Okay, I understand the compulsion to make New Year’s resolutions. After all, a new year is often seen as a chance for a fresh start. But I’m not a big fan of the typical broad goals people tend to make this time of year.
Not that these aren’t all good objectives, but I’m older and wiser and know that two weeks into the new year most of you will go back to your old habits. The time spent contemplating a long list of resolutions is wasted. Worse yet, when all the promises you make to yourself fall by the wayside, it makes you feel bad.
Why put yourself through that? How about making a resolution not to make resolutions anymore?
If that doesn’t work and you still feel compelled to make a list (I don’t have this urge anymore in my 50’s, but I know a lot of you still hang on to this tradition), how about making goals that are worthwhile?
With that in mind, here are five resolutions I think everyone should strive to keep for 2015:
- Make someone smile every day. Let someone cut in front of you in the grocery line. Compliment someone. Offer to help an elderly person. Tell people you love how much you appreciate them. Do volunteer work that will make a difference in someone’s life. Send a card or bouquet of flowers to someone who is depressed. Make someone’s wish come true.
- Resolve to start each day in a positive way. Make time to pray, meditate on spiritual matters, or for some thoughtful introspection. Even if you are rushed, spare a minute to take several slow, deep breaths to stay in the present moment and begin your day with calmness. See my previous blog on this subject for more ideas on how to start your day right.
- Do something on your bucket list this year. Conquer a fear. No excuses. Just do it. I’ve crossed a wide range of things off my list over the years like swimming with dolphins, reading the entire Bible, becoming a full-time minister, learning sign language, volunteering with the deaf, zip lining, writing a book, traveling, learning to scuba dive, and starting a blog. Envision your ideal life and take one step this year to making it a reality.
- Learn something new every day. Maybe it’s simply learning a new word to increase your vocabulary. Or maybe you’ll take a class, try a new sport or hobby, or learn to play an instrument. It doesn’t matter what it is, just get out of your rut and try something different that excites you.
- Get rid of negative people in your life. You know those frenemies you have that suck all the joy out of your life. Say good-bye. Don’t surround yourself with people you secretly despise. I recently read a great blog on this subject. Check it out. While you’re at it, quit being a people-pleaser and learn to say no.
That should be plenty to keep you busy, but if you need more or different goals, here are a few more ideas: clear the clutter from your life, get outside and enjoy nature more, keep a gratitude journal, think more positively, keep life simple, get more sleep, and live in a spiritual, healthy, and productive way.
In other words, do everything in your power to make this year the best one yet!
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net