I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions. This is going to sound illogical, but for some reason I have long held this belief that whatever goals I want to achieve with the new year, I will be jinxing them by setting them as my resolutions for the year. However, this does not mean that I don’t take the time to reflect on the past year and think about things that I could have done better. But instead of dwelling on the negatives, for this year I have decided to think about the positive changes I had made this past year and will be carrying into the new year.
Making Time for Reading Books
Since I entered the medical profession, I have lost that magical time I used to spend with (non-medical) books. I still think fondly back to those lazy afternoons cozying up to a book from the library during summer breaks when I was in school, when time seemed to have stopped as I got lost in the pages. Even though I no longer have the luxury of having such long stretches of time enjoying a good read, last year I managed to get into the habit of reading before bedtime. I have come to notice that reading helps with my mental clarity no matter what the subject of the book is, and I plan to continue this nightly ritual in 2022 and beyond.
I wrote about this in a previous blog post. Initially I started this more as an experiment to test it and see if the health benefits touted by science really pan out in my own personal life. Even though the changes were not earth shattering, with consistent practice I did find that I was just a bit calmer as a person, and that I was in more control of my emotions. I am happy to give this practice my personal stamp of approval, and it is coming with me to 2022.
I have to say, this is by far one of the harder things for me to adopt, because like the majority of the human beings around the world, I have a strong negative bias built into my brain. This is something that I just started doing more recently but already I could see how it had helped me get through some of my worst days. Sure, there were times when it felt forced and weirdly naive, and it’s hard to strike the right balance between gratitude and ambition. But just like anything else, practice makes perfect, and so I will continue to exercise my brain in this way in 2022.