2015 is coming to an end, and with the new year on the horizon, we can expect to see a slew of “new year, new me” statuses all over our social media. But does anything ever really change? Losing 5 pounds, shopping less, letting toxic people go we rarely succeed in the things we resolve to change about ourselves. It’s not just that we forget or lose track, we simply do not care enough to follow through.
This year, why not make some concrete promises to yourself and others that you can actually keep and make 2016 the best year ever. Here’s 5 realistic New Year’s resolutions you’ll really want to stand by:
1. Giving More
I am honestly a big advocate for people taking care of themselves. I don’t think it’s selfish to want to be the best possible version of yourself and knowing what you need to do to make that happen. However, I find the number of resolutions that are entirely “me” centered shocking.
The truth is, being generous and compassionate is universally beneficial. You’re showing your gratitude for all you have, helping others, and showing them that the world isn’t always a bad place. You’re also stopping yourself from taking things for granted and it truly is a wonderful feeling to give. There are so many things you can do to help others like; joining a club, donating to your local food bank, participating in school or work related fundraisers, cooking and delivering meals to people in your community dealing with illness, or adopting an animal (or offering help through money or volunteer work at a shelter.) Resolve to volunteer more, donate more, or just be a friend to someone who really needs it this year.
2. Getting Healthy
I don’t mean eating better or going to the gym more often. It’s not that physical health isn’t important, it’s just that we already know it’s important. Weight loss and other healthy physical resolutions are extremely typical. Whether you keep them or not, you’re missing a very important piece of the health puzzle.
Self-care is huge. You can have the best body in the world, but if you’re hurting on the inside, it’s worthless. So if you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns, resolve to dedicate this year to getting the help you need. If you’re a people pleaser and feeling drained, promise yourself that you’ll make more time for you this coming year.
3. Strengthening Friendships
I am so tired of seeing all the status updates about leaving people in the past in the new year and getting rid of negativity. Yes, it’s good to surround yourself with positivity but let’s not make it all about stamping out “problem people.”
Make this year about actually doing something to repair the cracks in your friendships. Did you ever think that if you have enough social issues that you need to make a public proclamation about it, you might be the problem? Resolve to be a better listener, a better communicator, and a better judge of character. Instead of kicking people out of your life, be someone who tries to help them find out what they need to feel better about themselves.
4. Becoming Stable
Resolutions don’t have to quick, simple, or one time things. Anyone can resolve to not spend as much money on crap they don’t need. Yes, that’s not always an easy thing to do, but it’s extremely possible and all it takes is deciding not to pick up the item in the store or enter your credit card number online.
But why not decide that this will be the year that makes a true impact on your financial future? Decide to get to a place you don’t feel like you can. It may not work perfectly but in any case you will at least be making strides towards financial health. Make a commitment to get debt free or to start building a real savings account.
5. Be Happy
I feel like everyone hopes any resolution they make will bring them joy and fulfillment because otherwise, what would be the point? People hope that small lifestyle changes will bring about big emotional changes. Any truthfully, it is a great starting point.
What people don’t realize is that it may make more sense to point-blank resolve to be happy. That’s a pretty major statement to make because happiness is more complicated that we like to think. Achieving happiness is different for everyone. But maybe, we simply need choose it. If your job makes you miserable, look for something else and leave it. If your partner is making you unhappy and you don’t see things working, have the strength to move on. And perhaps most importantly, make your daily, seemingly small choices with happiness as your ultimate goal.
It’s up to you what you want to get out of the year ahead. Resolutions don’t have to be empty promises you don’t actually commit to. Try picking just one thing that you can and will do better at this coming year. It’s amazing what one little positive change can mean for you and the world around you. Let’s all do what we can to make 2016 amazing. Happy New Year!