Formerly published in The Other Press. Jan. 8 2013
Achievable goals for the New Year
By Elliot Chan, Contributor
Here we are again—another year—and yes, I know what your plans are. I know you want to get back in shape, get out of debt, become involved in a steady relationship, and move forward in the world. Hey, maybe 2013 is your lucky year, but let’s be honest: 365 days might not be enough time to accomplish all of that. So let’s take a moment and have a look at some fulfilling and achievable goals. It might not be the overall objective, but it will be better than nothing.
Use technology as a bridge for human connection, not as the means. You’re a busy person and it’s obvious you love the new phone you got on Boxing Day. But don’t waste your life staring at the screen. Set a limit to how much you text someone throughout the course of the day. If you exceed the limit, force yourself to call the person or hell, pay them a visit.
Quit complaining, or at least complain less. Develop a positive attitude for less than positive situations. Don’t huff and puff because there is a long line for coffee, or whine about the late bus or the idiots taking their sweet time making a left turn in traffic. The world is not out to get you, though sometimes it might feel that way. Complaining does not help. In fact, it makes every bad situation worse because you only focus on the negative. It’s time to change your perspective.
Try new food and music. Forget eating healthier, I have no intention of preaching about diets. I only want you to be aware that Vancouver has one of the biggest culinary communities in the world. You can walk down the promenade and order dishes from anywhere. It’s a shame to waste an appetite on McDonald’s or a granola bar. And don’t just listen to the radio where they force-feed you the mainstream rubbish. With websites like grooveshark.com and songza.com, there is no reason not to venture out of your genre and experiment. The discovery of good music is overwhelmingly satisfying.
Keep a sketchbook or a journal and stay creatively active. We worry so much about our physical health that we forget about our mental health. Keep your thoughts in shape by allowing them to be active during periods where your body is waiting to transport your brain somewhere else.
Relax and occasionally spoil yourself. The world won’t fall apart without you, despite what people make you believe. Take a siesta and wake up to work even harder. Instead of procrastinating, actually relax.
No matter what you end up doing, a good outlook and an open mind will help you achieve those high expectations. I wish you the best of luck, and I’ll check up on you again this time next year.