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MY VIEW: 6 Resolutions That Can Change Your Life This Year

MY VIEW: 6 Resolutions That Can Change Your Life This Year

As the year 2016 begins, Elsa Joel makes a case for resolutions that are good for the soul.

The views expressed in this article are that of the author’s and do not in any way reflect the views of the organisation.

As the year 2016 begins, Elsa Joel makes a case for resolutions that are good for the soul.

T he year 2016 has commenced. I know about the futility of making resolutions. Yet, our New Year resolutions help us to live the way we are destined to. One right does not undo many wrongs. However, let this not limit us from doing our small bit of goodness, because we can’t go on pretending day by day that someone, somewhere, will soon make a change. Let us, together, take a few resolutions.

1. I will plant a tree this year

trees planting

Photo source: Flickr/Thangaraj Kumaravel

Be it combating climate change, providing oxygen, wood, food,  healing, conserving energy or cleaning the air, trees do it all.  They restore goodness of life and creation. Planting a sapling and watching it grow teaches us life’s lessons – such as giving a space for others to grow, exercising uniqueness, and flexing harder – in a beautiful way. If a tree dies, let’s teach our children also to plant another one in its place. This will help them realise that hope must be planted soon after a loss.

2. I will share inspiring stories

sharing stories

Photo source: Abhinay Omkar

Every human being out there is born receptive to the goodness of life, except that they encounter the unusual aspects of being human. Sharing our stories of hope will help people trust each other and maybe this could become contagious too. Stories of people turning off their refrigerators, ACs, swapping incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent ones, walking to the nearest shop with a cloth bag, playing in the yard instead of a long drive and so on are small ways to start.

3. I will try a friend’s hobby


Photo source: Flickr/FrogStarB

Hereafter, it should never sound odd if we hear somebody using the words cycling and hobby together, because cycling a few kilometers will not only pay off in terms of health but will  help us live better. It will also help the planet cool down a bit. If it’s about learning an instrument, let us play familiar tunes and help each other sing.

4. I will take up a random act of kindness every day

In this handout photograph released by The Indian Army on June 18, 2013, Indian Army officials escort stranded travellers along a road in Chamoli district in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand on June 18, 2013. Torrential rains and flash floods washed away homes and roads in north India, leaving at least feared 60 people dead and thousands stranded, as the annual monsoon hit the country earlier than normal, officials said. Authorities called in military helicopters to try to rescue residents and pilgrims cut off by rising rivers and landslides triggered by more than three days of rain in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, officials said. -----EDITORS NOTE---- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / INDIAN ARMY" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Photo source: Flickr/Diariocritico de Venezuela

A random act of kindness – which will help us be kind in our everyday lives – might raise someone’s spirits and inspire people out there to simply pay it forward.  In terms of scope, I think a random act of kindness is the biggest project that humanity can ever undertake, in order to restore hope and faith.  Choose acts that will make the world hear and mimic as well.

5. I will lift the veil over my eyes

watching sunset

Photo source: Flickr/ Shashank Gupta

We must have the courage to lift the veil that grows so quickly over our eyes in this hectic world and see all those things we failed to marvel at before. Lift the veil, feel, and sense the passing of time. Shouldn’t we enjoy the beauty of life? Without lifting our veils,  it’s hard to stop, observe, and feel.

6. I will be there for someone to lean on

holding hands

Photo source: Flickr/GlobalPartnership for Education

Humans can’t handle life all alone. Should we be strong against the wind and make ourselves available? Should we grow in unexpected ways? Should we stretch a little bit farther to reach out to somebody? If yes is the only answer, then no one shall laugh or cry alone.

I write this because I have heard stories of benevolence, of good Samaritans, and the propensity of resolutions placing something valuable along our paths.

Like this story? Or have something to share? Write to us:, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter (@thebetterindia).

About the author: Elsa Lycias Joel holds a doctorate in biotechnology. She has also authored a children’s book named ‘Perfect Endings’ .

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