Beyond champagne toasts and countdowns to midnight, each New Year brings with it an opportunity to start fresh and improve our lives. We’re all guilty of making far-reaching resolutions that are too difficult or vague to achieve. Instead, let’s choose a resolution that cultivates or enhances our everyday life and the lives around us. For some motivation (or at least helpful options), we’ve provided a mix of resolution options that’ll ensure positive strides toward fulfillment this year.
New Year’s resolutions are a great time to think about doing things for self betterment. After all, there’s no rule against wanting to dedicate more time to personal hobbies! We all probably have a bucket list in mind, so make it a resolution to check off one of those items in 2015. Thinking about getting a different degree but don’t have the time? Coursera offers a wide selection of free classes that you can sign up for on your own time – from Entrepreneurship and Marketing, to Modern Music and Data Mining. Looking to enhance your cooking or photography skills? Start a blog that will encourage you to post new recipes or photos on a regular basis.
Finding a hobby you enjoy and sticking with it is a great way to improve a particular skill set, not to mention reduce stress. It’s easy to get caught up in our jobs and other daily responsibilities, so setting aside “me time” to enjoy a personal hobby or learn something new is absolutely a worthwhile resolution to make.
As great as it feels to pamper ourselves, research proves that people actually feel better when they help others. If you’re interested in a New Year’s resolution centered around volunteerism, then we challenge you to kick-off 2015 with one service day in January. Once you complete that first day, you may find that you’re empowered to keep going back.
The key is to start with a quarterly commitment – say, at a local YMCA or school or, if you’re an animal lover, your local Humane Society. By mid-year, make it a goal to work your way up to monthly volunteer work or something as big as a volunteer trip with Projects Abroad. Regardless of how you decide to donate your time, there’s no better way to ensure a great year than by filling it with helping others.
Health & Fitness Resolutions
No resolution would be complete without wanting a healthier lifestyle. Melanie Haiken had a great point in her Forbes article, saying “To make a significant lifestyle change and make it stick, you need to replace an old habit (being a couch potato or workaholic) with a new one.” Instead of binding yourself to an annual gym membership, keep it interesting by making a goal to attend at least one different class or group activity per month. ClassPass offers an easy way to accomplish this by offering unlimited classes to use at multiple studios in various cities, all for a set fee. From kickboxing to Bar Method or even starting your own hiking club (check out www.alltrails.com for trails in your area), the options are endless.
By trying out new activities on a monthly basis, there’s more of a guarantee that you’ll find a class you actually love and will want to keep attending. And, if you need a bit more motivation, use these new exercise classes as an opportunity to invite a friend you don’t see enough or meet new people when you become a “regular.” There’s truly power in numbers when it comes to healthy resolutions!
Money Management Resolutions
Being more financially savvy is often a resolution that’s easier said than done. Luckily, there are plenty of money managing apps to help. Free apps like Check.Me and BillGuard offer secure and easy-to-use features to make balancing your checkbook as seamless as possible – and all in the palm of your hand. Kiss those traditional, personal budgeting spreadsheets goodbye with the rest of 2014!
Saving doesn’t need to be solely for your long-term future. To help stay on track with your goals, make sure to reward yourself along the way, like planning a week in Madrid or finally upgrading your car once you’ve reached a certain dollar amount.
Ringing in the New Year is always a time for reflection and an opportunity to evolve. Since many of us are hoping to improve ourselves in 2015, let’s cheer each other on and try to make goals that are actually accomplishable this year. Whether you want to exercise more, manage your finances better, or simply invest more time in yourself or others, remember to enjoy the journey next year.