New Years always has been a slight source of stress for me. It comes right at the end of the crazy holiday season, and there’s always pressure to ring in the new year with big celebrations, crazy parties, and, of course, your new resolutions you swear you’ll stick to this coming year. It’s easy to give in to the pressure of completely reinventing yourself and your life. This is especially true when it seems like everyone else is doing the same.
Rather than make promises to yourself that you already know you’ll break within the first week, why not shift your perspective on resolutions? After all, improving yourself is not about hitting the gym more or eating less meat (though those are great decisions to make). Instead, I think that we should focus on making promises to change our mindsets this coming year. Our quality of life is directly influenced by the values we have and the expectations we hold for ourselves. So why not be gentle with yourself and choose to be better than you were last year in little ways that count? Here are 10 meaningful New Year’s resolution ideas to ring in 2019.
Everyone always says to we all need to be nicer to each other and ourselves. But how many of us actually take this advice to heart? The world is a dark place at times, but being kind to others always helps make it a little brighter. Don’t forget to include yourself in this as well! Being kinder to yourself, even if it’s just replacing negative self-talk with positive self-talk, can do wonders to your self-esteem and outlook on life.
It’s easy to hold onto grudges, but isn’t the best time to let go of the past the beginning of a new year? Maybe someone hurt you this past year. Or maybe you didn’t achieve everything you wanted to over the last few months. Forgive others. Forgive yourself. Let go of the pain you have felt over the past twelve months and leave it in 2018. You deserve to enter the new year feeling freed from the weight of old issues.
Have Big Dreams, but Realistic Goals
It’s great to have huge dreams that inspire you, but remember to keep it real with yourself. You won’t be able to turn your life completely around in the span of one year (but if you do, you are my inspiration). However, you can break down those big goals into smaller, more attainable feats. This way, you won’t set yourself up for disappointment, and you can realistically implement these changes into your daily life. Is your goal to read 100 books before the end of the year? Maybe try for one book a month at first, and if you stay consistent, you can always increase your load by increments. That way, you’re still reading more, which is what you probably wanted at the core of this desire.
Prioritize Yourself for Once
A lot of us identify as people-pleasers. Aka: the people who always put others before ourselves. No matter what anyone says, it is not selfish to prioritize yourself. Your health, dreams, and feelings are just as important as those of others. You don’t have to be on a schedule of self-sacrifice in order to make other people happy. Sometimes, tending to your own needs makes you happier, which in turn will make the people who care for you happy as well! Take time to relax this year, and do things solely because you want to. Go out to that movie, spend a night out in your favorite city, travel the world—and do it all because you deserve it.
Reach out to Others
It’s easy to forget to reach out to others when we’re all in the middle of a chaotic holiday season. We also tend to forget how much other people miss us because if they aren’t reaching out, that means they don’t really care, right? Wrong. Many of us believe this same same excuse. No matter how much we’re on social media, it’ll never replace true face-to-face connection. Call up old friends, your parents, your siblings, anyone, really. Ask how they’re doing and show genuine interest in their answer. Try to connect with someone you haven’t met up with in a while, even if it takes a little effort. You’ll realize how much you value these relationships, and you will also see how much joy they can bring.
Do (More) Good
There is no such thing as doing too much good for the world. This year, try to make the world a better place in any way you can. Maybe you’ll volunteer or donate to your favorite organization more often. You could compliment somebody every single day for all of 2019. You could send a handwritten letter through snail mail and see how it makes someone’s day when they open it. The possibilities are truly endless. So this coming year, see how you can make our world better.
Learn to Love Learning
A lot of people think that they hate learning. In reality, it’s often the school atmosphere they dislike. Learning is something we should never stop doing, so don’t let school kill your spirit. Our brains love to learn new things, so look outside of your typical college subjects and try to learn about something that actually interests you. Maybe you’re into astronomy or maybe you just want to learn the success story of your favorite actor. Whatever piques your interest, follow that curiosity and spend time becoming an expert on it. You’ll realize that you actually enjoy acquiring this knowledge when it’s on your own terms.
Pick a Passion Project
We’ve all heard of passion projects, but it can be kind of intimidating picking just one. Always remember, you don’t have to make money off of it in order to make it seem valuable! If it brings you joy, channel as much energy into it as you want. Has there been something you’ve always loved to do, but you feel like you never have time to indulge in that hobby? Make time this coming year! Nothing feels more like a clean slate than the incoming year. This is when you should start carving out dedicated time to start your passion project.
Say Yes and Say No
There are hundreds of articles that offer contradicting advice on this matter. Some insist saying yes is the best way to approach life. Others believe saying no is the way to go. Well, I’m here to tell you that you can do both. Don’t feel pressured to say yes to every new opportunity that comes your way this year if it’s going to stress you out, but you don’t want to say no to a great opportunity just because it intimidates you a little bit. Learn to find a balance this year that works with your lifestyle. Use the words “no” and “yes” in accordance with your values and what you truly want to do. Slowly you’ll start to see the life you want to live come together.
Open Your Heart
The most important thing I could leave you with is this: open your heart this year. Open it to new possibilities, new people, new feelings, new ideas. It can be scary to allow new things to come into your life, but you will grow from every change that you go through. Opening your heart allows you to open yourself up to the world, and the world will love you for it. I can’t promise that you’ll feel no pain from this, but I can promise that you will find joy if you stop closing yourself off as a defense mechanism. Open your heart, and let love flow from it. See how it changes your life.
What resolutions are you making this year? Let us know down in the comments!
Opening image by Katarina Brunette