2018 Resolutions

Like many people, I really enjoy the reset of a New Year. It's a chance to reflect on the past 365 days, set new goals for the next 365 days and create time markers for us to track our own growth as humans.

For me, I don't set New Years Resolutions, but I do set yearly intentions. 2017 was the year of minimalism for me. I moved into my first solo apartment with all of my possessions in the world fitting into exactly 7 medium sized boxes and 4 bags of clothes. I purposely don't have decor on my shelves and I now purge my closet on a monthly basis, challenging myself to constantly get rid of more stuff. It was a wonderful year of learning what I really need (and more importantly, what I really DON'T need) and the skill came in handy in December, when the LA fires hit and I had to prepare to evacuate with only the essentials.

So 2018 is upon us and my intention this year is "Mental Strength". I originally said my brain is like a muscle and I wanted to focus on purposefully making it stronger but after doing more research on the brain, the better analogy is that my brain is like a super advanced computer software and I want to learn how to better maximize this crazy system that's right in our heads that powers the world as we know it.

I don't have many findings to share yet but in the 18 days since the New Year, I'm already undergoing a number of tests and studies and reading a ton of journals and articles to help answer these questions:

  • Happiness - what constitutes happiness and what can we do to make ourselves happy?
  • Mental resilience - how do we float above the challenges and problems of everyday life, dealing with finances, flat tires, health problems, relationship issues and the insane political climate, in a way that preserves a positive mental state?
  • Social Interaction - How do I better understand where people are coming from so I can communicate with them effectively?
The good news is that I actually feel a lot happier, more mentally centered and less physically exhausted since my little experiment began. I'm trying out everything from the Pomodoro technique to journal writing to daily gratitude reflections to drinking a ton of green tea daily. I'm downloading apps, mediating and trying it all.