Jan 05, 2018
New Year, New You
It's been estimated that every year, 45 percent of Americans make resolutions for the coming year. Setting goals, it seems, is easy; sticking to them is the tough part.
So what's the best way to find success in 2018? Experts say that having clearly defined goals that hold you responsible is paramount. If you're on the fence or are unsure about what kinds of goals to set for the coming year, check out our list below for inspiration.
Take Up Yoga
The most common resolution, year in and year out, is to exercise regularly. And when it comes to tried and tested ways to shed a few pounds, decrease your stress levels, and even make a few new buds, you can't beat yoga. With its Eastern origins dating back centuries, the benefits of yoga on mental, physical, and spiritual levels are lengthy. Studies have shown that regular yoga can lead to increased lung capacity, healthier blood sugar levels, while lowering anxiety and in many cases, relief from chronic back pain. If you're not sure where to start, swing by our free Courtyard Yoga classes in the IBM Building every Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. This time next year, your mind and body will both be thanking you for sticking to this resolution.
Wait, isn't meditation the same thing as yoga? No, well, not really. While meditation can be a component of yoga, you don't have to go to a yoga class to meditate. In fact, you can do it right here, right now. That's just one of the beautifully simple revelations about meditation and its boundless mental health benefits: it's always there at the ready, but oh-so hard to master.
So how, exactly, do we define meditation. At its simplest, meditation is a mental exercise that allows you to clear your mind. So why meditate? Whether you're looking to calm your mood or reflect on an issue that might be bothering you, meditation can help. And with the help of an iPhone and an app, you can find yourself closer that much closer to enlightenment (or, at the least, you can try). We love the apps Calm and 10% Happier. Both apps offer guided meditation sessions that millions of users across the country enjoy. And who among us doesn't want to take a calmer, clearer approach to 2018?
We get it. Life can get messy and trying to balance responsibility between family, work, and friends can feel a little, well, chaotic. But there's a better way: Get organized and plan like a mad man. By taking a more detailed approach to our schedules, we're able to take back control and get more done. Cari Nakanishi, owner of the expertly curated Miemiko Gift Boutique in Ward Centre, knows a thing or two about staying organized. According to Cari, who sells an array of planners perfect for the New Year, the keys to success lay in a two-part planning solution. "I like being able to write down my important lists on paper. However, carrying around a heavy journal or daily planner in your bag every day can be cumbersome compared to your phone, but I've actually developed a system that uses both. I keep my calendar and schedule in my phone via an app called Calendar 5. I also use it to keep my employees' schedules, doctor's appointments, lunch with friends, etc. I love to plan out my creative projects and goals for the week on paper. I like to use a minimalist planner, not something too regimented. I like to tell my planner what to do, not the other way around."
Break Outside Your Comfort Zone
Picture this. You're standing on the edge of a picturesque waterfall hidden within lush tropical valley. Below you, staring up, are your friends. Everyone else has jumped, now it's your turn. It's a long way down, but it looks reasonably safe. As you peer farther over the edge, your knees soften and your chest tightens. Should you make the plunge, even though it scares you?
Yes! In fact, despite those queasy fillings welling up in your stomach, your happiness almost depends on you making this leap, and others like it in the future.
So you leap into the void. The thrill of falling through the air and cutting through the crisp water is exhilarating to say the least. You surface feeling alive and a toothy grin spreads across your face. You're proud of jumping, of overcoming your fears, and in turn, you're happy.
Breaking outside of your comfort zone is an important element to finding happiness. We, as humans, crave growth. Deep down inside, when we better ourselves by overcoming a fear (or just about any other legitimate challenge) we reward ourselves with happiness. Once you've broken your comfort zone once, it's that much easier to do it again in numerous aspects of your life. According to the website LifeHacker: "The benefits you get after stepping outside of your comfort zone can linger. There's the overall self-improvement you get through the skills you're learning, the new foods you're trying, the new country you're visiting, and the new job you're interviewing for."
So get out there and take the proverbial leap. Find a goal that's slightly out of reach and force yourself to overcome it. If you can, this year belongs to you.
Do Some Good
For all the pomp that goes into self-improvement, there's a simple truth that often gets overlooked: one of the best ways to better yourself is by doing good for someone else. And no, we're not waxing poetic. Numerous studies have shown that people who regularly volunteer in their community are happier people. Could it all be so simple? Do good, feel good.
But where to start?
We recommend researching any of the past recipients of the Ward Village Foundation. Each of these organizations have shown that they're wholeheartedly committed to creating a brighter Hawai'i for generations to come. Whether it's Surfrider Spirit Sessions (a nonprofit that pairs mentors with at-risk youth to teach them how to surf) or the Hawai'i Foodbank, you'll find some great people doing great things. Now get out there and do some good.
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