Let's face it, every November, we give thanks with our families, then stomp out some angry shoppers less than 12 hours later to get the best gifts that year. In December, we go broke trying to buy the very best of the best, for what? So someone can use their gift for a month or two then forget about it? Then January rolls around and we make these lengthy resolutions. "This year, I'll go to the gym" or This year is my year." But, is it really? We make these goals and maybe stick to them for a couple of weeks. So here's a list, of 12 things you can do (one for each month) to make your 2018 a little more meaningful (and memorable).
1. January: Out with the old, in with the new.
The holidays are over and you probably scored some pretty cool outfits (or gift cards to buy new outfits). So this month, clean out your closet and donate the clothes you no longer need. Did Grandma get you a really nice winter coat? Donate your old one so that someone can finish out the chilly winter season with some warmth.
2. February: Love is in the air.
Spread a little love and do spend some time with someone you love. Take a couple's cooking class or a painting class instead of the generic "dinner and a movie" date. When you look back on 2018, you want to look at the experiences, you won't remember that movie you saw almost a whole year ago.
3. March: Feeling lucky?
With St. Patrick's day around the corner, try your luck at something new. Take up a new hobby that you might be interested in, resolve to try a new activity. You never know what you might like and who you might meet.
4. April: April showers bring May flowers.
Do something for yourself this month. With spring break around the corner, plan a small trip or resolve to stay home and splurge on a day of pampering and rest. Curl up at home with a good book or your favorite movie. Spend some time with yourself on a rainy day!
5. May: May the force be with you.
Maybe you're a Star Wars fan (and maybe you're not). Regardless, do something you're afraid to do this month. Go conquer your fear of heights on a roller coaster or something else that you've been too afraid or nervous to try.
6. June: Summer!
Plan a beach day with some friends and ditch your phone. Soak up the sun and share some laughs with the people who mean the most to you, without having your face attached to a screen the whole day. Live in the moment. Go to an outdoor festival or a concert.
7. July: Freedom
When celebrating the Fourth of July, think of what we're actually celebrating. This isn't just a day of outdoor activities and drinking, we are literally celebrating our freedom. Thank a military (past or present) member for their aid in keeping us a free country. You never know what kind of experience you'll get when you walk up to someone and sincerely thank them for their service.
8. August: Back to School
With summer coming to a close and school starting up again, take some time to purchase some extra school supplies for kids in need. Set up a backpack with all the back to school essentials and drop off at your local donation center. Not only will you be all set for school, you'll also be ensuring that a child has everything they need to start their school year off right, as well.
9. September: September 11th.
While 9/11 is an extremely sensitive topic, it's best that we face this one head on. Every year, we have our moment of silence on 9/11 for those who risked their lives that day. Take some time out to visit the memorial (if you're local) and pay respects to the fallen. If you have the free time, volunteer. Giving back always feels good and you never know what kind of experience is to be had.
10. October: Halloween
Time to get spooky! Head out to some haunted houses, pick your own pumpkins and apples, eat some apple cider donuts and bake some amazing fall desserts. You'll be glad you did. Embrace the fall season in all it's glory.
11. November: Give Thanks
Get involved in the yearly social media trend of posting one thing that you're thankful for every day this month. Remind yourself that while life may not be perfect, there is still so much to be thankful for. Find ways to give back in your community, donate non-perishable food items to a food pantry, volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. While these may not be as glamorous as waiting outside of Best Buy for three hours waiting for a brand new T.V. you may feel much better about yourself.
12. December: Full Circle.
And just like that, 2018 is ending and you've come full circle. Think back on all the adventures and experiences you've gathered over the past year, spend time with family, and reflect on your own personal growth. You never know how much can really change in the course of one whole year.
Have a safe and happy holiday, and make 2018 your year!