There’s a reason why gyms have the most new sign ups in the new year. It seems everyone has a resolution to finally shed those last few pounds, the Christmas weight gain, or the baby weight (five years after the fact). “Stop-smoking” products also sell more in the new year than any other time. Why? Because each year, time and again, people focus on the same resolutions. Exercise more. Lose weight. Stop smoking. But, there’s a reason why they are setting those same resolutions again the next year. They just don’t last.
So, for 2018, I challenge you to not set the same ole’ resolutions that you always do. This year, set resolutions that matter. Matter to your mental health. Matter to the world. And, matter to those around you. Set resolutions that will make you and the space around you better because you’ve done them. Here are the ones I am setting this year. You can use mine, or use them as an example to set your own. Let me know what resolutions you’re setting this year.
- Smile at at least one stranger everyday.
This one is easy if you work in an office building or have a public commute. There’s always someone you don’t know somewhere in your daily routine. Make it a point to smile at them. That’s it. Just smile. You never know what someone is going through.
2. Pay for someone’s meal, coffee, snack, etc. at least once a month.
The average person wastes at least $15 or more a month on unneeded things. Next time you’re in line at Starbucks or a fast food drive through, pay for the car behind you. It’s a simple and easy way to brighten someone else’s day without having to go out of your way to do it. Or, treat your friend/family to a dinner out and foot the bill. Do this once a month and I promise you’ll feel better about yourself and the universe will thank you.
3. Get to know someone different than you this year.
This one may be harder if you don’t live somewhere with a lot of diversity, but there are other ways to meet people. Get to know someone who isn’t the same as you. Whether that be someone of a different socio-economic status, religion, race, gender identity, etc. it’s important to know where those who believe differently are coming from. This doesn’t mean you have to become best friends, but have a conversation, ask questions, get to know them as more than just their identity.
4. Focus on your mental health.
This is probably the biggest one for finding your own happiness. So often, we focus more on our physical health and our mental. It’s hard to be happy with your body, your progress, your weight, etc. if you aren’t happy with where you just exist. Take time everyday to meditate. Start a gratitude jar. Do one thing good for your mental health everyday. Whether that’s reading a book. Writing in your journal. Or, just listening to music, get away from the world around you for a little everyday.
5. Do something selfish once a week.
This goes along with your mental health. Believe it or not, it’s okay to be selfish. And, it’s okay to focus on yourself for a little while. Even if you’re a mother. Selfish isn’t negative in this instance. Instead, it means taking a little time for yourself. Away from work, your spouse, your kids, etc. Take a bubble bath. Drink a glass of wine alone. Go shopping. Get a pedicure. Do something that gets you away from your daily routine at least once a week.
6. Volunteer your time/donate belongings.
This is the easiest to do this year. Donate. Whether it’s your time or something you no longer need. Volunteer at a local shelter, school, or food bank. Or, collect things you no longer need and give them to your local women’s shelter/Goodwill. You’ll get rid of some of your clutter and be giving back to your local area at the same time.
7. Become socially aware of your world.
Especially in America, we live in a bubble where we only see the local and governmental news from our area. We don’t see or understand everything else happening around us. We live in a global society. What happens in Egypt will affect us here. Whether we know it or not. I credit my ability to travel to really show me just how much the rest of the world matters. Take time every day to look at the world news. See what things are happening everywhere else. Not only will you have a greater outlook on the world, but it will help shape the way you think when voting, volunteering, or traveling.