New Year's Resolutions That Will Make A Difference

New Year's Resolutions That Will Make A Difference

Don't just say it, do it.
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It`s the beginning of a new year which means people are thinking about what their New Year's resolutions should be. Losing weight, giving up a bad habit, eating healthy, and getting in shape are just a few examples, and that's barely scratching the surface of all the possibilities. Instead of thinking about this next set of 365 days as a chore or impossible task, think about it as an opportunity to do something for someone else, or yourself, even if it isn't something everyone else can see. You aren't living this year to show everyone how great you are, you're living to show yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to. Here are 11 ideas to make this year one to remember.

1. Volunteer

Giving is always a great way to help your community. Go out to a soup kitchen once a month and volunteer a couple hours with other people who want to help those less fortunate. Not only does it make other people feel like someone else cares about them, it allows you to have some perspective in life and feel good about making someone else's day better.

2. Change a routine

Stuck in the same old routine all the time? Well mix it up. Go find a different way to drive to work or take a set amount of time out of your day to reflect and see what it is you have been wanting to switch. Go get a new outfit, be bold, daring. Finally switch up your lunch, go from that ham and cheese sandwich to a new restaurant down the street with your coworkers. Do something that is so not you that it is you.

3. Give to something that matters to you

Set a jar aside and put all your loose change in it, then at the end of the year, or however many times you choose to throughout the year, donate it to a cause that is important to you. Every little bit helps and it doesn't take much to make even the smallest difference.

4. Work on relationships

Go out and meet new people. Find someone who shares your passion and have some fun with it. Take a look at relationships you are currently in with family, friends, significant others, and even strangers, and then change them. Ask if your grandma wants to go get coffee with you. But also be strong enough to say no to someone if you don't have the time, or just don't want to hang out with them.

5. Make a plan

Sometimes a calendar is your best friend. In order to have an organized life, one must organize it for themselves. If you want to travel the world, you better start coming up with ideas on how to earn enough money and how you plan to make it happen.

6. Learn something new

Gaining new knowledge helps a person grow. Learn about something you're interested in. Go take an art class, start learning a new language, expand your knowledge. Get into something you care to know more about.

7. Work on yourself

Time to stop worrying what everyone else thinks of you and focus on who you want to be. Work on being someone you would want to remember, someone who makes a difference, someone that you would want the next generation to look up to.

8. Weed out negativity

We all have our down days but we don't have to let them stop us. For each negative thought, think two positive. Change that half empty to half full, or better yet completely full, because there is no time to waste arguing over a glass that has been sitting out too long. Take your cup and refill it with what makes you happy and don't settle for less.

9. Get a gym membership and use it

This is one people tend to struggle with. It's a good thought, but until you get yourself to the gym, go to a class, or make time to follow through, that's all it will ever be. Sign up for a new class every week to mix things up. Take a friend along so you can talk about life and pass the time during your ab circuit. Reach higher and push yourself.

10. Try something you've always wanted to do

Look into helicopter rides, skydiving, white water rafting, foreign countries, anything that you have always had an interest in. Then do it. Go out and be adventurous. Release your inner child, spread your wings, and experience life.

11. Give up giving up

Now is the time to have a chat with yourself, face to face in the mirror, and make sure you're both on the same page. You need to believe in yourself and be willing to face the hardships head on. The person staring back at you is counting on your effort and they know you can do it, one way or another.

Cover Image Credit: Crosswalk

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!

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It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

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