Happy New Year!

Going along with the age old tradition of making New Years resolutions, I would like to say Happy New Year to everyone and to list my resolutions for the year. I figure maybe if I write them down, I'll do better at checking if I've kept up with any of them. This always serves as a great way to look back and reflect on what happened in the previous year and make any changes or goals needed to improve the new year that is coming.

Unfortunately, we can actively change our habits, but fate takes care of the rest. Things just happen whether we want them to or not. Each year will hold its milestones and its setbacks and both are important for our personal growth. I've learned more in the years where everything went wrong than I did in the years where it all went right. For me, 2016 wasn't all that bad. I started the year off rocky with a bad car accident and a long road to recovering from whiplash, but I also got engaged to Ethan. Lots of good people lost their lives this year, while others were born. It is a cycle and we can't control it. We have to just be open and go with the flow.

It is interesting how we all divide our lives into years and expect that as soon as the clock turns midnight on Dec. 31st, our life starts a new cycle. Unfortunately, this is an arbitrary date decided by the Christian calendar. There are beliefs in the Pagan religion dating further back than Christianity that it is in fact the first day of winter that starts the new year. To the Chinese, the new year starts around the end of January/ beginning of February. For the Jews it is in September.

So, even though there is no definitive time agreed upon by everyone, we all like the idea of that sense of cleansing away the past year and starting anew. This allows us to shed our old skin and right the wrongs we've made. We can create new habits and quit bad ones. If there wasn't some sort of demarcation between the years, we would not have the motivation to change. Of course, change is something you can make at any point in your life, but having that closing chapter allows everyone to make resolutions for the next chapter to come.

Here are my hopes for myself in 2017:

  1. Complain less, less negative thoughts- be more positive!
  2. Eat less junk- be healthier!
  3. Stop worrying about the future- be more present!
  4. Let go of anger- be more forgiving!
  5. Stress less- be happier!
  6. Stop judging my body and myself- love ME!
  7. Meditate more!
  8. Talk less- listen more!
  9. Less frivolous spending- only buy what I need!
  10. Get more sleep!

I'm going to stop at 10, since these are things I try to do every year to improve my life and I need to remind myself about them from time to time. We need to be good to ourselves this year. Instead of beating ourselves up for not maintaining our resolutions, we should just revisit our lists and remind ourselves that if we at least keep up one, we are on the right track. 2017 is going to be a big year for me considering Ethan and I are getting married and we are leaving our jobs to travel for 6-9 months. So, I hope I can just be more present and enjoy all these great big changes coming my way.

It is also going to be a year where we see a large cultural shift happening. After all the progress we have made from Obama, we are now entering the years of Trump. All of us out here who care about the future of this country and the planet, will need to put our heads together and work hard to not allow him and his people to destroy everything. This may be a big year of change and possibly revolution for us all. So, keep these things in mind when making your resolutions for the year. The only way to overcome hate is with love. We all need to be more loving and accepting of others. We can cancel out their hate speech with stories of love!

Happy New Year to you all!

Published by Melissa Gittelman

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