Each December 31st, millions of people put themselves through the stale process that is resolution making. They can’t help it; they’re pretty much brainwashed into it by the dozens of ads for gyms sporting their new exclusive new membership deals, magazines with headlines screaming “A NEW YEAR, A NEW YOU,” cooking shows trying to undo the damage of their holiday specials with lighter menu options, and Pinterest telling you to create a resolution bored.
In years past, I’ve always made resolutions, and by March, I was always disappointed in myself for failing to meet the standards I had set for myself. Last year was the first year I successfully met my resolution -sort of. I had planned to complete one piece of art I was proud of a month. The monthly plan hadn’t happened, but by December I had finished 12 pieces I was extremely happy with. What made keeping that resolution so much easier than the hundreds I had come up with in that past was that it was already something I loved to do – not something I disliked that I was trying to force myself to do because the new year dictated I do so (eh hem, going to the gym).
It wasn’t until the second day of 2016 that I realized I had failed to make a resolution this year. I had gotten back on the band wagon of exercising regularly in the first few weeks of December and had started eating better (ok, slightly better) after Christmas, so the pressures of finding a healthy routine to follow once the New Year started weren’t really there. With that in mind (and please know I am not knocking those of you who made health related resolutions!!) I decided to come up with a few out-of-the-box resolutions those of us who are tired of the same old might enjoy too.
Visit at least three states I’ve never been to before
While I would have loved to have said countries, I don’t really have the money or time this year. (Here’s hoping for a pleasant surprise!) Instead, the idea of hitting up a few more states is both more doable and wallet friendly. There are several surrounding states I’ve yet to visit, and at least one (Louisiana) that I’ll definitely be hitting up in April. States work well because, depending on your location, a trip could require as little time as one day. It’s easy to forget the U.S. is a huge country with ample travel opportunities.
Try at least TWO new recipes a month
Some of us love to cook, and some of us just need to add a bit more variety to our standard menus of pasta, eggs, and sandwiches. With the ample amounts of materials available to us (cooking channels, Pinterest, food blogs, tutorial videos, etc.) there’s really no excuse not to test the waters a bit. You don’t have to go for the recipes that takes hours to make either – try one of Rachel Ray’s half hour meals! Or if you’re feeling up for a challenge, learn how to make macarons. Something a bit more exotic? I recently tried this Chicken Tikka Masala recipe from Aarti Sequeira and it is seriously amazing.
Putting away my gifts from Christmas this year made me realize how much extra stuff I have lying around my house. My goal is to start with my room and to fill at least two boxes with stuff I no longer need/like/want. It’s amazing how quickly collections of things can build and take up our space. If you’re feeling a bit cluttered, go through your stuff and play the “Does this make me happy? Does it have a special memory? Does it fit? Would I miss it if it were gone?” game and clean out your closet, drawers, and space beneath your bed. Either sell your stuff to thrift shops or donate it to a local charitable organization.
Take at least one class in an area of interest
I know, time is valuable. But is there one thing you’ve always said you would like to learn, but have never had the time to actually do so? Well, pick one random day and carpe the diem out of it. For me, it’s salsa dancing. I’ve always wanted to learn the basics, and I am vowing to take at least one class this year. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to throw clay or improve your singing voice. Maybe you’d like to shoot a bow and arrow, or learn how to make your own lip balm. There are a ton of options out there! And for all of you who would like to take an actual class on a topic like religion or nutrition, there’s no time for the present! For flexible scheduling and FREE tuition, check out all the great things EdX has to offer.
Put the technology away more often
Recently, I caught my father talking about me to my mother right in front of me after trying to talk to me. “She’s always on her phone!” he shouted. Shoot. He was right. I’m so guilty of an unhealthy connection to the damn thing. So. I’m going try to do something about it and put it down way more often than I do. Challenge yourself to sleep your phone away from your bed, leave it in your purse or pocket when you’re out with friends, leave it in a safe spot for a few hours each day while you focus on other stuff full-heartedly, etc. I know our phones are supposed to help us to be more tapped in, but what are they causing us to be tapped out of? Distance, my friends, let’s try to distance.
Instead of signing up for that $1 deal at the gym, these are the resolutions I’ll be trying to keep this year – I’ll let you know it went in 2017. In the meantime, let us know what you think of them and what your personal resolutions for the New Year are. Cheers!