Goodbye 2017; Hello 2018!

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Goodbye 2017; Hello 2018!

By Donna Kutchma

For reasons unknown it seemed like 2017 was a bit harsh and if you were caught in its tangled web it was difficult to find the words to describe it. The only analogy I could find was to say that it felt like wearing an itchy wool sweater in August. Make that an itchy wool TURTLENECK sweater in August.

We made another trip around the sun and as is customary we reflect upon the past year and look at what we would have, could have or should have done differently. Magically the universe is anew, we mentally take stock of our lives and devise a list of what we want to accomplish during the next 365 day orbit.  So get out that journal or planner and begin that list because it is now time to declare our 2018 New Year’s resolutions!  Are you with me?

According to a survey done by YouGov these are the top 14 resolutions.  There is a high statistical probability that you might find you have some in common.  So drum roll please…..

  1. Eat better!
  2. Exercise more!
  3. Spend less money!
  4. Self-care (e.g. getting more sleep)!
  5. Read more books!
  6. Learn a new skill!
  7. Get a new job!
  8. Make new friends!
  9. Find a new hobby!
  10. Focus more on appearance!
  11. Focus on relationship!
  12. Cut down on cigarettes/alcohol!
  13. Go on more dates!
  14. Focus less on appearance!

Notice anything new or significant?  If two of your resolutions are No. 4 & 5 then you can start the year off by checking out the Most Popular 2018 New Year’s Resolutions with accompanying PDF and stats.

One year I devised a plan to spend less/save more money (No. 3) on household items and surrendered by February 15th.  I felt like the fourth place finisher in the Extreme Couponing/Rebate Olympics.  That process, my friend, is a full time job. I had no idea how much spaghetti sauce or toilet paper you had to stockpile in order to feel as though you had beat the system.

According to one commonly cited statistic, only 8% of people are successful in keeping their New Year’s resolutions. I am a big believer in making goals or resolving things in our lives no matter what time of year.  If January is a good starting point for you, then go for it!

A few months ago I was spending time in the mirror trying to perfect No. 10. I pulled up the podcast app on my phone to keep me company, and came across “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.” Seriously, who doesn’t want to be happier? I had to listen. And good thing–of all the podcast episodes in the world I picked one that had a 2017 holiday hack. Below is an excerpt:

A Little Happier: We’re all getting geared up for 2017, and January 1 is often a prompt that people use to reflect on ways to make life happier in the New Year.

This week’s holiday hack is to choose one word, or a short phrase, to sum up what we want to focus on for the New Year. When we distill our aims into a single word or phrase, it’s easier to remember it — and to take action.

In the past, I’ve picked words and phrases like “Upgrade” and “Lighten Up.” This year, I’m picking “Re-purpose.” I want to tackle the question: How can I make more of what I already have?

Elizabeth (her sister and co-host) has picked words like “Free Time,” “Style,” “Hot Wheels,” “Novel” — this year, she’s picking “Home.” Her renovation is finally almost finished!

In the past, we’ve heard from listeners that they’ve picked terrific, thought-provoking one-word themes like Adventure, Renew, Energize, Travel, Rest, and FinishLittle Happier One Word Theme for the New Year.   

By picking an overarching theme for the year and using it as a filter for your thoughts, hopes and dreams and those pesky daily decisions and tasks you can accomplish so much more because after a while you won’t be checking off boxes you will actually be living your life!

For me personally, I have always questioned why I would wait 365 days?  Why don’t we resolve to read more on June 10th, or go to bed earlier or start taking yoga classes on or around the 17th of September? So this year I resolve to find MY one word or a phrase and to put an end to the pressure I put on myself every January.

“To thine own self be true,” Hamlet famously expounded.  When you are being true to yourself, you are completely honest with what you feel, deeply value, and desire. It also means communicating your feelings wholeheartedly both with yourself and others, allowing your truth to flow through you and into the world.

So cheers to 2018! I wish you and your family an abundance of blessings, happiness and joy that exceed all expectations.  For you specifically, I hope you find your one word and your truth.