Raise your hand if you think the pressure to come up with a firm New Year’s resolution this time of year is a little high? Yeah, us too. While it’s certainly commendable to try to better yourself, there’s something a bit tired about the concept of a New Year’s resolution.
After all, why can’t we resolve to improve ourselves at any time of the year? In the spirit of trying something new, we’ve brainstormed some fresh alternatives to the standard lists we’re all accustomed to making.
Invest in Personal Development
Let’s kick this list off with the ways we should invest in ourselves. To achieve some personal growth this year, read self-help books, listen to TED Talks and attend webinars, seminars and workshops on topics you are passionate about. Self-improvement is essential as it helps us to cultivate new mindsets and get motivated for the year ahead.
Invest in podcasts
Why is listening to podcasts an investment in personal development? Because you get to listen to conversations between some of the world’s most successful people about how they got to where they are today—and the hardships they had to work through to get there. In turn, you can use these ideas to help gain inspiration from your own life. A bonus? You can listen almost anywhere – on the train, in the car, when you’re exercising, cleaning, cooking; the options are endless.
Learn a New Hobby
Hobbies are a fun way to insert a sense of fulfillment into our everyday lives. They can help us become more patient, make us feel connected to the things we love and can even help build our confidence. But most importantly, they let us relax and seek pleasure in activities that aren’t associated with work, chores or other responsibilities.
Cultivate a New Skill
As we age and take on more responsibilities, that’s less time we have to build new capabilities. But it’s important to stay sharp and to always be a lifelong learner. Whether it’s learning a new language or playing an instrument, the New Year is a perfect time to develop a fresh skillset. Don’t know where to start? Search both on and offline for free training or classes. To get you started, The Muse has a few “free” workshops to try, from how to kick start that coding career to tips on how we can all save and spend money wisely.
Search for a Mentor
An influential mentor can make all the difference in someone’s life. Seek out someone whose work you admire, and ask them to be your adviser. It would be beneficial to have someone in your chosen career field, as well as someone who can tell it to you straight. Honesty is what makes a mentor-student relationship thrive.
Find a Form of Exercise You Enjoy
Trust us on this one. The more you wait to make exercise a regular part of your routine, the harder it will be to commit and see results. Training isn’t a punishment; it’s a reward. Remember to nourish your body and appreciate it for all the good it does every day. Try out different activities to see which ones you enjoy most, and begin making them a regular part of your routine.
Create Your Bucket List for the New Year
Let’s face it; most people have one of these lying around. A fun, grand list filled with all the things you want to be, do, and experience before turning a year older. In much the same way, for the New Year, you can create a bucket list for the year.
Follow a 30-Day Challenge
The concept of the 30-day challenge? It consists of setting a small goal that can be achieved in 30 days, along with the specific action that you’ll be taking each day to achieve said goal.
For example, you could create a 30-day decluttering challenge. You could do the following: Every day during the month, choose an item to donate, throw out, sell, or give away. Or, you could always use the Konmari method. If it doesn’t bring you joy, toss it.
Make mantras, not resolutions
Instead of resolving to stay true to those resolutions, choose a personal mantra for the New Year. It could be as small as one word. You can do this by discovering emotions that are important to you and focus on living by them. Think positive words like contentment, courage, strength, abundance, simplicity. There’s no concept of success or failure here. It’s whatever feels right to you.
Start a year-long project
Think of the 365Project premise where you take one photo every single day for a year on a specific subject and then share it with the world. It could be a photo of the same thing or something completely different, but the point is to document your life in a photo a day. That way, you can reflect on all the great moments you captured and all the cool things you accomplished at years end.
You can also indulge in the small things, like the following:
- Read a novel that’s coming out this year by your favored author.
- Check out that new exhibit at your favorite museum.
- Try that new restaurant that’s opening downtown.
- Binge-watch the new season of your favorite TV show.