I think I saw the “New Year, New Me” Facebook status a record number of times this year. It seems most of my friends have decided to try to improve their fitness/study/outlook on life this year and after much deliberation I decided to follow suit. That being said, I often make a new year’s resolution such as giving up chocolate and by mid-March (coincidentally when my birthday falls and chocolate cake waits at every turn) my determination wanes and rather than feeling really proud of myself for going 10 weeks without succumbing to temptation, instead I end up feeling like a bit of a failure.
So this year I’ve decided to look at New Year’s Resolutions differently and resolved to do things that I really want to do. I’m going to apply for internships and overseas summer schools, I’m going to say ‘yes’ when I want to and ‘no’ when I don’t and I’m going to (try to) care a little less about what other people think.
Since arriving at University I feel that my health and fitness has already improved and I’ve always been the type of person to put in a lot of work towards exams so I decided that I should work on my outlook this year. That’s when I heard about 100 happy days:
The idea is to take a photograph every day of something that made you happy. Whether it be a yummy dinner you’ve cooked for yourself or a coffee with a friend, it should be a photograph that you’ve taken and haven’t pre-planned (thinking “what will make me happy a week on Sunday?” defeats the object), and you should aim to post every day without fail. You can share your photograph on whatever platform you choose with as little/as much publicity as you like – it’s not about who can get the most ‘likes’, it’s about realizing how lucky you are to be you. So here I am four days in to the challenge already feeling inspired enough to write a post about it, that’s gotta say something right?
So whatever you’ve decided to give up/take up this year, good luck to you – and if you haven’t yet, it’s still not too late! Even if you decide not to commit to 100 days of photographs, why don’t we all resolve to reflect a little more often on what a fortunate position we are in? During my gap year I spent 4 life changing months living with a host family in a Masai village in Kenya and I realized that I’m where I am purely by chance, I could just as easily have been born into a life of poverty, facing a choice between food and education. Throughout my stay, I noticed that despite the desperate circumstances faced by the Masai, the host family and friends who received me so wholly were extremely grateful for what little they did have and were some of the happiest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
Sure, exams and revision are draining and nobody – as far as I’m aware – enjoys studying over the Christmas break, but how great is it that we’re in a country where education is taken for granted and almost everybody is in a position to get a degree if they so choose? We have so many opportunities open to us and most of us don’t even think to take them. So I’m posting it here to motivate myself as well as others, this year I will take chances and make my own luck. Welcome to 2014, I hope it treats you well!
If you want to get involved in 100 happy days, click here and fill in your details, it couldn’t be easier.