Setting New Year’s resolutions is a common practice embraced by millions every year. There are thousands of resolutions (some easy, some hard), but they all can be difficult to stick to. Yet, making certain life changes can dramatically impact the quality of a life — making the added effort more than worthwhile. We’ve brainstormed seven life-changing New Year’s resolutions. These are expansive, targeting multiple aspects of life: social life, mental health, physical health, finance and knowledge. You’re not one-dimensional, so why should your resolutions be?
1. Say Sorry Less, Thank You More
It’s almost instinct to apologize. Saying “sorry” (for nearly everything) is meant to be polite, and the intention is good but the tone is not. Changing a single word uplifts the conversational tone, immediately. Switch, “sorry” to “thank you.” This adjustment completely alters the conversation’s energy from apologetic to appreciative. “Sorry” is negative in connotation, asserting something or someone has been wronged. “Thank you” communicates gratitude. Saying “thanks” is more likely to make people feel respected rather than wronged.
2. Stop Procrastinating
Procrastination is a habit. The more you do it the more likely you are to continue. Breaking focus pulls us away from our goals. On average, it takes 25 minutes to return focused to a task after an interruption. Each time we pull away from a project it makes it longer to complete. Overcoming procrastination will leave you less stressed, more accomplished and with more time.
3. Create Time for Nothing
No Netflix. No phone. No laptop. Unplug. Chill. Relax. Do nothing.
4. Find an Exercise You Like
It’s easy to think of exercise as a chore, but it doesn’t have to be. Some people are never going to enjoy running — that’s okay. Find an activity that makes you want to move. Explore local rock climbing gyms. Find a bomb hiking trail. Take up kickboxing. Dance your ass off at a party. There are endless gratifying activities that will keep your heart rate up — even better you will enjoy it. Get fit and have fun!
5. Go on a Raw Cash Diet
Last New Years (after spending a little too much on my credit cards), I went on a raw cash diet. Spending strictly cash helped me save enough money to move to Europe. Cash diets encourage you to evaluate your purchases. (Turns out, I don’t need a $35 sushi lunch every week). Having a greater appreciation for purchases makes saving significantly easier. Spending cash is easy, making it is more difficult. Increase your financial awareness by strictly spending dollar, dollar bills y’all!
6. Read More
Reading is a great way to exercise your mind. Books, journals, articles (you name it) provide new knowledge or a new perspective. Once you find an author you cherish and make reading a routine, you will be finishing books in no time. Discover what you like and create time for lazy weekend reading.
7. Accept Praise
Attention of any kind can be overwhelming, even positive attention. It is common for people (women especially) to not know how to accept a compliment. Rather than smiling and saying, “thanks” — the compliment is rejected. Stop. If someone recognizes you are a badass, accept their genius assessment. Learning how to accept praise is a great social skill that will improve your self esteem and your communication.
New Year’s is a time of self reflection and growth. We can start fresh. There are thousands of resolutions that can help bring about a better year, a better you. These seven resolutions serve as encouragement for you to set your own. They are great general targets for most people, but ultimately goals must be self driven. You know your focus best, so pick one that feels best to you.
What does 2017 mean for you? —Alex