New Year’s resolutions

We have all been there, haven’t we? Popular resolutions are: “I will hit the gym daily,” “I will spend more time with my family”, “I will eat healthy.” The major problem with these resolutions is that they are too mainstream. We tend to rebel against boring and common ideas.

So, here are some ideas for resolutions that could bring sustainable changes to your life:

Practising altruism

Altruism is the practice of selflessness — the art of giving and not expecting anything in return. Having too many expectations is a primary cause of conflicts in relationships. When you perform an act of service for someone and you expect the same in return, you end up creating an empty space within yourself that you seek others to fill.

But engaging in altruistic acts will give you a deep satisfaction. Individuals who regularly practise altruism are more likely to experience a lasting sense of happiness compared to those who don’t. Altruism can easily be integrated into our lifestyles regardless of how busy we are; it just requires a change of approach.


Feeding stray animals/donating to animal welfare organisations, rather than purchasing a pet from breeders.

Volunteering for social work.

Appreciating our loved ones, without an expectation for anything in exchange.

Letting go of the tendency to keep “scores” in relationships.

I will be mindful

A concept that has been emphasised in the Buddhist tradition, mindfulnessmeans being fully aware of ourselves. The modern lifestyle is so hectic that we hardly think twice about our robotic routines. Are you completely happy with how you use your time? All human beings get only 24 hours per day; some use it wisely while some just complain. To be fully alive at each moment sounds like a romantic yet impossible notion to us. Applying mindfulness allows us to experience life as it happens. Even in student life we tend to be a bit hasty because we have to juggle multiple tasks at the same time.


Planning a schedule so that we are more aware about how we use our time.

Meditating upon our thoughts, for self-reflection.

Paying full attention to each task that we perform.

Avoiding multitasking when it isn’t necessary.

Eating mindfully or being aware of our body’s needs.


Laughter is the best medicine, even science agrees. According to the facial feedback hypothesis, even if we aren’t feeling happy, smiling will trick our minds into believing that we actually are happy; this will eventually result in a shift in mood. Humour is the best defence mechanism, when situations get tough we must learn to crack a joke or even laugh at the negative thoughts in our head. Learning to see the funnier side of situations will help you in lightening up your mood and even keep your body more fit and relaxed. Situations may not be in our control but our reactions more or less are.


Discipline does not mean waking up at 5 a.m. and going for a jog; it could mean different things to different people. Don’t let people tell you what will work for you and what will not. For some people, discipline can mean going to bed at 11 p.m.; for others, it can mean learning a new concept of their subject daily. Whatever it is that you need to do in order to feel more efficient is your way to exercise discipline. There are some things in life that should be practised religiously so that we keep getting closer to our goals. The key to success is consistency.


Making one long-term goal and a few short-term goals that are time-bound.

Valuing your time and using it wisely.

Ask this question to yourself at the end of each day: “What have I done today that has brought me closer to my life goal?”


Literally or metaphorically de-cluttering is very important. Getting rid of the cobwebs in your life will help you invite growth and success. Small steps such as cleaning your wardrobe or big steps such as removing negative people from your life; both will go a long way in improving the quality of your life.


Stop hoarding material things.

Be ruthless when you are getting rid of things that are not useful to you.

Stop spending your energy on the Negative Nellies.

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