New Year’s Resolutions
As 2019 quickly approaches, it’s natural to think about what you want to accomplish in the year to come. A new year with a fresh start is a great time to start projects, whether around the house or within yourself. Have you ever wondered where and when this tradition truly began? Believe it or not, this practice started over 4,000 years ago with the ancient Babylonians. Their “resolutions” were actually promises made to their pagan gods as a way to pay their debts and return any borrowed objects. Similarly for early Christians, the first day of the new year became the time to think about one’s past mistakes and to resolve to do better in the future. Today, we make promises to ourselves rather than the gods. What promises will you make to yourself this year? Here are some creative suggestions inspired by TED talks, which can be found here.
- Choose one person you disagree with and take them out to lunch.
Most of us are guilty of “other-ing” people who think or act differently than we do. As a result, we stop seeing their humanity and focus on their differences. Is there anyone you find yourself judging or negatively stereotyping because of their views? Invite them to lunch. However, before you meet, agree on some ground rules — that neither of you will persuade, defend or interrupt. Be curious, conversational and real. And be sure to listen.
- Schedule weekly time to be bored.
If your brain is always occupied, then you’re probably missing out on some of your best ideas. “When you get bored, you ignite a network in your brain called the ‘default mode,’” says podcaster Monoush Zomorodi. “The default mode is where we connect disparate ideas, we solve some of our most nagging problems, and we do something called ‘autobiographical planning.’ This is when we look back at our lives, we take note of the big moments, we create a personal narrative, and then we set goals and we figure out what steps we need to take to reach them.”
- Do one thing that scares you — knowing you’ll get rejected.
Want to get over a fear of rejection? Jump head first into it. For 30 days, find a new way to get rejected every day. Do what author Jia Jiang did and ask for a “burger refill” the next time you’re at a restaurant. Or, ask a stranger for $100. By the end, you’ll desensitize yourself from the pain of rejection — a pain that could be holding you back from goals you want to accomplish.
- Talk to a stranger every week.
It’s easy to get swept up in your routine and forget about the people around you. This year, commit to talking to strangers — whether it’s the person waiting in line with you at the grocery store, someone you see everyday on your morning commute, or a parent at your child’s school. Even if it’s just “hello” or a “how are you doing today,” those little interactions can brighten your day and make another person feel seen.
- Say yes to everything for one month.
Try an experiment: say “yes” to everything that scares you. Raise your hand to take on a new project at work. Speak at a town hall about an issue close to your heart. Go to that intimidating kickboxing class your friend keeps inviting you to.
- Buy fruits and vegetables that don’t look perfect.
This year, try to choose fruits and vegetables that look a little busted — not rotten, just imperfect. They’ll be perfectly edible, and you’ll do your part to help reduce food waste.
Hopefully this list will inspire you! It’s amazing how an ancient traditions can morph into what society dictates years later. Speaking of that, we can also thank the Babylonians for holding celebrations to commemorate the new year, so when you are popping that champagne under a sky full of fireworks and counting down the seconds to midnight, give a nod to our ancient ancestors for their role in our traditions of today!
Best regards from your Realtor and friend,