Whether you see it on the resolution gym goer’s Facebook post about their great workout on January 1 or on a meme making fun of those very same gym goers, the phrase, “new year, new me” is one that we’ve all heard before. Many of us have used it ourselves, although it turns out for the most part we stay the same old “me” year after year. But this year I wanted to challenge that. This year I truly want to make a change.
The past semester has been one of the most mentally challenging of my life, yet somehow I seem to have made it through unscathed. I attribute this to the fact that my mental health is in better condition that it has been in years, and it all started by making small changes in my daily life to better myself. The realization that I am finally overcoming my mental illness inspired me to set new goals for myself; goals that I never even thought possible before because I was too busy allowing my depression to restrict me from being the best version of myself. I finally feel ready. Correction: I finally am ready – ready to move on past everything I have dealt with in the past.
Below is a list of the things I have set as my resolutions. however, I hesitate to call them “new year’s resolutions,” because I don’t want them to last just in 2017. These resolutions are for life. Bettering yourself is something you have to do constantly, and so I hope to carry these on with me well past this upcoming year.
- Get off my medication: Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong about needing medication to deal with mental illness, the same way there is nothing wrong with someone with diabetes needing to take insulin. That being said, I have never wanted to be dependent on a pill to keep myself mentally stable, and I have worked really hard to get myself to the point where I feel ready to be on my own. So 2017 is the time. Bye bye, Lexapro (actually Escitalopram – it’s a generic and costs less $$$). You were a dear friend, and you helped me through a lot, but I don’t need you anymore. It’s time we parted ways. (as I write this I have already discussed with my doctor about lowering my dosage (which I have) and am in the process of weening off my medication).
- Allow more personal time for reflection: This resolution was something I set for myself and something a friend suggested for me (thx Chels, we obviously think alike). We both agreed that a good way to a healthy mind and spirit is reflection. It’s important to decompress often and think about everything that has happened recently. In my attempt to keep up with this, I have set a goal to write more in my personal journal and to post here on my blog at least once a week. (Yay! more blog posts for hardly anyone to read!)
- Show more compassion to those different from myself: I’ve never thought of myself as a particularly mean person, but I also know that when people do/think/say things I don’t understand, my first instinct is the classic, “I’m right, you’re wrong” mentality. Thus, this year especially I want to work on being more understanding and showing more love to people who are not so similar to myself.
- Get into shape: aAhhh here it is. The age old new year’s resolution. The one that not only brings herds of people to the gym in the month of January, but also mass amounts of gym membership cancellations in the month of February. No matter how many times I say I’m not one of those people, I still have trouble believing it. But I am trying with all my might to make this one stick. I have come to the realization lately that I have allowed my body to be attacked by seemingly endless cookout runs and an extreme lack of exercise. Even more, I remembered I want to become a physician. And let’s be honest: what person is going to take medical advice from a doctor who obviously can’t even maintain his own health. It has been awhile since I worked out, so I am starting with a mild 30 day workout challenge combined with daily runs to get myself back into the swing of things, and have adopted the meal prep lifestyle to try to avoid fast food runs when no food is readily available at my house.
- Have a more regular sleep schedule: Shoutout to Jonathan for this challenge. And I do mean challenge. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I LOVE my naps and have the most irregular sleep schedule of anyone I know. However, as my dear friend pointed out, it needs to change. and I agree. The amount of research supporting the health benefits of getting a regular, full night’s worth of rest are inarguable. So this will be a tough one, but a necessary one. Thx for this one, friend. Just please be nice if you have to wake me from my nap. (If you pour water on me to wake me up, I will kill you).
- Stop settling: My own personal mantra that seems to have caught on in young adults everywhere is, “it’s fine,” even when it was very much not fine. (Everyone says this but I swear I said it first!) One of my best friends, Log (short for Logan, but pronounced like a large piece of wood), suggested this resolution to me so that I will continue to strive for being my best. Whether it is in regards to schoolwork, personal relationships, my faith, or my personal well-being, I have been challenged to reject mediocrity. In years past, this goal may have seemed stupid, because I never felt that I deserved more than average. When I coined, “it’s fine” as my personal slogan, it was because I truly accepted everything wrong with my life as “fine.” But now I know better. Now I know my worth; I know that I deserve better than mediocre and I don’t need to settle. So this year and hence forth I will strive for things to be better than “fine;” things will be great.
I challenge you all to make goals for yourself and to utilize the relationships you have with people to help keep you accountable. The quality of your 2017 (and your life for that matter) is fully dependent on you. Why not make it great?