nutrient herbal tea brought and stored with much enthusiasm and fervour in your kitchen cabinet. But every time you want to reach out to it, you end up picking up the black tea bags or worse still, the coffee jar instead. So it lays there the whole year occupying space in the storage (and your mind) and adding to your guilt each time you pretend it's invisible.
The catch with New Year Resolutions is that most of them are formulated as the last attempt to cover-up for the previous year's failures. And so we end up with disillusioned goals we actually could never accomplish (quit smoking, double your salary, jog for an hour every day and never touch that chocolate butter muffin again).
This only adds to the frustration and inner discontent rather than doing any real good. As for the resolutions, they never last beyond the initial few weeks of the first month (sometimes days). The best way to break this cycle of guilt and disappointment is to give up on vague, unattainable aspirations and make some realistic resolutions instead that are easier to stick to and more meaningful.
Here are 25 New Year Resolutions you should actually be making for a more fulfilling and productive 2015.
1. Stop spending time with people you secretly despise. You don't need to like everyone you meet and you don't need to hang out with every one you know. It is really that simple.
2. Show your love to your partner, prepare a dish for your friends, and take up the Zumba classes you have been meaning to join for months. Let everything you do excite you. Do things with enthusiasm or don't do them at all.
3. Go technology-free for a day at least once in a week. Log out of your chats, switch off your social media notifications--just use the phone the good old-fashioned way for calling or messaging.
4. Pay attention when you are speaking to someone or are being spoken to. Don't check your phone--just listen!
5. Do a healthy deed every day, eat a green leafy lunch, go for a jog, stretch, or maybe even dance away the night-- take your pick. Ditch vain resolutions like 'lose twenty pounds in six months'.
6. Stop spying your exes on social networks and truly embody 'letting go'.
7. Enjoy silence, solitude and an occasional drink just with yourself.
8. Focus on the bigger picture and do not get demotivated, snappy and irritable on small, daily inconveniences and failures. A long wait in traffic is hardly a reason to honk deafeningly at every car ahead in the queue.
9. Accept yourself the way you are--irrespective of your height, colour, structure, hair and don't let that waistline define your self-worth.
10. Don't judge others for the above either.
11. Do things that make you happy and not just because they make for great tweets and Facebook statuses.
12. Be it the work project you picked up at office, the evening yoga classes you enrolled for or the volunteer work course you took up during holidays, don't leave anything midway...finish what you start.
13. Spend more time with people who matter and less with those who don't.
14. Click fewer pictures; enjoy the moment a bit more. Appreciate being in the moment without trying to document it online every time.
15. Share a smile with a stranger, leave your space in the queue for an elder, help your neighbour carry her groceries--live with compassion and give back to the world without expecting any returns. Do things that have nothing to do with you.
16. Pick up the old personal journal, find your long forgotten stamp collection, dust the guitar... pick up a hobby you had abandoned because of lack of time and actually make time for it.
17. Keep your promises, stay true to your words--say things you mean. Don't sugarcoat unless talking to a toddler.
18. Greet your neighbours. Get to know them. Have them over for tea.
19. Try and make your favourite dishes in your kitchen instead of ordering takeaways. It would do both your pocket and health whole lot of good.
20. Clean up your desk, sort your cabinet and throw away the unnecessary stuff leaving only what is useful (and fits!).
21. Grow your own vegetables. The joy of picking a fresh tomato from your own garden for your pasta sauce is incredible.
22. Don't check your Twitter feeds (or Facebook page) during working hours and see this simple discipline increase your daily productivity manifolds.
23. Buy the things you need and not the ones you think you would need in future. Stick to your shopping list.
24. Put your dirty laundry in the basket, your tea cup in the dishwasher and leave a dry bath floor before you leave. Clean up as you go.
25. And for the days you overslept, the days you skipped the gym, the evenings you spent doing nothing at all and the extra helping of the birthday cake you devoured at the office party... enjoy them all without any pang of guilt!