December 5, 2016

It’s not the End: Year-End Resolutions for New Beginnings.

Flickr/Colleen Gavin

Throughout 2015, I was recovering from a major health crisis.

I know nature is my best therapy because every time I’m in a park or on a country trail, I come alive. In fact, the only thing I managed to do consistently through my medical treatment was to take a walk in the nearby park every day.

As I gradually regained my energy, my life became busier and more occupied, and taking a walk outside has increasingly become a special event rather than a daily routine.

So by November 2015, I decided to experiment with a ‘year-end resolution’ to be in nature for 30 minutes every day.

While I didn’t necessarily succeed every day, it was always on my mind, and whenever I had the chance I would hand myself over to nature and let her bathe me with her energy.

This year, I’m doing it again, with a more specific intention as to what I want to do with the time I spend in nature. Until the end of 2016, I resolve to read or meditate in nature for 30 minutes every day.

We all know why new year’s resolutions fail. I am definitely one of those who never managed to stick to my new year’s resolutions—nothing longer than two weeks at the most. So why am I making year-end resolutions that work pretty much the same way as new year resolutions?

Well, why not?

Because resolutions have intrinsic value, no matter how cheesy they might sound.

And because no one says resolutions must be made in the new year, for the new year.

Every single day we are alive is an opportunity for us to resolve to live more fully. As year end approaches, I become so much more aware of how I have lived my life for the past months and how I can make the most out of the days remaining.

I’ve still got time. It’s not the end. I can still redeem myself and now is the time to start.

With just a few weeks left in the year, whatever resolutions we make become much more manageable, because the end is within sight. And most importantly, we can celebrate our success at the countdown party!

There are a few things I bear in mind when I made my year-end resolutions:

1. It’s the intention that counts.

Not the outcome. I know why I am making this resolution. Making a resolution because “it is the right thing to do” probably won’t get me very far.

For myself, I love nature, it energizes me. I also love reading and meditating. Putting all these together makes me happy. And I want to be happy. It’s as simple as that.

2. Be specific and realistic.

Instead of “be kinder”, say “I will offer to help at least once a day”.

3. Frame it in a positive way.

Instead of “quit eating ice cream”, which may sound dreadful to an ice-cream fanatic, say “I can have ice cream once a week” instead of every other day.

4. Use peer pressure, or rather, peer support.

I created a Facebook page for my year-end resolution and I update it every day. Every “like” from my friends is an affirmation of my intention.

Have fun, and make the most out of 2016. It’s not too late!


Author: Amanda Yik

Image: Flickr/Colleen Gavin

Editor: Erin Lawson

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