It’s nearly that time of year again where many people pretend that the changing of the end number on the calendar to the next digit is a reason to suddenly change their lives and start making things happen for themselves. The New Year doesn’t always translate out to the new you if you don’t make resolutions that are actually going to be effective. Here’s a definitive guide to turn resolutions into New Year revolutions for your life and others.
First, you need SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) that are realistic for who you are as a person, what you want for your life, and the types of goals you can pursue and achieve. Not all your changes need to be generic, and some can be very inspiring and relevant to the gay community.
If you’re looking for a change that will make you feel great while giving back to the community, check out volunteering with a gay crisis line or becoming a youth group mentor at the LGBT center. Volunteer at the LGBT center or at queer related charity groups. Visit a nursing home and read to the queer seniors. You’ll feel glad you helped a member of your own community and your connection to the act will be much stronger as a result.
Instead of setting generic fitness goals like you will “go to the gym more,” make plans to start working in going to the gym part of your daily life. Get a goal to lose a specific amount of weight or inches, or number of days and the amount of time you’ll god to the gym. You’re more likely to adhere to a schedule. Remember that realistic health goals mean eating a nutritious diet while working out. A healthy lifestyle means eating healthy while working out consistently.
Make your health a resolution. Your body is your temple, so you need to keep up with your health. Make a point to get on PrEP/ TaSP if you are a sexually active gay man. Get tested at least every 3 months and make that your new habit if it wasn’t already. Start getting prostate exams, dental exams, vision tests, and check in with your doctor for any health concerns you have. Prevention is the key to longevity in regard to your health. Start eating better, drinking less, stop doing (as much) drugs, and start treating yourself right!
There is no better time than the present to make amends with people from your past. Have a family member you fell out with when coming out? A bully you haven’t spoken to in ages? Someone you bullied in the past? Time to reach out and find resolutions in conflicts from your past.
Have you been considering going into treatment for something like an addiction or depression but haven’t? Take control and make this change for yourself. Everyone needs help from time to time, and the sooner you obtain help for problem you’re having, the sooner you’ll be able to live a healthier, freer lifestyle.
Work on your own happiness. Do you know what makes you happy? Are you constantly engaging yourself in that activity or event that brings you joy? Start doing only the things you really want to do and that make you happy. You’ll find you’ll enjoy life a lot more by saying “yes” to the things that actually matter and give you fulfillment.
These are some great beginnings, but there is no need to wait until the New Year to begin to change your life. Start now! Just because New Year’s Eve and the New Year aren’t here yet doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t start sooner, rather than later. Wouldn’t it feel great to begin the New year knowing you’re already on your way to a better you?