I love New Year’s Eve. I love the thought that you can put a whole year, good or bad, behind you. You get to start all over and start filling in your 365-page story. There’ll be endless volumes of stories but only few will be best sellers. For me, this year was filled with ups and downs. I lost my father in a tragic accident. But I’m grateful to have gotten to spend so much time with him in Kashmir over the summer, Hawaii, and at home in New York. I don’t know why things like that happen but I know God always has a plan. Everything happens for a reason. I completed two amazing internships: one at a magazine in Dubai and another at NBC. I traveled a lot, wrote a lot, made amazing friends, memories, found so much love in many different aspects, made a difference in a peoples lives, and completed last New Year’s resolution, which was to work out way more. But one thing 2014 has taught me is to stop planning for the future. Take each day as a gift. Work hard because nothing in the real world will get handed to you. If you want to accomplish anything, you can–as long as you’re driven, motivated, and put your heart and mind toward it. Here are 16 resolutions that you should make:
1. Explore new religions and become spiritual.
Whether it’s Buddhism, Christianity, or Islam, explore a new religion. Become more spiritual in your mind and thoughts. I got to travel a lot this year. I learned a lot about who I am, the person I want to be, and what’s important to me. I took different passages from the Bible, Quran, Torah, and beliefs from Buddhism. I applied nice passages to my life–those that gave me comfort and made me feel good. Different things really helped to push me through this year.
2. Learn a new language.
Learn a new language for your own knowledge, to impress your boss, or just so you can be more badass! If you can learn the language of your heritage, I think that’s best. If you’re Italian and don’t know that language yet, learn it! I’m trying my best everyday to learn Kashmiri.
3. Travel to a new place.
Whether it’s Jakarta or just North Carolina. Explore. The adventure is worthwhile and traveling is an education where you can learn a lot about things and yourself like I did.
4. Stop looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right.
I’m tired of people going on endless amount of crappy dates, forcing their friends to hook them up with co-workers, or those go speed dating. Stop forcing it! Your other half will find you when you least expect it.
5. Pamper yourself.
Spend an hour a day relaxing or meditating. Read a book, get a massage, pamper yourself, feed your soul, do something that has a healthy outcome on your life and body.
6. Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.
Don’t overexert yourself. If you can workout for like two hours a day, that’s great. 30-minute workouts have put my mind and body in shape. It’s de-stressed me and started my day on a high when I exercise in the morning. 10 sits ups, crunches, push ups, or even running…do what you can to make yourself feel healthier. If your muscles aren’t sore afterwards or don’t burn during your workout, you have to push a little harder.
7. Stop planning for things so far in the future.
Plan things that are at least a month or two maximum in advance, if you can afford it. Your life can take an unfortunate turn any minute like mine did. Enjoy today and stop worrying about things that are out of your control.
8. Limit your social media and phone use.
Guilty as charged. I can’t even count the amount of hours I spent on social media this year. I love sharing pictures, writing this blog, and updating my Twitter. However, I’ll admit endless Instagramming and Tweeting have taken a toll on my life. In the car, at a restaurant, or when with my friends, I forget about my surroundings and immerse myself into my phone. You and I have to stop. If you’re on a date or at dinner, don’t use your phone unless it’s an emergency. During the day check your phone only 4-5 times and stop texting endlessly. Things are much better said in person and enjoy the time you have with your friends and family.
9. Stop Drinking, Limit your alcohol.
Spare me the late-night drunk texts and the complaints of how hung over you are during the day. You will feel ten times more energized and healthy when you stop drinking every night and weekend. I don’t drink a lot but if you’re someone who needs to kick back with even a beer or alcohol beverage every once in a while, limit it to 3-4 times a month. Don’t party just to party. Party if you’re actually celebrating something.
10. Help someone else at least twice a week.
It’s as simple as giving lunch or money to a homeless person or giving out directions. Make a simple difference in someone else’s life.
11. Make peace your past.
Get rid of “frenemies”, enemies, and whatever past troubles you have. Move on.
12. Stop settling for less or settling for friends with benefits. If you want a commitment, be honest.
That one is self-explanatory.
13. Break the rules.
Unless it’ll land you in jail, do what you want. Don’t let your family, friends, or loved ones stop you from doing something you want. Be selfish. If you’re young with no responsibilities, it’s completely okay.
14. Stop living off coffee.
Again, guilty as charged. I’ve probably spent a month’s rent on Dunkin Donuts coffee just this year. Train yourself to stay awake and live without it. This is where exercise comes into play. The more you exercise, the more energized and awake you’ll feel.
15. Stop talking shit or being two-faced.
Everyone is guilty of having talked about someone or behind someone’s back at least once in their life. If you have a problem with someone, be vocal about it. Talking about people behind their back to others just makes you look bad in the end. You know when you’re doing it, and it has to stop now.
16. Read a book a month.
I remember when I was little my mom didn’t let our family have cable TV. She didn’t want me to see the wrong things or become fixated on a machine. She was an English teacher so naturally she pushed me to read. I enjoyed it a lot. I would sit beside a balcony and go through books every week. Picturing characters and scenes in your head is so much better than TV in my opinion. Find books that are mentally challenging but enjoyable. Reading is the perfect brain food.