Published in Elephant Journal on December 21st, 2018
2019 is here, and it’s not too late to arm yourself with a resolution (or two) to set the year in motion.
New Year’s resolutions aren’t anything new. In fact, the earliest reports of resolutions reach back 4000 years to the ancient Babylonians who believed if they paid their debts, the pagan gods would bestow good fortune onto them.
I don’t particularly believe in any of this, but I do believe in the value of setting goals and laying the groundwork for growth.
From diet and exercise to sober Januarys and tech detoxes, the desire to resolve is just as much a reflection on the cultural moment as it is for the person behind each resolution.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around leaving my friends and family back in the states to relocate to London. My resolutions, if you can call them that, are inspired by the desire to stay connected, and the frustration when these efforts aren’t reciprocated.
In lieu of this, below is a list of resolutions I’ve incorporated into my day-to-day life since leaving the US to handle the distance and isolation. I’m far from perfect, but these are goals I can manage, and to some extent, measure.
1. Take Your Time.
I know, this one is difficult, but to take time you have to make time.
Get up earlier to give yourself a bigger window of time on your morning commute. Instead of trying to read every article in the Internet ether, pick one or two to engage with thoughtfully.
If phone time is an issue, enlist an app to monitor your usage and assess.
Above all, enjoy your meals. That means chew them.
Hint: apply this resolution to every aspect of your life for the greatest benefits.
2. Do One Thing at a Time
Multi-tasking doesn’t make us more efficient, it just makes us frantic. Create a to-do list and systematically work through it. You’ll feel more productive while you’re at it.