Every two out of five people break their new year’s resolutions within the first week of January. When you think about New Years resolutions, you usually think about what you are going to “give up” for the new year. That’s not so far off from the origins of New Years resolutions. Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.
The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named. Society tells us to give up that thing that consumes you: shopping, sweets, the sofa, or social media, so that slowly you won’t have such a tie toward it. But what if instead we filled our new year with something new (wow, what a thought) and added more time for experiences into our lives?
Here are 20 New Years resolutions that will hopefully motivate you to add instead of take away in your life.
- Instead of giving up complaining, encourage three people every day.
- Instead of giving up fast food, try a new recipe once a month.
- Instead of more stay at home vacations (staycations), go to a country you’ve never been to.
- Instead of saying “be happier in 2017”,text your best friend one thing you’re thankful for every day.
- Instead of giving up technology, start writing in a journal.
- Instead of randomly checking your phone twenty times a day, give yourself five minutes a day where you do nothing but sit in quiet.
- Instead of meeting more new people, ask those around you more questions about themselves than they ask about you (aka talk about yourself less).
- Instead of saying you’ll spend less on weekends, volunteer with your friends once a month.
- Instead of “enjoying life to the fullest”, put reminders on your phone sundays for the week to come. Less forgetting, more enjoying.
- Instead of one huge spring cleaning, give away one thing from your closet for every new purchase you make.
- Instead of taking fewer selfies, call a friend once a week to catch up. Thats 52 friends in one year.
- Instead of wanting to be more creative, put up some of your own photography prints at home
- Instead of eating more avocadoes/quinoa/whatever healthy food is currently fashionable, go vegetarian on Wednesdays (woooo!).
- Instead of wanting to lose weight, sign up for a class you’ve always wanted to try. (Calligraphy, tennis, dance, yoga)
- Instead of obsessing over that body you want, try that new haircut or style you’ve been wanting to for years.
- Instead of dreaming about learning a new language, download DuoLingo. Learn a few words in a different language every day.
- Instead of giving up looking at a screen before bed, exchange that screen for a kindle. Read four books during the year.
- Instead of wanting to spend more time with family and friends, create a phone stack during meals at home.
- Instead of giving up Netflix, write a wedding card for a couple or a birthday card for a friend that isn’t store bought. You’ll have card done in advance!
- Instead of promising less stress, have a personal dance party for one song a day!
I hope that these 20 New Years resolutions bring you life! I believe in you, let’s make this next year the best year yet!