I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. Every year, I fail miserably at committing to an entire year of anything. Last year, I planned to quit smoking. My quit date? October 3, 2015. I’m still not smoking, so yippee, but if I had made that a New Year’s Resolution, I would have failed miserably at keeping it. Now that I’m 94 days clean, I daily resolve to not pick up a cigarette.
How is this related to the end of the semester, you ask? Well, the stress of keeping resolutions and the stress of the beginning of the semester are pretty similar. Here’s what happens to me every semester:
- I have a million great ideas for how to improve upon each course.
- I can’t possibly incorporate all of those changes in one semester.
- I don’t know where to start – which thing do I change first? What change would most benefit my students?
Now that I am not worried about keeping a resolution for an entire year, I’ve freed up a lot of time, energy, and worry. Here are the things I’ve noticed about myself in the past few weeks from this change:
- I eat better. I seriously enjoy preparing meals and eating them. I rarely eat on the go anymore, and I don’t stress about the content of my food as long as it’s nutritionally sound. Email me for recipes, seriously, because I’m a boss in the kitchen.
- I sleep better. I’m not having racing thoughts of self-doubt when I go to sleep at night. I don’t spend my sleep hours worrying about whether or not I’ll get things done.
- I play more. I spent at least five minutes every day being ridiculous. I’m not the only one who benefits from this, though. My dogs love it. My pets and I love each other more. My spouse and I enjoy each other’s company more.
- I relax better. When I decide that I want to relax, I do it well. I indulge. I splurge. I get a pedicure. I sit on the couch for an hour watching TV and embroidering or hand-quilting something. I create new things while ridding myself of stress and anxiety.
- I like other people more. I don’t hate being around people. I don’t have that nagging feeling that there’s something “better” or “more important” I could be doing if someone wasn’t at my home or in need of my attention.
- I like myself more. I like this new person I’m becoming. I don’t find myself thinking, “Why did you say that? Are you really that rude? Who are you?” Instead, I find myself thinking, “I like what we did there, self. Let’s do this again.”