In 2018, I resolve…

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While the timing may be arbitrary, making resolutions is a lovely practice. Doing so encourages self-reflection, a belief that one can change for the better and a desire to try new things. Sure, such goals may end unsuccessfully a day or month later, but giving resolutions “the old college try” could lead to promising results.

This year, I resolve:

To experience at least seven hours of sleep a night. As a lifelong workaholic and occasional insomniac, I rarely sleep enough. When I was 20, sleeplessness was not a big deal. In my mid-40s, my body and mind demand a recharge and I shall no longer feel ashamed by this need.

Read at least 50 books by Dec. 31. I generally do so anyway, but last year, I was just a bit short. Reading is one of my greatest pleasures. Why should I deprive myself?

Write more — and revel in make-believe. For nearly three decades, I’ve written and edited nonfiction for a living. Although my journalism career thrived, my imagination atrophied and now writing fiction and poetry is much more difficult. This year, I will dedicate more time and energy to exercising this muscle.

Practice hygge. According to Meik Wiking, author of “The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets To Happy Living” and the CEO of The Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is all about appreciating the simple pleasures in life. It is a lifestyle that revolves around coziness, community, contentment and reveling in quiet comforts. Some of the hyggeligt things that already bring me happiness include:

* Spending time with my husband and pets

* Sharing meals and/or playing games with friends

* Reading

* Cooking and baking, particularly from scratch

* Hot beverages (coffee, tea, cocoa)

* Silent Book Club meetings

* Soft and warm lighting

* Sitting in a comfortable chair and reading or watching TV/movies

* Warm sweaters, wool socks, scarves

* Flannel sheets and heavy, soft blankets

* Fire from candles or fireplaces

* Appreciating natural beauty by watching snow fall, listening to thunderstorms, staring at ocean waves or smelling fresh flowers

* Indulging in desserts

* Dwelling in darkness

Due to some of the stressful elements in my life (I’m looking at you, 24-hour news cycle), happiness can sometimes feel fleeting. Yet I am fairly healthy. I’m loved by family, friends and animals. And I have a beautiful home that’s located in a part of the world with fresh air and four distinct seasons. I simply need to keep the more negative aspects of my career from weighing down my spirit. In short, I’m going to embrace hygge.

What do you resolve to change in 2018?

1 Comment

  1. You were right, of course- we share many of the same goals. Sleep more, read more, write more. And of course everything else will be much, much easier if we get the first one right- sleeping more. I have made the same observation as you- my body doesn’t handle low sleep like it used to, and I *need* better sleep to function well in the world.

    Good luck on your new year’s goals!

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