New Years resolutions are taken very seriously by some, and they are general, lovely ideas to others. If you want to make real changes in your life, try making some small, daily commitments. There are so many different areas of your life that you could change or improve. Maybe it has to do with your physical health, relationships, passions, mental health, or knowledge. Anything goes, and it’s all up to you. Here are some ideas that could make your life even better!
New Years Resolutions – Learn a New Language
Have you ever been out of the country? Growing up in the United States and then visiting other countries really opened my mind up to how different our education and cultures are. After 4 years of Spanish in high school, I still only know conversational Spanish to the extent that I could get by in Spain while traveling there. However, all of the Europeans I’ve met know at least 2 languages with some knowledge of a couple more.
It was crazy for me to realize that I can only speak 1 language fluently and know a little bit of some other languages. I started using the Dualingo app that can help you learn several different languages at your own pace. There are many apps and websites that can help you learn a new language.
Whether you want to be able to communicate when you visit or move somewhere new or you want to be able to talk with people you know in their 1st language, it’s always good to keep learning.
New Years Resolutions – Take Up a New hobby
There are so many things that I want to learn how to do or spend more time doing. Maybe you want to draw, learn an instrument, knit, sing, read, cook, write, paint, sew, garden, hike, join a club, kayak, walk, swim, or something else. Basically anything that you enjoy but don’t get paid for counts. If you already have too many hobbies but never do them, try setting aside some time each week to dedicate to those hobbies you enjoy the most. You might not even realize what you will enjoy until you try it. Some people spend too much time living to work instead of working to live. Don’t spend your whole life working without doing the things you truly love.
New Years Resolutions – Stay Active
This means something different to everyone. I hate to run, but I love playing sports like ultimate frisbee and soccer that require running. If you find it difficult to do intense physical activity, start with something small like swimming, walking more often, stretching, or taking the stairs. If you really like activities and sports that involve teams, you can join leagues or pick-up games for several sports like racquetball, soccer, volleyball, basketball, football, etc.
You can always hit the weights or cardio machines at the gym if you would rather workout alone. A gym membership isn’t necessary for success; there are several apps that you can download to do workouts of different intensities at home with no equipment required. Keep in mind that every step you make is a step to a healthier you. The more active you are, the more you can do with your friends and family. Exercising regularly tends to release endorphins, reduce medical risks, and give you a more positive outlook on life.
Eat Healthy Foods
I definitely need to work on this, but I think it’s all about balance. My motto is that if I eat healthy meals filled with vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, and other healthy items, it’s alright if I also have a cookie for snack or a hot chocolate after dinner. By no means is this the nutritional guide of an expert. You know what the cool thing about eating healthy meals is though? It’s really hard to gain weight because you ate too many vegetables. Generally, the healthier your food is, the more of it you can eat. Of course, everyone has a different body, different medical conditions, different metabolism levels, etc.
I’m going to steal a quote from every medical ad on TV and say “listen to your doctor.” You might not notice it at first, but eating healthier, whole foods really does affect your mood and how your body feels. You might be more energetic and happier (once you get used to the changes). We all know that change is hard. That’s what your supportive friends and family are for!
Put Your Passions into Motion
The more you care about something, the harder it is to ignore it. However, if you’re passionate about something and don’t put that passion into action, it becomes kind of useless. For example, I am very passionate about sustainability and protecting the environment. If I didn’t swap plastic bags and bottles for reusable ones and incandescent light bulbs for LEDs and paper towels for rags, but I said I loved the Earth…would you really believe me or care?
You can create change in the world if you put your mind to it. If you are passionate about feeding the hungry, you could donate food, money, or time to food pantries or different non-profits worldwide. It doesn’t have to be a passion that millions of others share with you. If what you really love is surfing, dedicate some time in your life to surfing. You could do anything from teaching surf lessons to working in a surf shop. Just because someone else doesn’t care, doesn’t mean it’s unimportant.
Most of my suggestions are big, general things. The key to success is breaking them down into small, manageable pieces like going through one language lesson each day, making one healthier food choice everyday, or spending 10 minutes learning the guitar each day. The thing I love about New Years resolutions is that you can work on something yourself and watch as people notice the results in your life. If you miss a day, don’t fret. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I hope you just sung that in your head like I did! Happy New Year!