Are you the type of person who makes resolutions- without fail- year after year, only to lose steam by February 1? Or, are you the type of person who avoids such commitments altogether, fearing failure, disappointment, or simply being a timeless cliche?
Research shows that over 80% of people fail to stick to their resolutions within six weeks. That’s because most resolutions are too vague (“be happy”) or too grandiose (“stop complaining”). Like with recovery, if you don’t have a plan, then you don’t have a reasonable goal.
However, if you’re interested in boosting your recovery with more zest this year, consider these manageable resolutions.
Help Someone Every Single Day
They say the secret of happiness lies in helping others, and scientific research continues to provide compelling data that shows giving back creates a dynamic path towards sustainable well-being.
Giving doesn’t need to be arduous, expensive, or meticulous. It doesn’t need to be about dramatically saving lives or making newsworthy headlines. Giving only needs to be a matter of putting someone else’s needs or desires at the forefront of your moment.
This could be helping a coworker draft out an email. It could be letting the person in the grocery store move ahead of you. To hold yourself accountable, keep a journal. Write down your positive deed at the end of the day.
Commit to this every day. If you stick with the challenge, you’ll surprise yourself by seeking out opportunities where you can be of service.
Write Down Gratitude
Life can be challenging and undoubtedly stressful. We all experience sadness and fear and anger, and we all experience feeling hurt and rejected.
Gratitude keeps our focus into perspective. It doesn’t invalidate the pain we experience, but it does offer us a solution for remembering what truly matters. If we look for beauty, we can find the beauty. Likewise, if we only look for ugly, we can certainly find that, too.
Gratitude journals provide an excellent structure for reflecting on the positive celebrations of daily living. Commit to writing down 3-5 things that went well each day. Commit to this exercise even if a horrific day arises. You will learn how you can find the glimmers of hope even in moments of despair.
Meditate For 5 Minutes Everyday
1440 minutes. That’s how many minutes we receive every day to use as we please. Out of those 1440 glorious moments, can you devote five of them to rejuvenation and relaxation? Can you grant yourself the gift of peace?We all know the incredible benefits associated with meditation. From reducing anxiety to dispelling cravings to making an important decision, meditation can help with just about anything.
Unfortunately, most people denounce meditation before letting the magic unfold. They try a few times and find themselves frustrated for not being able to do it right.
Be patient with yourself. There’s no doing it right. However, if you commit to a measly five minutes each day, by the end of the year, you’ll have meditated for 1825 minutes. That’s a whopping 30 hours!
Write A Letter To Everyone You Love
Life moves when we don’t want it to move. Life changes in unexpected rhythms at unexpected times, and we don’t have any moments guaranteed to us. We meet many people throughout our lives, but only an exceptional selection of those people receive the deepest parts of us- our love.
This year, commit to handwriting letters to the people who matter to you. Not an email. Not a text message. A handwritten note sent in the mail sealed with a postage stamp.
There isn’t a formula. The length doesn’t matter. The content doesn’t matter either. Let your appreciation manifest in the words that feel most appropriate. Let the pen take control of the page.
This is an exercise that reminds you to treasure the people you love. It also provides an invaluable gift to your recipients.
Do Something New Every Week
Routine may ground recovery, but novelty evokes the color of life. We need spontaneity. We need to experience new people, places, and things to learn about ourselves and grow. Stagnation turns to boredom, and boredom can quickly turn to maladaptive despair.
This may require moving out of your comfort zone, but imagine what it would be like to accomplish 52 new things this year. It could mean taking a new way home from work or trying a new flavor of coffee. It could mean finding a new ate night idea or trying out a new class.
To really capture this resolution, take a photo during each experience and jot down a few notes detailing your reactions. Boom! Now you have a keepsake scrapbook brimming with a year’s worth of new memories.