“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela
Every year, as December winds down, we think up resolutions to help us make the most of the new year. Often our lists look similar to the one from the year before. Since our new year’s resolutions are usually a list of goals instead of actions, it is easy to set them aside when we return to our jobs and daily routines after the holidays.
The best way to make a fresh start this year is to ditch the typical list of resolutions and, instead, make a list of actions. If you are looking for some inspiration, here is our list of 10 ways to make the most of 2016:
1. Join a group that feeds your creativity or embraces your ‘inner nerd’ and commit to going at least once a month.
Whether you are hoping to launch a new business, learn a new skill, or finally finish your novel, joining a group of like-minded people is the best way to stay encouraged and inspired throughout the year. If you don’t know where to look to find a group, visit your local community center or check out MeetUp.
2. Try out a physical activity that ignites your adventurous green light.
Getting in shape is high on most of our new year’s resolutions list but many of us lose steam by the end of January. This year, try out something new! Think about an activity that excites you. Maybe it is rock climbing or Krav Maga or belly dancing. Then find a class near you to try it out. If the first thing you try isn’t for you, try something else. Getting into shape can be fun once you’ve found an activity that fits you. Groupon is a great resource for finding discounted classes.
3. Adopt one new healthy dietary habit.
Developing better eating habits goes hand in hand with getting in shape. Instead of completely overhauling your diet, start by adopting one new healthy dietary habit. For example, commit to eating either one serving of fruit or one large serving of vegetables with every meal, or switch from energy drinks to a healthy tea like Hemptealicious. Or, if you feel like you need to incorporate more vitamins into your diet or wean yourself off of medication, try taking a daily health and wellness alternative like CBD hemp oil capsules. Don’t push yourself to do more until this habit has become a part of your normal routine.
4. Make one new friend outside of your usual social group.
Making new friends as an adult can be intimidating. It can bring out the kindergarten child in all of us that is shy or scared of rejection, but making a new friend outside of your social group is a great way to expand your worldview and grow interpersonally. Make the effort to befriend someone in your new Meetup group, fitness class, or favorite cafe.
5. Find a new place within a 3 hour radius and go on a day trip.
Traveling more is on many of our to-do lists. Often we neglect all of the interesting places that are within driving distance of us. This year, before you spend your savings traveling overseas, pull out a map and find a couple of places within a 3 hour radius that you have never visited. Mark them on your calendar and plan out a couple of day trips to these nearby destinations.
6. Expand your comfort zone by having a Yes Night with a friend.
If you have seen the Netflix show “Grace & Frankie” you know that a Yes Night is an evening when you have to say yes to anything (as long as it isn’t illegal). Find a friend who you know will challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and enjoy a night of saying yes to new foods, new activities, and new friends.
7. Put your Compassion into Action in your community.
What social malaise pulls on your heart strings? What stories elicit your compassion? Whether your heart breaks at the thought of animals being abused, children being malnourished, or people fleeing their homes, there are ways that you can put your compassion into action. Decide what you are most passionate about and look for ways that you can make a difference. Keep in mind that action can take many forms from volunteering and advocacy to donating money.Put your Compassion into Action and make a difference in your community! Click To Tweet
8. Meditate for 5 minutes every morning or evening.
Being less stressed is another popular new year’s resolution that is hard to keep without an action plan. Regularly meditating is a soothing and effective action you can take to achieve that goal. Reduced stress is just one of many benefits of meditating according to both the Art of Living and Huffington Post. Other benefits include improved immunity, better time management, and slower aging. Even in our busy lives, we all have 5 minutes to spare to improve our health. Either in the morning or at night, designate some time to clearing your mind.
9. Set aside one night a week for family or close friends.
The only way to grow closer to your family and friends is to prioritize those relationships. If you are feeling estranged from your partner, out of touch with your kids, or distant from your best friend, establish one night a week to do something together whether it is eating dinner, watching your favorite TV show, or taking a class together. During this time, shut off your phone and stay away from your tablet so that you can be in the moment.
10. Plan a day of self-care.
Mark one day on your calendar that you will devote to yourself and plan a day of self-care that is specifically catered to your needs. Self-care looks a little different for all of us. While your friend might need a spa day with a deep tissue massage, maybe you need a day in a studio where you can paint freely or a day at the beach with your best friend. Take some time to think about what activities make you feel refreshed and renewed then plan a day when you will do them.