Sunday, January 7, 2024

My 2023 and 2024 New Year's Resolutions

I know New Year's Resolutions are controversial, but I love them for myself and I have a pretty good track record of meeting whatever resolution I set out each year. So let's take a look at how I did with my 2023 resolution and what I'm hoping to do in 2024.

In 2023, I had a very specific goal: exercise more days than not in the calendar year. This meant I needed to exercise 183 out of 365 days, and I'm happy to say I accomplished this one (by the skin of my teeth at exactly 183 days). I used a habit tracker color-in calendar from Etsy and color-coded the days I exercised by the type of exercise. It's interesting to see certain patterns, like more orange when I was in the States when I had a gym membership for Orangetheory Fitness and more brown in Dubai when I got a membership at Fitness First. I also don't work out on Sundays for religious reasons (unless I'm traveling and go for a hike or something wherever I travel), so it was more challenging than I expected getting a majority of the remaining six days of the week. There were also times I was sick or for other reasons couldn't exercise, so I can see my ability to do many days back to back ebbed and flowed throughout the course of the year. I do feel like this resolution helped me get back in the swing of exercising regularly, and I think I'll be able to continue that heading into 2024.

In 2024, my New Year's Resolution will focus on mindfulness. I plan to practice mindful eating and mindful sleeping for healthier habits. I also want to be a more engaged listener and be less distracted by things like my phone when I'm talking to others. Spiritually, I hope to improve my practice of and experience of prayer, which has become a bit of a rushed and chaotic exercise for me lately. And I would also like to meditate more. (I'm using the Headspace app, which I've found to be wonderful for meditation newbies.) Lastly, I want to be kinder to myself and let more things go.

My 2024 resolution is a lot more amorphous and less quantifiable than my 2023 resolution. But some years I find that just having a mantra or priority word like "mindfulness" is enough to lead me to make big change in my life. At every fork in the road, I can ask myself, "Is this choice supporting my goal of bringing more mindfulness into my life?" I'm looking forward to investing in my wellbeing this year and making some small progress towards a better, healthier, more peaceful self.

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