PHOTO BY Pinterest

Resolutions to Bring Into the New Year

Lifestyle

The planet took 365 days to orbit around the sun. Now, it’s time to create a list of resolutions you’ll probably give up on by next week and try again next year. Why does this even happen?

The major reason why resolutions are easily given up on is that most people fail to make them realistic. The goals they want to achieve are too big, or people are just too impatient to progress as they continue to make mistakes for the first few weeks or months. To stay on a resolution, you need to stick to, take it step-by-step, and realize that you’re doing this to better yourself, to find a way to make this year better than the last one.

Here are five New Year's resolutions to try out this year.

1. Read More

Would anyone like to take some time to lay in the covers with a good book to indulge in the world of fiction and wonder? Certainly, but no one reads as much as they want to due to school and work. If only there were enough time.

This year, you can set some time aside to visit your local library or get into a book that’s been lying around the house. If you’re a morning lark, keep a book by you at night, so you can read a few pages after you wake up. And, as a night owl, it wouldn’t hurt to fall asleep to a book instead of the screen.

Reasons to make this your new year's resolution:

  • Reading more than the adequate amount is always nice
  • Reading expands your vocabulary
  • It’s what this generation needs
  • Reading can improve other things like focus and mood

2. Get More Sleep

When’s the last time anyone had an acceptable amount of sleep, more than enough to keep them mentally focused and academically well?

Sounds like a dream. It could be a reality if our school wasn’t so demanding. But to work around that, instead of trying to squeeze it into tonight’s agenda, cut the time you spend on your phone. Americans spend an average screen time of 5.4 hours. Imagine how much time you’d have to read if scrolling through Tumblr wasn’t on default every day for hours. Some people would say that this isn’t a New Year's Resolution, that it’s just a goal students and adults want to achieve, but a resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something. You’re deciding to get more sleep no matter what, and that’s good for your health.

Reasons to make this your New Year's resolution:

  • Sleep is always important
  • It increases physical and mental health
  • It’s something we’re all working on this year
  • Who doesn’t want better well-being?

3. Find a New Hobby

Is there any skill that you want to be a pro at? Practice a hobby you’ve never done before with challenges. There are different kinds of hobbies out there like drawing, writing, crafting, or even origami. Those are just some ideas to participate in for years to come. Starting a hobby can be stress-free and completely gets your mind off of work or school, depending on the hobby.

However, hobbies are supposed to be challenging, like learning to play an instrument or learning a second language. It sounds exciting, but consistently trying only to fail doesn’t seem fun.

Just remember that learning a hobby is supposed to be unpredictable and fun, while the results of learning what you didn’t know before is why you wanted to learn it in the first place.

Reasons to make this your New Year's resolution:

  • You discover new things you didn’t know you could do
  • You expand skills
  • Hobbies are a fun way to be productive

4. Spend Time Outside

Hear me out! I promise you there’s more to the outdoors than extreme temperatures along with bugs standing on the grass in boredom. Nature is the number one source for inspiration, thoughts, and relaxation. There can be interesting things to do while the Wi-Fi's down or whenever mom and dad say that it’s time to spend more time outside. Going for walks can get a bit dull, so other than that, maybe now can be a time to start a hobby of collecting things from the environment like rocks, or you can keep a book/gallery of plants you’ve never seen before. You don't have to do specifically productive things. Just sit by a pond and watch the tadpoles come up for air, or even watch the wildlife in the trees. It's calming.

If you live near a park, you can always take a chance to release some endorphins and enjoy the breeze. You’d be surprised at what at least 20 minutes of the outside world each day can do.

Reasons to make this your new year resolution:

  • Spending time outside is good for eyesight
  • Spending time outside improves sleep
  • Spending time outside can lower depression

5. Limit Time on Social Media

This is a very good New Year's Resolution, especially for people who find the whole day passing when they glance at their phone for only a few minutes. People talk about it, but five minutes later, they’ll go back to scrolling on a website.

A Harvard physiatrist HealthyGamerGG on YouTube has a big channel for addressing people with life’s biggest questions on psychology, life decisions, and teen issues like depression, addictions, and other mental issues. In a specific video he has called “How to Stop Wasting Time on the Internet,” the main topic he talks about in his video is dopamine detox.

What does that have to do with a New Year’s resolution to stay off social media? Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in humans in feeling pleasure, the ‘feel-good hormone’. It’s released as a reward for our continuous behavior of a certain habit. Have you ever wondered why you go on a scrolling spree where you don’t stop scrolling through social media for minutes or hours at a time? Our brain performs a constant dopamine release as we continue to seek likes and follows or anything to keep our mind off boredom. It’s not a coincidence this chemical release is linked to addiction.

If this weren’t such a habit, staying away from social media websites would be easier.

There are other ways to get dopamine release that is enough to keep you away from the screens. A dopamine detox is staying away from any dopamine-inducing activities for some time. It’s a way to reset or refresh the brain, stopping it from releasing dopamine in the wrong habits. So it means to just stop doing things that you enjoy like listening to music or, in this case, being on social media. A dopamine detox will have you sitting around all day, which isn’t fun for anyone. Remember “The main problem with dopamine detox is boredom”, according to the Harvard physiatrist. That’s the reason why we have these habits. Find something to engage in while you’re away from the screens, spend time outside, so you’re tempted, or keep them shut down and out of your reach.

After a dopamine detox, not only did you free yourself from the addiction to digital screens, but you’ve just restored your brain’s reward system, meaning you’re going to find more fun and joy in the things you stayed away from. Knowing you can go for a while without Twitter or Tumblr is refining, because you know that you have self-control and discipline, something everyone should have when it comes to this generation’s modern technology.

Reasons to make this your new year resolution:

  • You attempt to find creative ways to stay off the phone
  • Better mental health
  • It puts down addictions to being online
  • Make stronger social connections with the people around you

And here are five New Year resolutions to think about for the new year of 2022. There are many more ideas out there. These are just some examples of what people might be working on for this year.

Cireaya Leffridge

Cireaya Leffridge is a high school sophomore who's had a love for writing for years. She joined The Teen Magazine to improve her writing skills which will take her far. Cireaya's hobbies other than writing include skateboarding, dancing, reading and learning how to do new things.