As we kick off 2019, let's not talk about resolutions. (Let's be honest, we all know how those end up.) The mere fact that we call them "resolutions" probably make us more likely to give up on them by February.

Just like you break down a big project into smaller pieces, let's break down "resolutions" into little things we can do throughout the year to better ourselves and the people around us.

Here are some gifts you can focus on giving yourself throughout the year to (hopefully) put 2019 a step above 2018:

Friends who will throw a pity party with you when you need it, and will also smack some sense into you when you need to pull it together.

Recognition of what you need and when you need it.

A celebratory playlist.

Always have a playlist on hand full of songs that boost your mood. One of the best feelings is cranking up good music in your car, on your headphones, or in your room, and staying still in that moment for as long as you can.

Recognition of the need to love yourself before you're able to love someone else.

Friends that will push you out of your comfort zone.

The revelation that it's okay to take some time for yourself and not do anything...

...but knowing that while that may be refreshing for a while, it needs to end eventually.

Movement: whether it's an intense workout or simply a walk outside in the sun (yay for vitamin D!), give yourself some type of movement on a regular basis.

Both your body and your mind will thank you by serving you better.

A sad playlist.

An opportunity to serve others.

Something to channel your creativity.

I had a teacher in high school who talked a lot about creativity. He compared a young child and a working adult, saying that while a young child shoots out of bed in the morning ready to conquer the adventure that lies ahead, an adult hits the snooze button and dreads the mundane day about to unfold. Children spend hours dreaming up make-believe worlds and new games, but by the time they've grown into adulthood have lost all sense of creativity. This really inspired me to constantly be working on something that provoked my creativity, whether through music, writing, or whatever else.

Mentors and friends that will challenge you and push you to be a better version of yourself.

Time everyday (even just five minutes) to pray or meditate.

A place that brings you joy.

Realizing that you have the right to put yourself first.

The knowledge that you are responsible to everyone, but only responsible for yourself.

Time away from technology.

...whether a months-long cleanse or just a few technology-free hours daily.

​The knowledge that you shouldn't care what people think about you, but the acceptance that it's okay if you do (a reasonable amount).

Connection.

....with other people, with yourself, with a higher power.

Someone who’s going to provide some quality comedic relief. 

Knowledge that it is more than okay to be straightforward and ask questions to get the answers you deserve.

Time to regularly check in with and pour into the people you love.

You'll get out of a relationship what you pour into it. Having intentional relationships with your closest friends and family members makes life so much more rewarding.

Here's to 2019 and everything it has in store.