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It would seem like in a blink of the eye, the year has passed us by. As they say, time and tide wait for no man, and 2019 was no exception. The year started off with hopes and expectations,  but unfortunate incidents shattered our faith in ourselves and humanity. But now, slowly we are regaining our footing in this world.

These last few days of the year are ideal to introspect within ourselves on how the events of the past year have affected us and can we overcome this situation and emerge with better prospects in the coming year.

All of us make resolutions each year like to go on a diet, hit the gym, or make other lifestyle changes. However, these hardly last longer than a week, or at the most, a month.

On the other hand, if we make some modifications to our existing habits, things get a lot more manageable, and we can definitely see changes.

For instance, instead of going in a crash diet to burn those extra calories that have been accumulated over the party season, it's infinitely better to actually make a lifestyle change by starting to eat healthier. It might seem difficult initially, but in due course, once you get used to it, it's a lot easier to sustain in the long run than any fad diet.

Try to widen your horizons. Read authors whom you haven't read earlier, sample cuisines you haven't attempted to try earlier, travel to a new place, be it even a park that you pass by but never visit in your city, watch new documentaries, take a different route to work. In short, open up your mind to infinite possibilities.

Learn to prioritise yourself. It's so common for so many of us to rush through our work so that we can give our time and energy to our families. Our kids and partners sometimes consume so much of our time and energy that there's hardly anything left for yourself. Don't do that to yourself. Give yourself your due importance. Indulge in a new hobby. Create some me time for yourself. Go to a coffee shop and have that cheesecake that you always eye, but restrain yourself from buying. Sip a glass of wine or champagne in a bubble bath. Lie back in a bed of lush green grass on a warm spring day and read a novel. Just make sure no one intrudes on your me-time. Remember, the most important person in your life is you. Everybody else comes afterwards.

Set challenges for yourself. They can be simple ones, but even the most basic of these is a marker of your growth. Resolve to read a certain number of books within a specific period of time. Learn a new skill. But don't berate yourself if you are unable to complete it. We are often our worst critics. And you definitely don't need that kind of a letdown in your life.

Be nice to others. Trust me, it costs nothing to smile at the security guard at your kid's school or say thank you to the guy who fills fuel in your car. We occupy a position of privilege by a sheer accident of birth. Make it count.

Declutter. Your cupboards, your pantry, your baggage. Give away clothes that you haven't worn for over a year. Don't store food in the fridge beyond a day or do. Get rid of all your insecurities and fears. Remember, others feed on our uncertainties and revel in them. Don't give anyone that chance.

Keep away from toxic relatives, friends, acquaintances. Your mental health is of prime importance. You are not obligated to satisfy the morbid curiosity of others in your social circle at the cost of your own sanity. Conversely, stop pressuring your kids about their lives, studies and/or performance, be it curricular, co-curricular or extracurricular. You don't want to be that annoying relative, do you??

Go green. I know most of us do what we can for the environment. Try to up the ante and do a little bit more each day. Be it conserving water, electricity or energy, or reducing, reusing, recycling, each and every act counts.

Think of your children, the future generations. They will inherit what you leave behind. So act accordingly.

Author: Shobhana
Hi, I'm Shobhana, lapsed journalist, full time mommy, self professed bookworm, always reading between lines, straddling countries, eras, lives and personas.
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