Gain weight, exercise less and be lazier – these are just three of the 10 resolutions I’ve set for myself for the New Year. Controversial? Perhaps, but read on to find out why I am setting these resolutions and what else I have in mind to change in 2016.
1. Run less
In the past few months I wrote several times about taking a break from running, but somehow I always go on and on. Now that I completed my mission to run 2015 km in 2015 I am determined to run less in 2016, or at least the first few months. There are several reasons for this: I want to spend more time and energy on other things; I feel slightly overtrained; I want to take the pressure off reaching a certain weekly mileage and regain the joy running used to give me; and, lastly, I want to gain weight.
2. Gain weight
Yes, you read that correctly and you may punch me (though be gentle!). As most people start the New Year with a weight-loss resolution, I actually want to put on some weight. I have been a few kilos lighter than I’d like to be, but I will strive to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight in 2016. That shouldn’t be too difficult if I run less.
3. Spend more money
At the risk of sounding stingy, I have been very careful with spending money during 2015. While I had my reasons to do this, I think it is time to increase my spendings in 2016, especially when it is on developing my skills. Things I am considering are taking a writing or photography course, consulting a coach, or visiting a physiotherapist for my core and back muscles.
4. Ditch the ToDo list
The ToDo list may be a lifesaver for many people seeking to increase their productivity, I have found it to add more stress to my life than I’d like to. Sure, when life gets busy and I feel overwhelmed listing everything I
have to want to do can help enormously, but do I really need a daily ToDo list to remind me to cook dinner, fold the laundry, clean the bathroom and change my undies? I will do them anyway, and without having them jotted down there is way less pressure.
5. Be lazier
One of my favorite resolutions for the New Year is to allow myself to be a little lazy every once in a while. I usually like to do a lot every day, but keeping myself busy all the time costs a lot of energy. Being lazier now and then will hopefully help me to charge my battery.
6. Stop doing yoga as a form of exercise
No, I am not planning to stop practicing yoga. In fact, this month I have really gotten into it more and more, to the point where I am practicing every single day. I am planning to continue this in 2016. However, as I was doing some exercises with a friend a few days ago, I realized I became a little frustrated about my body’s weakness and lack of flexibility. Today it occurred to me that yoga isn’t about how flexible I am or how good my asanas (poses) look. It’s all about awareness and breathing. So I should stop seeing yoga as a form to get in shape and instead focus on the present when I am practicing.
7. Stop labeling my diet
The second part of this year I’ve been experiencing with a vegan diet. It all started with a 30-day vegan challenge, after which I decided to continue eating this way. While I have no intention to make animal products part of my daily diet again, I also don’t think I will ever go 100 percent vegan. I will have the occasional ice cream or dessert; I may have some dairy or egg-containing foods when I go back to Saudi Arabia or Holland; and I can’t imagine a holiday in France or Italy without having a plateau de fromage or salata caprese. So yes, I am eating a (mostly) plant-based diet, but I won’t label it as “vegan.”
8. Set less goals
I love setting goals. The excitement when I embark on a new project, the work and dedication it takes to achieve it, and finally the feeling once I have completed it. The problem with goals, however, is that they are always about the future. And somehow, we tend to think that we will be happier once we reach X goal, whether it is losing 10 pounds, running a marathon or earning $60,000 a year. As cliché as it sounds, what really counts when we look back at our lives are the moments we spent with our families and friends – the times when we enjoyed the present rather than looking at the past or the future. So my resolution for 2016 is to be more mindful and present and focus less on the future.
9. Stop putting myself first
Magazines and the Internet are full of articles that encourage us to put ourself first. We need to address our own needs and desires before we think of others. But is this true? I think putting others first a little more often will help me feel more grateful, which in turn will make me a happier person – after all, it’s still all about myself! There are so many people in the world who could use a hand or some attention. Focusing more on other people’s needs – both those close to me as well as strangers – instead of my own is one of my resolutions for the New Year, as is number 10.
10. Stop making New Year’s resolutions
To be honest, I think setting New Year’s resolutions is quite silly. Do I really need to wait for the New Year to change the things in my life I’m not happy about? And so I would say, take my controversial resolutions with a grain of salt, although there is some truth in all of them.
Yes, there are a few points I would like to focus and work on, and I like to use the new calendar year to start them. But am I gonna have to wait until 2017 if on January 17 I fail one of my “resolutions”? I don’t think so. I’d rather spend some time every week to sit back and think about the direction my life is taking. And while I will definitely try to move forward in several areas of my life, my most important focus for 2016 will be to live in the moment and be mindful.
Happy New Year! May 2016 bring you many moments of happiness, health, joy, and prosperity.