May 10, 2018

It’s Time to Try Warm-Weather Resolutions

What was your new year’s resolution this year? If you’re like most people, your resolutions for 2017 had something to do with losing weight or eating more healthily, practicing life improvements, making better money decisions, or quitting smoking. Those are all great goals, and if you set them—or any others—we hope that you’re pleased with your progress. (If you haven’t made much progress, don’t worry, you’re far from alone—it seems that only 9.2% of people felt successful at achieving their resolutions.)

Regardless of where you are with achieving your resolutions, what do you think about adding to them? With the midyear coming up, now is the time to come up with “half”‒new year’s resolutions, à la half-birthdays. We propose making these resolutions a bit more fun! After all, summer is the season for picnics, beach trips, and flip-flops, for literally shedding the excess heft of coats and sweaters. Plus, fun resolutions are much easier to keep. 😏

Here are some possible warm-weather resolutions we can’t wait to resolve.

Eat outside. It goes without saying that summer is best spent outdoors. One outdoor activity that is particularly gratifying is eating. Take advantage of food trucks and farmer’s markets, or plan a dinner outdoors with your beau or best friends. Have a park picnic potluck (try saying that three times fast!) for a low-cost opportunity to hang out and enjoy nature.

Try disconnecting. Speaking of nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon.” I bet RWE would have been one of those people who doesn’t obsessively check his phone, who actually looks up at the sky instead. It’s not as hard to go offline / off phones / off computers as it may seem, and the resulting senses of refreshment and vigor are so worth it. A few years ago, I went offline for about ten days during a sailing trip. At first I felt those “ghost” text vibrations and had an all-but-irresistible urge to check my phone. But before long, I had embraced the http-less world. I stared not at a screen but at the stunning horizon, and it wasn’t just the health of my eyes that was rewarded. I felt truly at peace. (There are numerous studies indicating the health benefits of disconnecting, from better sleep to the overall improvement of quality of life.)

Start a gratitude journal. Gratitude isn’t seasonal; it’s perennial. But there is no better time to write down what you’re grateful for than now. As reported by Greater Good Magazine, published by the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, writing down what you’re thankful for has had demonstrated benefits in academic studies, such as a greater sense of happiness. You can follow whatever set of gratitude-journal practices you prefer, but Greater Good describes writing down five things you were grateful for over the past week, on a weekly basis. Entries can be brief, just a sentence or even a phrase. What matters is awareness of what brings us joy, not how long we take to write about those things. (As I write this, I’m grateful for Albuquerque sunshine and afternoon cookie breaks.)

Do one thing you’ve always wanted to do. We know that the summer is often just as busy as the rest of the year, despite school being out and vacations being taken. But it’s also the season immediately after spring, the season of rebirth and newness, so why not try taking that notion of novelty and really running with it? I’ve always wanted to try actually being decent at tennis, and my plan for the summer is to enroll in a tennis class. The options range from physical (horseback riding, joining a climbing gym) to mental (learning a new language) to a combination of the two.

Wear something flattering… no, wear something liberating. Screw flattering! Wear something that makes you feel great. The Internet is chockablock with advice about who should wear what when, but I say, ignore all that. Disregard “fashion rules” about the age when you have to stop wearing short skirts, wear white whenever you want, and sashay around in your favorite open-toed shoes whenever the mood strikes (unless you work somewhere with safety regulations, like a lab…for that matter, in general you should follow your office’s dress code!).

Happy swimming, mimosa-drinking, reading, running, superhero movie‒going—or whatever it is that will make your summer joyous and filled with sunny memories!

​About the Author

​Grace is an Albuquerque-based writer and editor with a background in book publishing. She loves musicals, bar trivia, and breakfast burritos.

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