Hello again, for the first time in 2019!
I hope you had a great night and started this brand new year on a positive note. Personally, I love this time of year. The new beginning, the empty page that we’re going to fill systematically with new memories and experiences for the next 365 days. The time when we can leave certain things in the past, labelled with previous year’s number, hidden in the deepest corners of our memory, doomed to never again see the light of day.
The new start. Carte blanche.
And hopes, that in a year’s time we’ll be able to look back and proudly say: ‘I nailed it!‘.
If that sounds familiar and you’d like to make 2019 a good experience, let me present a short list of ways in which you can make sure that you’ll have something positive to reminisce when 2019 is long gone. Spoiler: it’s all about self-care and positive experiences.
Last year, I managed to stick to one of my resolutions for over 10 months. I also made sure to work on small things, accomplishments and experiences on a daily basis – not necessarily spectacular ones, but a bunch of little things that together build up to an overall positive outcome of the year, despite some difficult and stressful negative moments. Using the experience I gained last year, I prepared a short list of simple things that will help you make 2019 your year. Let’s get cracking!
A photo a day
You may now be thinking ‘right, another unrealistic stupid list of pointless things that are supposed to help us’. I swear, it’s not. And this point has actually far more sense than you’d ever imagine. So before I get into details, I urge you to take your phone and create a new folder in the gallery. Call it ‘2019’. Done? Great! Now let me explain why – and how – I think it’s going to help you.
Saying that you should take one photo every day, I don’t mean taking selfies in order to document what you look like every day (although that’s another interesting challenge I know many people do). But here, I mean capturing happy moments.
First of all, in order to be able to take a photo of a nice moment you’ll need to – who would have guessed it? – organize that blissful time. Make that time. Put yourself first for a short while in this busy world. Secondly, I don’t mean huge, luxurious, crazy adventures – that would be completely unrealistic. Spare a moment and think of the things that make you happy. The little ones. Seeing pink skies on a beautiful morning, right after dawn? Some delicious food, cooked at home from scratch? A scrumptious piece of cake? An afternoon spent in the workshop, working on your hobby crafts? Whatever it is, capture it. It can be a challenge when you first start. So often we don’t realize that happiness comes in little things. And at the same time, we often give in to the busy days and don’t even find a minute to take care of ourselves and relax. Committing to the challenge of taking one photo a day – a photo of a happy little moment – should teach us two things: realizing that sometimes a small thing can make the day and forcing ourselves to make time for those little things on a daily basis.
And when a bad time comes and you feel like your life is boring, open the album and look back at all of those happy moments. And maybe get inspired to repeat one of those and turn a bad day around?
Last but not least, won’t it be wonderful to look at those 365 photos on the 31st of December, with a feeling that you did something nice every day?
Learn a new skill
I can’t think of many things that would bring greater satisfaction than learning a skill you’ve desired for a long time. We live in amazing times – a step-by-step tutorial for anything and everything can be found on the Internet. What is it that you’d like to learn? How to bake a 3-layer-meringue-topped sponge cake? Basics of a foreign language? Or maybe something smaller, like how to tie a tie? Repeating a popular phrase: ‘just do it!‘. And in a while, you’ll look back and feel proud of yourself. (And remember: there’s no such thing as failure, as long as you try. The only failure is giving up before you even start.)
Here’s something I did last year:
Yes, it’s a doughnut.
As a software developer interested in arts and crafts, it was a natural path to become interested in modelling and painting digitally. I found a tutorial online, and – a few afternoons later – I had this 3D plate with doughnuts, a little cup, table and a wall. All created with the power of my computer.
Then, without a tutorial (just looking up problems I encountered) I managed to build a new scene:
I don’t have nearly as much time for 3D modelling as I’d like to have, but 12 months ago I didn’t even know how to model a cube! And in just a few weeks I managed to create a whole set of forest-related objects. And I’m proud of myself, I’m not afraid to admit that!
Healthy body and mind
In order to make the year good, it’s important to remember that our well-being is a combination of a healthy body and a healthy mind. There’s a good chance that you’re young and physical health isn’t your priority (how wrong! I got hit by serious problems with my back being only 25 – that’s how sedentary lifestyle can end!). Or maybe you’re focused on achieving certain goals and forget to take care of basic things? Whatever your situation is – try not to forget that both your body and mind need solicitude.
Move! No need to hit the gym 7 times a week if that’s not your cup of tea, but be as physically active as possible within the bounds that apply and work for you.
Make time for happiness that comes in little things and moments and appreciate them, for the health of your mind!
Don’t neglect any of the two, they’re irreplaceable and can’t function without one another.
I hope this lists gives you some ideas and inspirations. I hope that – in a year’s time – we will all be able to look back with pride and happiness. And if staying motivated is something you often struggle with and your New Year’s Resolutions hardly ever make it past week 1 – stay tuned! Tomorrow, I’m going to share a few tips on how to stay motivated and slowly but surely work towards your goals!