It hasn’t been common for me in the past to come up with “New Year Resolutions” right before a year ends, or right after a year begins.
I have never thought there’s anything particularly special about a new year that makes a difference to change something about my life.
But this year, I thought: why not? Let’s pretend that after the champagne and the fireworks at midnight, we have a window of opportunity to improve aspects of our lives that we’ll have around 12 months to complete… or at least “begin”. If anything, it could’t hurt, could it?
During the month of January, I gave myself the task of coming up with some resolutions to try out during the rest of the year. I didn’t have a particular number in mind. If I thought about it, I made not of it. Then, by the end of the month, I evaluated how many I had come up with and proceed to work towards them.
I came up with seven.
Resolutions can be quite personal. Depending on how personal, some people would understandably feel quite uncomfortable sharing them. However, I also believe there is a certain sense of accountability that comes with sharing personal goals in such a public way. I hope this makes me feel that now I really have to see them through. I’m sure some people will certainly ask me about them. The pressure is on.
In fact, during the entire month of January, I added some more pressure by sharing these resolutions as they came. On Snapchat of all places. (I’m quite the millennial now, apparently… )
My 2016 resolutions are:
Well, look at that! I’m doing it already…
I’m talking more specifically about writing on this site. “Blogging”, as some may still call it. I used to write regularly online some time ago, but I never managed to keep up the momentum.
My intention behind writing this time around has “making valuable/useful” content at the heart of it. I’m not talking about blog post describing what I’m doing every single day or paragraphs with mundane information. I hope that every post you see here is of enough value to you so it’s worth your time reading it. If anything, this post may be the most “mundane” of all others to come. But remember what I said earlier about accountability? I need this.
I’m basically trying to apply the same principle I try to apply to the way I use social media. Every time I post something on Twitter, I think: will most people find this beneficial? Useful? Informative? Will it make people smile? Laugh? Is at least the photo good enough that is worth people looking at it in their busy timelines? I intend on doing the same here.
2. GO TO THE GYM —EARLY IN THE MORNING.
Exercising and woking out have been a part of my daily routine for years, but never in the morning. I’m simply not a morning person. However, I’m not exactly intending on becoming one. In many ways, I don’t believe I will ever be.
This resolution is based on two distinct reasons: one was this article I read that shows the morning routines of some of the most successful people in the world. The one thing that one common to most of them was that they exercised first thing in the morning before starting the day and running their successful companies. This was enough for me to think that there was something great to harvest from such a behaviour change.
The other reason is nothing but the fact I live in New York City: the city with most thing to do all evenings, every evening. Forever.
In such a vibrant metropolis, it’s difficult not to go to a concert, a professional talk, a class, a networking event, a great restaurant with friends who live in the city (or the many who don’t but always come to New York for whatever reason)… the list goes on. There usually never is enough time in the evening to do all the amazing things there are to do AND get even 1 hour for working out. I’d have to choose and I really don’t want to anymore.
This one is proving to be very difficult, but I believe it’s worth the effort.
3. RUN A HALF OR FULL MARATHON. AGAIN.
I haven’t run long distance since 2013. The last time was the 2013 half-marathon in Austin.
I miss training. I miss that unique feeling you get on race day. There’s very few things like it.
Unfortunately, I’ve injured in various running-related injuries in the past. This has prevented me from running anything more than a couple of miles in the last couple of years.
One of my yoga instructors in Austin would argue that there’s no need to run as an exercise and that I’m going to continue injuring myself. I believe this is true —to an extent. I’m sure the day will come in which it will be in my absolute best interest NOT to run long distance again. When that day comes, I believe I will be OK with putting an end to it. I just don’t think that day has come quite yet. I sure hope not…
4. GO TO LOS ANGELES
This is hardly a resolution. I have only been once to LA and I didn’t find it to be anything worth visiting again.
But now: almost 20 years after the only time I went, not only I have many friends who I’ve already promised to visit, but I also hear it’s changed quite a bit from my original perception. I’ve gathered enough interest to want to visit it again.
5. NOT BEING LATE TO ANYTHING AGAIN.
I don’t have the best track when it comes to being punctual. Maybe it’s the “South American” in me, maybe I just don’t know how to manage my time properly. Whatever the case, I have continuously suffered from not being on time for doctor appointments; being late to the airport and missing (or nearly missing) flights; or simply being late to leisure dates with people.
Living in New York also has a lot to do with this desire not to be late for anything again. I no longer have the luxury of driving my car to exert more control on the time it takes me to be where I need to be at any given time. I need to account for delays in the subway and traffic jams on the streets when I’m not the driver. All of this becomes even more primordial in a city like New York.
I want this to stop, for it can only make everything about my everyday life better.
I heard someone say once “if you’re on-time for something, you’re already late”. I don’t want to be late again.
6. LEARNING GERMAN
Many of the things I like are German. One of my favourite cities in the world is Berlin. It’s a country in which I could see myself living if had to. I think I owe it to myself to learn to speak the language of one of the most developed nations in the world.
Having learned how to speak English, French and Italian, I haven’t attempted to learn a new language in over 10 years. Lately, I’ve been feeling the urge to exercise my “language muscles” in my brain again, and German seems like a great candidate for such endeavour.
When I started thinking about learning another language, the ones that came to mind first were Japanese and Mandarin. Japanese because I am phonetically adept to say words with a very good accent (thanks to Spanish), and Mandarin because of how important China is in various aspects (professionally, culturally, in business).
Unfortunately, without having the luxury to be fully immersed in the country where the language is being spoken, and the fact that these language would involve learning all new characters and vastly different sentence structures, I thought I’d go with something more accessible. At least I’m certain I’ll be able to use most of the letters I know from the other languages I already speak.
I’ve dabbled with meditation in the past. I started to meditate in some of the ashrams I visited in India and Nepal. It was there where I learned that in order to truly get to a meditative state, you have to stop being aware of your body and whether the way you’re sitting is making your legs or feet hurt. I was told it’d be years before anyone could achieve this state, but I had to start somewhere.
Throughout the years, I’ve attempted to meditate every day; twice a day; using YouTube for guidance or trying mobile apps like Headspace. Despite some scattered efforts, I haven’t made it regular practice in my life.
I already know the various benefits that meditation can bring in my quest to strike the right life balance I need to feel better and happier. I simply need to commit to giving it a proper go… just like all the other resolution described here.
That’s it. It’s here. On “paper”. Now I’m more accountable for completing these resolutions for 2016 than I was before saying it here.
Next time you see me, please do me a favour and ask me how am I doing with my resolutions? I’ll greatly appreciate it.