A new year brings with it a hope for a fresh start and a new beginning. Every new year is the beginning of a new chapter of our lives. Some of us will be starting college next year, while others will be graduating. Some of us will be getting married next year, while others are hoping to start a family with their significant other. Some of us hope to make it alive throughout the next year, while others are trying their best to get a hold of their anxious thoughts, and not give in to their crippling depression. The past two years have been difficult for us all. Living in a pandemic-stricken world was hard enough, but many of us were unfortunate enough to lose our jobs, face immense loss in our businesses, and watch our loved ones pass away in a glass room without saying a proper goodbye. Some of us were stuck continents away from our family members while others were too afraid to step out of their houses just to buy groceries. With the implementation of vaccines, and the COVID-19 restrictions being lifted from the majority of countries, we finally sighed a breath of relief. We are all looking into 2022 with hope in our hearts to start afresh.
To make my 2022 more productive, happier, busier, and filled with immense contentment and gratitude, I have compiled a list of different new year resolutions that I aspire to adapt to my day-to-day life in 2022.
1. Practice Gratitude through a Positive Mindset and Journaling
Someone once told me that the only way to live life happily was to be content with what you have while working towards what you desire. And if you don’t get what your heart desires, just know that you are being redirected towards something that’s meant solely for you.
Seventeen-year-old Eman was a slave of her wishes and dreams. If she didn’t get what she prayed for, she’d shout, scream, cry, and weep all night long. But twenty-two-year-old Eman is different. She knows that if things aren’t going as she had planned, they are definitely going well according to God’s plans for her. It was only when I shifted my mindset from negative to positive, I realized that life is not as complicated as we make it. I realized that no matter how difficult the journey might be, the destination is always beautiful. Shifting to a more positive mindset has made a tremendous impact on my life, and I aspire to channel more positive thoughts in 2022 because positive thoughts will help me manifest a positive lifestyle, which will attract positive people, positive situations, and positive opportunities in my life.
One of the things that have helped increase my gratitude was writing in a gratitude journal. Every night before going to sleep, I’d make a list of all the things I was grateful for. Whether it was a positive incident that happened to me, a compliment from a stranger, tasting the first sip of coffee in the morning, a warm hug from my beloved, coincidentally meeting an old friend, finding a hidden art gallery, or finding a lost $50 bill in my purse. After listing all the things I was grateful for in my gratitude journal, I felt my heart at ease knowing that life is so much more than getting a high-paying job and buying the biggest mansion.
A successful career is crucial in sustaining one’s life. However, amidst attaining a successful career, securing a high-paying job, or achieving the highest grades in school, we forget to look after the two most important things: our mental health, and our heart. This new year, I aspire to look after both my mental health and my heart. I’ve realized that life is too short to be drowned in a turmoil of grief, mourning the ones who’ve left my life, and reminiscing the moments that have passed away. I’ve realized that life is too short to not be grateful for what I’ve been blessed with and to appreciate the people in my life before death steals them away too.
There is so much beauty in letting go of the fear of the unknown, and appreciating the present moment. There is so much beauty in appreciating the little things of life, instead of stressing over the future that is unknown. There is so much beauty in life, but only if we stop and appreciate it. Only if we realize that life doesn’t have to be filled with grand parties, and grand celebrations to be called adventurous. There can be an adventure in simplicity too. And that is exactly what I aspire to do in 2022. Find adventure in the simplicity of life.
2. Find Beauty in the Little Things of Life
When I was sixteen, I wondered what life would be like when I’d turn 22. Would I have a successful career or a person I’d call my own? Would I have a job that pays well, and an apartment I could go to after a long day at work and make coffee on the kitchen counter at 2 a.m?
I wish someone would’ve told my teenage self, that life doesn’t automatically become “beautiful and magical” once we reach our 20s. I am just as confused as I was seven years ago. But the only difference is that I’ve learned to see the beauty in the little things of life, such as the smell of coffee in the morning, feeling the cold water splashing against my face at 7 am, the smell of freshly baked vanilla bread, sunflowers blooming in spring, excitement of watching the fireworks go off on a new year’s eve, the warmth of my mother’s embrace, admiring the smooth ocean waves at dusk, wiping the tears off of my best friend’s face, a good laugh shared with friends, sitting in the balcony of my apartment admiring the stars at midnight, the first snowfall of the Winter season, inscribing short poems at rush hour on my notepad, reading a book for the first time and falling in love with it, sitting in the silence of a library reading the works of Sylvia Plath, writing stories that no soul might read, studying a subject I love, listening to the rain splashing against the window panes as I drive through a million different cars on the highway, listening to a song I once loved in middle school, and realizing that life is so much more than achieving awards, certificates, and certain professional titles.
Growing up is realizing that as we grow older, so do our parents, and the ones we love. Growing up is realizing that we don’t have a forever with the ones we call family, and spending each moment with them, fighting, loving, laughing, despising, crying, and forgiving. Growing up is realizing that life is not always about getting good grades, achieving a specific goal, or finding the ‘one.’ Growing up is about looking after yourself and the ones you love. Growing up is learning to live in the present and cherishing each passing moment as if it was your last. And in 2022, I aspire to do exactly that, find beauty in the little things of life.
3. Read, Read, and Read!
George R.R. Martin once wrote, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” Growing up, my mother would purchase comic books, horror fiction, biographies on famous people, and encyclopedias for me to read from a local book fair in our town.
I was in third grade when I fell in love with the extraordinary tales of R.L.Stine such as the Night of the Living Dummy, Fear Street, the Girl Who Cried Monster, the Curse of Camp Cold, and many more. I was a fan of horror books and Dinosaur encyclopedias in primary school. But when I reached puberty, I went through the uncanny stages of growing up that every girl goes through.
It wasn’t until I reached high school, I discovered ancient literature and poetry. When I had my first heartbreak, I could relate to the verses of Sylvia Plath, and on the nights when I felt too lonely to fall asleep, I’d spend hours reading the tragedies of Julius Caesar and Hamlet. The works of authors whom I’ve never met in my entire life felt like home. My passion for literature led me to pursue English Language and Literature as a University degree. However, in the past year, I’ve realized that I don’t read books anymore to enjoy. I read them to memorize lines, and to analyze the storyline which was a part of my University degree curriculum.
In 2022, I aspire to initiate that passion for fiction, biographies, and tragedies again, the passion I once had when I was a teenager. In 2022, I aspire to read the works of old authors, new authors, local authors, international authors, underrated authors, and popular authors. I aspire to make a list of books I would read by the end of the year, and I aspire to explore the various genres of literature including mystery, history, thriller, science fiction, adult, fantasy, dystopian, realist literature, and magical realism. Because books were my first love, and in 2022, I aspire to ignore that fiery passion for love again.
4. Spend As Much Time As Possible With My Friends, Family, and Loved Ones
If there’s one lesson we learned while living in the COVID-19 pandemic era, it was that life is unpredictable and tomorrow is promised to no one. Many of us had to bid farewell to our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, daughters, children, or grandparents because covid-19 took them away from us. Many of us had to spend our holidays, thanksgiving weeks, spring breaks, or the new year, away from our loved ones, especially those who were older in age or suffering from any underlying breathing problems, because we were afraid of contracting the deadly virus to each other.
2020 taught me to be more compassionate towards others because life can be snatched away from us in a blink of an eye. Death comes unannounced, and one day, each one of us in this world will be gone. We don’t have forever with the ones we love. And in 2022, I aspire to make the most out of the limited time I’ve been given by cherishing each moment with my friends, family, and loved ones. I will try my best to remind them from time to time, how loved they are. I will tell them that no matter what mistakes they’ve done in life, they are worthy and deserving of good things happening to them.
There is so much beauty in letting go of the fear of the unknown, and appreciating the present moment. There is so much beauty in ignoring the negativity, and appreciating the good things about someone. And that is exactly what I aspire to do in 2022, ignore the bad things, and only focus on the good.