18.104.22.168.1… seconds before the seconds hand passes 12. Everyone in the room yells, ‘Happy New year!!!’ We start to wish each other, feeding each other the cake that was just cut. We dance and click pictures. The happiness on our faces says it all. We are eager to make new beginnings and find new opportunities. Soon after the festivities are over, we all go to bed. Exhausted yet excited.
As soon as I lie down on my bed, my phone starts buzzing. I try my best to revert back to all the messages and calls, full of best wishes and love. But suddenly, I was reminded of something that made me restless. I realized that I had not accomplished a single resolution that I had zealously made last year. It made me feel sore in my heart. I spent some time trying to recollect what went wrong. What steps I took or did not take, toward the fulfillment of my resolutions? After much thought, I came to the conclusion that an ideal resolution should be small, and less time and energy consuming. It should be something that can be achieved simultaneously, with our other chores, rather than by fixating on achieving it all the time.
The moment I realize this, I get up from my bed, go to my study table, and start to jot down some new and quick resolutions that can nurture and uplift me, better than the previous year.
Learn a New Language
It is extremely beneficial to learn any new language, at as young an age as possible. It is scientifically proven that learning a new language improves your cognitive, listening, memory and problem solving skills. It helps people to easily socialize with new peers and get to know the importance of others culture. Also, it is believed that learning a new language makes one a multi- tasking, mentally flexible person, and helps them get better at concept formation. The greatest advantage of learning a new language is it keeps you away from disorders like Alzheimers and dementia. The reason for learning a new language may differ from person person, it may be for personal or professional purposes. Either way, it is going to help us develop a sharper and more open mind.
Language learning apps such as Duolingo, and several online courses offer you the chance to learn a new language from the comfort of your home. You may even take a couple of hours over the weekend to attend certified workshops or classes in your vicinity.
There is hardly anything in this world that can buy us pleasure without money. Money makes us independent. Though the process may be long, the result is far sweeter. Saving money can help you fulfill both, short as well as long term needs. It can be helpful for emergencies, known larger expenses like education, and vacation, and small but important daily expenses such as food, and shopping. As a student, saving money helps you feel secure during uncertainties and adds to your peace of mind. Your habit of saving money also makes you more accountable and mindful about spending. Opening recurring or fixed deposit accounts in your bank, is a tried and tested, reliable option. That way, once you set the amount aside, you are less likely to spend it all. If you want your money to work for you, saving it is a good start.
Waking Up at Five
Many of us have this complaint ‘Why does the day end so fast! There is so much work that is still pending, which I have planned to finish today.’ We pray for extra time. We frequently curse the day and sleep. What if, instead, we give our schedule another look. What if we ask ourselves ‘how can I change my schedule? what am I doing to cope up with it?’ Have we ever tried to observe how we spend our energy in the given time?
Consider waking up early in the morning. 5 am is a good time to wake up. A time that allows us to be both, healthy and productive. How? The answer is preparedness. Big work cannot be done without doing the small work. If we spend our entire day in doing small work, there is hardly any time left for important work. Waking up at 5am gives you extra time, at least a couple of hours before the world wakes up. It gives you time to prepare for what’s coming, and finish the little things that may otherwise take extra time during the day.
We all achieve some or the other small thing, in our work, student or personal lives. But we won’t think of it as an achievement. It is our mentality to think that only something that changes our life drastically, can be an achievement. However, an achievement is really a process. And we must first appreciate the smaller ones. Celebrating the smaller achievements gives us motivation and zeal to reach to a bigger level. For students it may be completion of a tough chapter, a novel which they planned to read, getting a good remark for a project or a presentation. For adults it may be appreciation from the boss for a good presentation, meeting a deadline, your idea or opinion being taken seriously or implemented for the better of the organization you work with. There are several ways to celebrate, be it treating yourself, spending the day with your loved ones, going for a movie, or an outing with your family. Researchers claim that such appreciation increases the dopamine levels in our mind, which is further keeps you motivated and generally, in good spirits.
Though this needs patience, it is worth giving time to. It has multiple benefits, depending on the method, purpose and frequency or duration of your meditation practice. To some, it is relaxing and releases stress. For some others, it is purely for health reasons and better breathing. For students, meditation is great for improving focus and strengthening their minds. It also helps people remain addiction free. The best part is that we can practice it anywhere, you just need a place to sit.
The 4 -7- 8 meditation, also known as Pranayam, is easy and effective. Those who practice it become focused and positive in their life. Practice it twice a day. It helps you to be stable and consistent.
Around the time I finish writing this, my alarm wrings. It is 5 am. Time to wake up, and go to college. I close my diary and take an oath to abide by my resolutions. I wish myself good luck for my life hereafter.
Prashanth Jamol has been a student at Touching Lives since his mischief years, when he was in seventh standard! Today, he attends college – SYBA and is our intellectual Community Leader. He also contributes regularly for the Touching Lives blog, as part of the Creative Writing Program. He loves thinking and reflecting on life’s big questions and aspires to be an IAS officer.