Maybe it’s just be me, but something I’ve noticed about people’s New Years resolutions every year is that they are very… ambitious.
Fun fact: Only 23 percent of people who strive to make a resolution will actually see it through to completion. Why? Because it seems people tend to make their resolutions in a generic and non-realistic fashion.
For example, if you have never considered yourself a runner, then don’t make the resolution to run a marathon next year.
If you are absolutely not a morning person, don’t make the resolution to go to the gym before work everyday. Because chances are, it just won’t happen.
For a resolution to actually come true, you have to want it to happen. If you don’t want to run everyday, then you will have less self-motivation to train for that marathon.
Instead, why not make the resolution to walk around the neighborhood every night after work? Or start training for a 5K and running 3-4 a year? Successful resolutions are all about practicality and progression.
As a twenty-something, my resolutions are fit to myself and my personal journey, but no matter where you’re at in your life, take these suggestions and apply them to your everyday routine.
1. Write Things Down
If you aren’t a writer, I’m not suggesting that you write a book. But if you are, then hey, go for it. Writing can be practically incorporated into your day by doing little things such as physically writing down your grocery list, writing a quick “Have A Good Day!” on a Post-It note to your roommate, sending a letter in the mail, writing notes during a meeting, etc.
And yes, I mean on an actual piece of paper – not on your phone or computer. There is no better feeling than writing down tasks and crossing them off. And we all need this little bit of satisfaction in our day.
2. Compliment People More
Last week as I was walking into a Starbucks, a woman that was walking past me told me that she liked my outfit. A week later, I still haven’t forgotten it. Everybody knows from experience that receiving a genuine compliment from a friend or stranger can make your day, so why not spread that happiness to somebody else? It’s so easy.
Plus, chances are that when you see the smile on their face after you give somebody a compliment, you’ll feel happier. It’s a win-win. Kindness over everything.
3. Insult People Less
If you’re don’t like a person’s shirt, there is no need to whisper to your friend about how tacky it looks. If you don’t agree with somebody’s comment on a Buzzfeed post, there is no need to ridicule them.
Sure, you may feel a temporary satisfaction by giving your opinion, but sometimes it just isn’t necessary. There are nicer ways to give criticism to people, both in-person and on the Internet.
4. Become Less Messy
This, of course, should be a progression. If you’re a very messy person, then do little things such as vowing to empty the dishwasher every night after dinner. If you aren’t as messy, maybe take some initiatives in keeping yourself organized, such as cleaning out your closet every month. Picking up after yourself takes a little bit of time, but it can go a long way.
Keep it up for long enough and you won’t even think twice when you subconsciously choose to pick your clothes off the floor after finally figuring out what to wear.
5. Save Money (In A Practical Way!)
Take some time and really think about what you’re spending most of your money on, then find realistic solutions to start saving.
For example, if you spend a lot of money shopping for new clothes, try signing up for a service that sends you clothing based on your personal style and budget, such as Stitch Fix. Or if you spend a lot of money on food, try cooking at home or buying food in bulk to save in the long run.
Taking these practical steps to saving money may seem small, but your wallet will still be thanking you.
6. Watch What You Post On Social Media
Yes, employers will probably peek at your social media profiles, and yes, you probably know about all the right privacy settings by now. But even though what a potential employer thinks about you is important; how you are cautiously choosing to perceive yourself online is more important.
As a twenty-something, I vow that we are too old to be subtweeting about that guy you went on a date with last week who didn’t call.
We are too old to be posting pictures of our friends passed out after a night of drinking. Being mature with our social media posts is a small step we can all take to feeling better about ourselves, and becoming real adults. (*Shudder*)
7. Make A Better Effort To Maintain Friendships
Twenty-somethings will always find themselves in a unique situation after graduating from college: The friends you had in school don’t live right down the street anymore. Some have taken jobs out of state. Or maybe it’s you that took a job out of state.
Either way the “out of sight, out of mind” philosophy should not be used towards the people who have genuinely had a positive impact in your life, just because they aren’t close anymore.
If somebody makes you happy, make the effort. Text them to see how they’re doing. Post that funny dog gif on their wall. Schedule a Skype date on the weekends. It may seem inconvenient, but if the person is worth it, you’ll be glad you did it.
8. Do One Random Act Of Kindness A Month
One time when I was in high school, my family got in the car, bought 20 cheeseburgers from McDonalds and gave them to homeless people we found on the street. I will never forget the looks on their faces when they saw that we wanted to genuinely help and give them food. And it was so easy to do, costing $20 tops.
Something I’m putting on my resolution list is to do little things like this, once a month. Scale this to your personal preferences.
Random acts of kindness can include anything from paying for the food of the person behind you in a drive-thru, to sticking a $5 bill to a vending machine, to even volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House on a Sunday afternoon.
Little random acts of kindness really do go a long way, and are a simple way that you can help make the world a better place.
9. Forget About FOMO
FOMO, or the “Fear Of Missing Out”, is a huge new phenomenon that anybody who has Internet access has probably experienced at least once. When you see that a group of high school friends got together over the holiday via one of their Snapchat stories, or that a friend of yours is abroad again, it’s easy to give a long *sigh* and wonder what it would be like to be living a life as awesome as theirs.
What we’re forgetting, however, is that social media is a tool where people can post whatever they want. Of course people are going to choose to blow up your newsfeed with pictures from their family vacation to Disney World. Chances are, they’re also choosing to not post about the Easy Mac they had for dinner the night before in their sweats. Bottom line: People only post what they want others to see.
Everybody has to go to work everyday and make money, everybody has hard times, everybody gets bored. Think about that the next time you’re fawning over your sorority sister’s beach pics.
10. Become (A Little Bit) Healthier
Again, scale this to your personal lifestyle. If you’re eating whatever you want everyday, it may be worth it to swap that take-out for a salad a couple days a week.
If you already take your dog on a walk everyday, try taking him twice a day, or even jogging instead. Go to a zumba class with your friends after work instead of sitting around and eating queso.
Taking care of yourself, and doing so on your own terms, is so important. No, you don’t have to go to Crossfit to be healthy and toned. “Healthy” will look different on everybody; but taking little, proactive steps to get healthier will feel good.
11. Stop Videotaping Concerts On Your Phone
My point is, stop letting your phone get in the way of living in the moment. If you paid for concert tickets with your friends and took the time to plan out your evening around it, then you should be really enjoying it – with your eyes.
If you’re at a concert and all you’re doing is taking Snapchats of it the whole time, you’re basically just watching it through your smartphone. And if you’re going to watch a concert through your smartphone, you might as well just find a YouTube video of their concert and watch it on your couch for free. This doesn’t just go for concerts; it can apply to anything: sporting events, weddings, plays, etc.
I should also put out there that I’m not saying to stop taking pictures at events. By all means, go for it! But there’s a difference between taking a quick picture to keep as a memory, and snapping a million pictures to find the best one for Instagram.
12. Learn Something New
This is an important resolution, and people may not realize that it’s also an easy one to achieve. If you’re itching to learn how to cook, how to speak a different language, how to dance, or how to play a sport, then all you have to do is go for it.
Search for a tutorial on Youtube, listen to a podcast or TED Talk on the topic, or go to a class. Taking the time to acquire a new skill will be totally and completely worth it. (Especially when you want to show it off.)