2014 in numbers: Happy New Year!

“Five hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes. Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear. Five hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes. How do you measure… measure a year?” (Jonathan Larson, “Seasons of Love”).

Did you know that: 1 year

= 12 months
= 52 weeks
= 365 days (sometimes 366)
= 8,760 hours
= 525,600 minutes
= 31,536,000 seconds

In a year, there are 12 months, with 28-31 days in each of them. A full moon and new moon occurs once a month, with two intermittent half-moon nights. The equinoxes occur in March and September, and every four years, February has an extra day.

Other than this, what more do we know about a year? Not much… not that it matters, either.

What can you do in one year? A lot.

How do you get started? Well, I’ve given it some thought and come up with a few suggestions. Obviously, every year, you are living a year of your life, hopefully through to healthy completion. You decide what to do and what not to do, but here are a few things you may find useful in helping make 2014 a good year for yourself and those around you. Check out the list!

31,536,000: DONATE | Other than counting all 31,536,000 seconds, I don’t know what else you can do with such a huge number. Maybe if you win the lottery, donate one cent for every second in the year, meaning you’ll donate about $315,360 to charity; good for you! If you choose not to donate money, donate your time and efforts. Donate anything up to or exactly 31,536,000 seconds of your life this year to helping a noble cause. Be it a personal cause, like assisting an unwell family member or friend, or a global cause, like the human rights movement. Find what speaks to you, and help make a positive difference in whatever way you can.

525,600: THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS | This year, you have enough time to send 525,000 positive vibes to people around you. Whether you’re travelling by public transit, out for a day at the beach or shopping for the office holiday party, think positively happy thoughts. Positive thinking has so many benefits. It’s like they say… if you are upset and you force a smile, the muscles in your face apparently contract and stretch in a way that the fake smile turns into a real smile. And happy you are! Now whether this has a scientific basis or not is irrelevant, since based on my own experience, it works anyway. A happier you means a happier life. And as an added plus, positive energies radiate; you’ll be glowing!

8,760: SAY YES | Usually, we stick to things that we know and are comfortable with. We are not always open to trying new things. It is human nature to be afraid of failure, to be afraid of the unknown and to be afraid because something is out of our comfort zone. Try saying yes to something new, and maybe you’ll discover new interests, see new places and meet new people. Saying yes can bring so much positive change into your life. Travel the road between “I can’t” to “I can” and then to “I did!” by saying yes. Say yes to opportunity, say yes to risks, and say yes to yourself; yes I will let myself enjoy this year to the fullest.

365: DO GOOD THINGS | Every day of the year, make it a point to do something good for someone else. If the older lady across the street usually does her groceries on Mondays, carry her grocery bags up to her apartment for her one fine random Monday evening. If someone is behind you in line at the department store and has just two or three items, let them go in front of you. Maybe they’re in a rush, and even if they’re not, hey, a nice deed never hurt anyone. At first, you might start off thinking that 365 nice things to do might be a lot, but before you know it, you’ll automatically start making socially conscious decisions and doing good things by default; your total will probably rack up to a proud count of more than 365!

52: RECONNECT WITH PEOPLE | Try to find 52 people that you have lost touch with, and reconnect with them. It can just be a text message saying hello, or a post on Facebook, or maybe a phone call, or even a personal visit. How close you are with these people and the degree to which you want to reconnect is totally your call. But do reconnect. With the technology available to us today, we have about a thousand and one ways in which to connect with those we love and cherish, yet we find ourselves miserably distanced from those we want(ed) to be close to. It is said that you should never burn your bridges (i.e. make things “go bad” between yourself and old friends, employers, etc.), but possibly more relevant is the idea that you should actively reinforce those bridges so that they don’t crumble on their own. Once a year, wish someone a happy birthday if you know when theirs is, say “happy new year” now or even just say a quick hello.

12: START NEW HEALTHY HABITS | Each month, start a new and healthy habit for yourself. It’ll kind of be like a new year’s resolution, but in instalments. In January, resolve to start taking the stairs up at work 3 out of 5 workdays. By the time February rolls around, incorporate a new healthy habit, like adding more fibre to your diet, but keep the January one in practice too. By the end of the year, you’ll have incorporated 12 different healthy lifestyle choices. Staggering this way removes the overwhelming stress that may come from attempting to incorporate huge new year’s resolutions all at once; the worst thing you want happening is giving up halfway through January and “wasting” the rest of the year. Try a monthly plan for your resolutions this year.

1: REALIZE | Often, one chance is all you get, and you have to give it your all. Many of us are lucky to be living the life that we are living. Don’t take things for granted; your life could have been without any luxuries. Don’t curse your life or bad luck; maybe you do have bad luck, but it’s a matter of perception. Although there are outside forces affecting your life, do realize that the one and only pen for this 365-page book is in your hands. Make every page count and make this your best year yet.

Remember, these are all just suggestions. I’m just an average girl writing the average blog for the average follower. No one is obliged to do anything in life. You don’t have to be socially conscientious, you definitely don’t have to be environmentally friendly, and you definitely don’t have to be mindful of other people (sarcasm). But without those things, how much better would that make you than the rest of the world? Be a global citizen and make the most of the new year.

Remember to appreciate good things around you, and change those that aren’t so good. “Be the change you want to see,” Mahatma Gandhi said; and the world is yours. This is your year; make it worthwhile.

Happy 2014!

Yours Truly, AJ

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