We’re all familiar with the traditional resolutions: lose weight, exercise more, cure cancer, create world peace.
How about resolutions that actually make you feel good about yourself and others? Far too often we overlook off the beaten path, elusive things we can do— that not only are painless, but give us joy in our lives.
Here are eight things that I will be doing in 2017 that don’t involve giving up chocolate.
1. Do something you’ve always wanted to do.
Last year, I took my sports-car out on a track. I had always wanted to know what it felt like to race, because I have a bit of a thrill-seeking side. It even required me to wear a helmet.
What have you always wanted to do? Something that scares you or just excites you? I guarantee it will invigorate you and make you catch your breath.
2. Spend some time with someone who makes you feel a bit giddy, even if you’re not destined to be with each other at this point.
It will fill your heart with such enthusiasm—believe me.
As I write this, I am single. However, I adore someone. I can’t ever see us living in the same city, much less the same state. But when I am with this person, I feel like a smitten teenager. (Cautionary note: I would only advise this if you are single.)
3. Indulge in hobbies that are new, or restart old ones.
Why not read more, write more, listen to music more or travel more? What have you stopped doing that you used to do? Why did you stop doing it— time, motivation, finances, fatigue? Think of what you used to make you happy and pick it back up again, even if it’s in small doses.
4. Take time to learn about your family history and relatives.
My relatives are aging—their time on this earth is limited—and I want to know their stories. Learning about your family’s history if fulfilling for both parties involved and will give you precious insight into your own life.
5. Rise above those who don’t treat you as well as they should—whether they are intentionally cruel or not.
Accept those with issues who cannot or will not change. It is not easy to change your own behavior, but it is impossible to change someone else’s behavior. Do not waste energy not knowing the difference.
6. Seek out new opportunities to connect with new people.
Shy? It does not have to be hard to do. Chat with someone in a long line. Talk to a coworker about something other than work. Engage with a neighbor in a deeper way than you have done before.
More adventurous? Attend meet-up groups that interest you. Our lives are enriched by those around us.
7. Donate to people and/or animals in need.
Donations can be monetary, household items, or your precious time. Do it anonymously if you wish. Even if it’s just five dollars. You will get the satisfaction of the highest level by helping someone who cannot return the favor. Pay it forward.
8. Live your life as you want to live it.
Some people will want you to live differently or conform to their idea of what they want you to do. They will try to convince you that you’d be happier if you did things their way.
Don’t listen. Live!
Author: Lori Matthews
Image: Meg Cheng/Flickr
Editor: Deb Jarrett