It’s Friday; the end of the first week of a new year. Give yourself a pat on the back because you made it! But how many resolutions have you managed to hold on to? And how many did you know hadn’t a hope of trying regardless of good intentions? The concept of New Year resolutions can put many people off; looking at a seemingly endless to-do list of significant changes is off-putting, leading many to confine theirs to the bin before kickstarting even one. Resolutions needn’t be about doing ten new things, what’s important is to consider even making one real change that you know will genuinely make a difference to your life (and hopefully) those around you.
Personally, I always start small. Minor things can be life-changing, and they make the every day nicer. I maintain that however life may come crashing down thanks to an out-of-control event – illness, death, world tragedy – the little gestures or plans keep me calm and focused, reassuring me that life can and will go on, thanks to the power to act. I’ve chosen to keep the same mantra for 2017. And asides from wanting just to be kinder and more generous to others, my main resolution this year is to do something simple for myself: keep a diary. At first, I thought it seemed trivial (perhaps it still is), but then I thought of the future. A family member passed away just yesterday, leaving behind her seven adult children. As they gather around recalling bittersweet and happy memories, celebrating her full life, I wondered if she had kept a journal with any details of her 85 plus years for them to read to each other. Memories they were too young to remember, details they might have missed. Words are undeniably powerful; they can change how you see the world, or perhaps a person, in an instant, teaching you things you didn’t know before. And so I thought how much I wanted my future children or someone I love dearly to have some of my words; my thoughts, descriptions and feelings on a page so that when the time is right, I can add something meaningful to their memory of me.
Here, the IMAGE.ie team share the resolutions they hope to keep over the rest of the year:
“Despite being allergic to the very concept of resolutions (we are all doing our best and don’t need intense modifications to our lives or personalities, thank you very much!) but I do have some intentions I set for myself at the turn of the year.
To me, what feels important for 2017 is that we all become more mindful. Now, ‘mindfulness’ has been huge global trend in recent years, where the virtues of self-awareness and a certain inward focus are extolled, thus improving our sense of calm and invoking a steadiness of spirit. Yes, this is all incredibly worthwhile and is a principle I like to take on board, but this year, I am going to try to be more outwardly mindful. Simply, put, we can’t allow a political and societal car crash to occur again as did in 2016. So this year, I want to try to be more active in voicing what I deem to be important – rather than just posting on Facebook and thinking I’m supporting something! We must use our voices to force change.
To me now, being mindful of others is to take action in their honour, to advocate women’s rights, our homelessness scandal and our crock of a health system are all things that are front of mind for me, and I’m building my soapbox as we speak.
‘Above all else, be kind’, these words are stuck in my soul, are written on my fridge for my kids to (hopefully) absorb and are the words I take as my mantra for 2017. To me, the best resolution is to be kind. The world needs that more than ever. (And, maybe I’ll try to stick to turn my flirtation with yoga into something more substantial via this fab daily yoga plan by Adriene Mishler on YouTube – try it, it’s great!)”
Ellie Balfe, IMAGE.ie Editor
“I don’t place a huge emphasis on NY resolutions, and I never set more than one or two goals for the year because I feel worse off at the end if I haven’t started or finished the things I set out to do. But it’s just about being realistic; which is something that I’ve learned over time.
This year I’m focussing on personal growth and health – but not the dieting or gym-fad type of health. After a nasty spell of bad health, I’m focusing on building my body to be as strong and healthy as it can be. I also plan to practice more mindfulness and be generally happier and less short-tempered. Of course, I have career goals and longer plans, but those types of goals, I believe, come with time and experience.
Here’s to slamming less doors in 2017!”
Niamh O’Donoghue, Staff Writer, IMAGE.ie
What resolutions do you plan to keep this year? Tell us in the comments below!