Category Archives: Teen Life

New Year, New You?!

Every single January we set our resolutions to change, develop and grow.  We want to implement our goals, dreams, ambitions, and hopes so that we may be happier, healthier, and wiser.   They become our realities for most of January, even  our strive for perfection and stream of determination.  Often, we want to lose weight, maintain better relationships receive better grades, or even save our money.  Every new year presents itself with an opportunity to change something.

If you are conflicted about what your new year’s resolution should be this year I’ve got some tips on where to start.  Since these resolutions can often times be stressful to obtain and hard to reach it’s important to set realistic yet challenging goals for yourself.  Keep in mind that we aren’t superhumans with the ability to lose 20 pounds in one month, or receive all A’s in one semester.  Learning a new skill takes time.  You have to be determined.  You don’t necessarily see change starting, but once you feel the power it gives you, then you’ll know you’ve reached your goal.

Here are my Top 10 New Year Resolution suggestions to try:

1.     Make resolutions that will benefit you such as getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night.  Studies have shown that people who get more sleep have less stress and are more productive.

2.     Take up a hobby that you haven’t had before.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to try ice-skating.  Or perhaps painting.  Maybe it’s joining a group at school that you are interested in.  You never know what you can be great at until you try.

3.     Be friendlier. Take the time to really show your interest in other individual’s activities or passions.  Friendships develop all the time from underlying similarities.  Reach outside of your normal social circle and say hello to someone on the bus or at school.  Put on a smile! Being friendly never hurt.

4.     Expand your music horizon.  Music therapy can be great for anyone who has anxiety.  Listen to the lyrics of songs, take note in what you like and try to interpret their meaning.  Music has the capability of reducing stress yet also providing energy.  Different beats, genres, and lyrics can set the mood for almost anything.  Try it!

5.     Clean out that closet once and for all!  …Or your room, car, etc.  Being unorganized can be stressful.  You can’t find the things you are looking for, you get caught up in all of the chaos of the clutter.  So take a little bit of time to get organized.  Being in a clean space can help your mind relax and unwind.

6.     Make your favorite childhood meal once a month.  Meals or smells that have a positive and comforting meaning associated with them can reduce stress.  I always like to have a bagel with peanut butter on it because my Mom always made that when I was younger.  It takes me back to happiness in those little bites of heaven.

7.     Incorporate a life long stress relieving practice.  This could be yoga, or drinking tea.  Really it can be anything that helps your feel better.  Maybe it’s reading every night before bed, or perhaps it’s going for a walk once a week by yourself.  Everyone needs a little reflection time; it’s good for your soul.  Try it!

8.     Be more positive.  Optimism is a powerful thing, even if you don’t know it.  It can lead to a happier, energetic outlook on daily activities.  Your attitude can shift.  It can change everything.  Even putting a smile on can help you feel better.  So try and smile more, say thank you, have positive thoughts, and don’t self-depreciate.  You are an important person with dreams, goals and ambitions.  You can do anything!

9.     Reduce your job or school stress level.  Don’t let yourself become so overwhelmed that it consumes you.  Make it a point to stay on top of your work.  Sometimes to-do lists help, or planners.  If you are stressed at work or school, it’s likely that will impact other aspects of your life and most importantly your happiness.  Examine what areas you need to improve on and what changes you can make to make a positive impact on your life.  If you aren’t happy in your job, it’s time to seek out what you are capable of and where your passions are.  If you don’t like school… well, that’s tough!  School can be horrible, annoying, positive, and a useful tool all at the same time.  You’ll make it through it though, and eventually find what you are meant to do.

10.     Make some future goals.  What is one thing you want to accomplish in the next 5 or 10 years?  Write down everything that makes you happy or that you enjoy doing.  This list can lead to an idea or even a path for you.  How are your finances?  Relationships? Goals? Personal development?   These are all things to think about when documenting your future goals.

If you find that day-to day stress and anxiety are overwhelming your focus, take a deep breath and reanalyze where you are.   These helpful New Year’s resolutions tips should allow you to set some productive goals for yourself, even if they are small.  We all have dreams, ambitions, and passions, but some of us also have obstacles.  First we have to get over these hurdles before we can reach our destination.

I hope these new years resolutions tips are useful to you and help you reflect on your personal goals.

To a healthier, happier you!  Happy New Year!

Now smile!

By: Monique Volz

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