Resolution season is upon us. Something about the dawn of a new year sparks the desire for change within us. But if you’re anything like me, a lot of typical resolutions aren’t very appealing: Lose 30 pounds? Pass. Learn a new language? Handy, but I don’t have the patience.
Where most people get hung up is in believing that New Year’s resolutions need to be dramatic, life-altering commitments in order to count. Unfortunately, that is exactly why many people stray from their resolution paths after just a few weeks. But there are so many ways to improve your life in one year that may seem small, but can have a huge impact later on. If you’re looking for a nontraditional resolution for 2017, you may want to consider one of these:
1. Try one new food every month. This can be a great resolution for picky eaters. Expanding your palate is no small potatoes; the more foods you’re willing to try, the greater your restaurant menu choices become, and the more places you are able to travel without having to worry about the availability of your “safety” meals.
2. Reach out to three old friends. As adults, we lose touch with old friends oftentimes for no other reason than not having the time. If you have a few of those friendships in mind, dust off your phonebook and give them a call, text or email. Unless there has been a falling-out between you, chances are they will be thrilled to hear from you.
3. Save money. Take a look back through your bank statements for this year. How much money did you spend? Now, how much money did you save? If your spending habits could use a little work, a new year could be the opportunity you need. Try to put away $50 every time you get paid (or choose any number you’re comfortable with). At the end of the year, that could be an extra $1,200 in your pocket.
4. Learn to cope better. Most of us would agree that stress is an unavoidable constant in our lives to some degree. But how many people would say that their coping mechanisms are perfect? Truthfully, most people don’t have the best strategies in place for handling stress. Perhaps you are extra abrasive toward coworkers when you’re stressed (which can cause them to stress — please don’t be the catalyst for a stress-train), or maybe you lash out at your spouse or kids. Maybe you shut down completely and can’t function anywhere. Learning healthy coping mechanisms is a slow and ongoing process, but can make a huge improvement in your life and in your relationships.
5. Learn a new skill. This is a great resolution because of how broad it can be. Learning to do something new — even something small — can be scary, but once you get the hang of it the feeling is empowering. This resolution can encompass everything from learning to cook to learning to rock climb, and everything in between and beyond. No matter how small you may think the skill is, it’s still something you couldn’t do before and that’s nothing to sneeze at!