I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions to begin with because they seem to fall apart before I can even finish saying “Happy New Year”! No matter whether the resolutions are too frivolous or too complex in nature, majority of them just doesn’t seem to last. However, since it’s the last day of an eventful 2014, it got me thinking – is there a simple method that we can use to plan for the year ahead, perhaps with fresh perspectives and new direction? Is there a way we can make New Year’s resolutions that can actually be kept and accomplished?

Over the years, I have realised New Year’s resolutions that are dependent on other people’s decisions and actions  tend to crumble faster. So I thought why not focus inward and brainstorm for potential New Year’s resolutions based on three things that each and every one of us have – our past, present and future. Since our past and present experiences define who we are while our hopes for the future determines what we will evolve into, it seems like a good place to start!

What have you learnt?
Many people don’t face any problems reminiscing about the past, often zooming in on the mistakes they had made throughout the year. Of course, it is detrimental to our health and well-being to remain stuck in what has already happened because it means we are holding on to something that we cannot change or control. However, when we turn the lessons learnt into something positive for the coming year, looking into the past doesn’t seem so bad after all. By reviewing past experiences and decisions, we can now make more concrete plans for an even greater 2015. Hence, pick a lesson learnt from the past that has impacted you the most, and construct a New Year’s resolution for 2015 based on it.

It has been more than one year since I lost my mother to cancer, but I still struggle to fill the gaping hole she has left behind in my life today. Although my mother’s passing has inevitably impacted multiple facets of my life, the one thing I struggle with the most in her absence was to not be emotionally overdependent on others. In the past year, I had wrongly projected my emotions on the people close to me and unfairly expected them to provide comfort in a way that my mother would. Thankfully, I have recognized this bad habit early on before it manifested any further. Hence, my first New Year’s resolution for 2015 is to be emotionally independent.

What do you want to keep?
Looking at the present and picking just one thing you want to bring into the New Year can be overwhelming for some. Embrace the present and take some time to reevaluate where we are in our life journey before choosing one thing that we are the most proud of or love the most. By remembering what we did right in the present, we can expand on the good work that is already been in place for the New Year!

My physical fitness has been a key concern for me for the longest time, especially since I compete in local netball competitions at least one league per year. Sometime in mid-2014, I signed up for unlimited classes at a startup gym and tried everything from zumba and body conditioning to pilates and yoga. I diligently attended these exercise classes on top of my netball trainings twice a week. The results of my hard work is not groundbreaking but I have definitely shredded a few kilos off my weight and got stronger with each workout. Hence, my second New Year’s resolution is to continue regular exercises at a high frequency so that I will become physically fitter.

What will you accomplish?
Now, this is the scariest yet most freewheeling of the three categories. We are able to review past and present milestones and decisions with minimal effort, but thinking about the future is on a whole new level altogether. We are looking ahead at a chapter in our story that has not been written yet. Moreover, making a New Year’s resolution based solely on our desires and hopes for the future is like making a promise to ourselves to venture into the unknown. Remember to be as creative and daring as you wish!

I have always been in awe of the ocean – the vibrant underwater world and its inhabitants. The obvious way to experience these beautiful sights would be through diving. Unfortunately, I have not had much experience in the deep waters because of amateurish swimming skills and haphazard underwater breathing techniques. The closest equivalent I had to diving was to snorkel over a colourful coral reef with hundres of fishes at Resorts World Sentosa Singapore’s Adventure Cove Waterpark. Although my snorkeling experience only lasted less than 200 metres and not more than ten minutes, I panicked numerous times along the way as water seeped into my goggles. However, no words can describe how excited I was during my first snorkeling stint. My third New Year’s resolution is to learn how to dive.

In the last few hours of 2014, I hope that this article will be able to help you draft your own New Year’s resolutions to kick off 2015 with a bang. As you recall lessons learnt in the past, hang on to good vibes from the present and dream for the future, I hope you keep in mind to always lace your New Year’s resolutions with generous amounts of happiness. Happy New Year everyone!