It's time to look beyond the stereotypical resolutions says Harnoor Channi Tiwary.
January 1 is here and with it comes the chance to begin on a clean slate.
The new dawn brings with it hope for a better you and a brighter tomorrow.
But how many of us are guilty of making long lists of resolutions and breaking them within a few days?
Why not look at things from a different perspective this year?
Ditch the done-to-death resolutions like going to the gym and try something new?
Here are a few ideas to get you started, use these as a guideline and make your own personal list.
This year, let us resolve to:
1. Do more and crib less
Yes, the country is a mess, the roads are dirty and women's safety is a cause of concern.
The question is, what have you done about it?
Did you vote in the last election?
Do you have a garbage bag in your car so that you don't throw garbage on the road while driving?
Did you step in when you saw someone eve teasing a random stranger?
Maybe it is time that we realise that talk is cheap, if we want change, we need to spark it.
2. Face your worst fear
What is your worst fear? The only way to beat it is to face it.
This year, make a resolution to face your worst fear.
If you're scared of heights, go rappelling.
If you're commitment phobic, allow yourself to love and be vulnerable to getting your heart broken. If you're afraid of failure, give it a chance to prove you wrong.
Whatever it is that holds you back, allow yourself to face it in the mirror and send it running home.
Pick a charity that works in an area you care about: whether it is education, helping the elderly or animal care.
Try to pick one which is transparent about how they use the money making sure that it is put to good use.
Set a little bit aside from your annual bonus or your monthly pay and donate it.
Not only will you help others, it will do wonders in helping you too.
There is no greater satisfaction than in doing selfless good.
You will feel great and sleep better at night.
4. Not be dictated by dogma
Steve Jobs gave an empowering speech at Stanford University where he said this:
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.
"Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking.
"Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice.
"And most importantly: have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
"They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
This is sound advice.
If you ever take someone's advice, let this be it.
Do not follow a life that people think you should live. Decide your own path.
You may stumble and you may fail.
But at the end of the day, it will be a journey that you chose and a life that you led on your own terms.
5. No drunk-texting
Remember the last time you had one too many drinks and thought it was a great idea to get back in touch with your ex at 2 am?
Delete his/ her number from your phone and resist the urge to drunk text that new hottie you met recently.
Not only does it leave you embarrassed in the morning, chances are that you will end up making a fool of yourself. Avoid.
6. Call a friend
Simple. Just call one friend a week, or in ten days, or even a month.
As we grow older and get engrossed in our own lives, we stop investing in people.
The first to go are invariably our friends.
But every relationship needs nurturing and you should try to do your little bit to keep them alive.
Get back in touch with that old school friend that you always shared your deepest secrets with or ping that colleague you loved to hang out with after work.
When the chips are down, it is these very friends who will stand by your side and make you smile.
7. Meet relatives
Again, an extension of the previous one.
Whether it is your parents, aunts, uncles or cousins, makes time to meet them once in a while.
Keep in touch, tell them you care.
It is the little things in life that make you happy.
Nobody on their death-bed ever remembered that promotion they missed but that relative that you did not get to spend time with will always be something you regret.
Ridiculously simple isn't it. But think about it, when was the last time you laughed out loud.
Not smiled, not typed lol on your phone but actually literally laughed?
Resolve to laugh more.
It makes you more sociable, you look way nicer and you'll feel a million times better.
Sometimes the simple things are the best ones.
9. Indulge your senses
Slow down, take a breath. Yes, life is a race and there is no point trying to walk away from that reality.
But do not miss the journey along the way.
When you walk, give yourself a moment to look up at the sky and notice the hues of the sunset.
Take small bites when you eat, close your eyes and savour the flavour.
Notice the smell of wet mud or those flowers someone sent to you.
It doesn't take much, just a moment.
But somehow, that little moment is fulfilling in itself, isn't it?
10. Love yourself
This one is the most important.
If there is even one resolution you make, this should be it.
You can never be truly happy if you put yourself last.
Because then you base your own happiness on other people's actions and words.
Resolve to love yourself, do things that make you happy.
Look good because you want to like the image in the mirror.
Do work that gives validation to your professional choices.
Respect people but do not take disrespect from anyone.
Try more, repent less. Let this New Year be about you... and all those things that make you a happier person.
Image: This year, resolve to laugh more!
Photograph: Sandeepachetan.com/Creative Commons