Yeah, I know. Resolutions are so last year… Ha! In all honesty, I don’t really believe in making resolutions. I don’t know of anyone who makes a resolution and actually keeps it. Nearly everyone fails by mid-January anyway and then just gives up. I think it’s better to identify things in your life you want to do and just work at doing them. Set dates if you want, turn them into goals to meet, however you want, but I promise I won’t judge if you don’t get to everything. Of course, I think you should. And please, share your stories with me! I’d love to hear which of these ideas you take to heart.
One last note: this list is dedicated to all my single ladies, but is really applicable to everyone.
1. Explore a local ‘hood. Have you ever spent time wandering the downtown area of your local town? Ever thought about actually stopping in one of those towns you drive past on the way to somewhere else? Do it! You might discover your new favorite restaurant. Or find the perfect gift. Or even meet some new friends.
2. Learn something. Take a class – cooking, bartending, pole-dancing, scuba diving – keep expanding your brain and your life experience.
3. Make something with your own hands. Cook a fantastic meal from scratch. Sew a decorative pillow. Pinterest is full of great ideas – find one that interests you and make it!
4. Travel somewhere you’ve never been. Go as close as the next state over, or travel to a distant land. Take in the scenery, marvel at the architecture, learn about the culture. However you do it, get out there and see the world!
5. Pamper yourself. Take some time out of your hectic schedule to take care of yourself. Sure, money may be an issue, but there are many ways to be pampered, and not all are expensive. Light a few candles, put on your favorite playlist and take a long bubble bath. Put aside your responsibilities for the evening and spend the night in front of the TV with a blanket, a warm drink and Netflix. If you can, treat yourself to a full spa day or indulge in a massage. Meet your girlfriends for a mani/pedi. Those few minutes to yourself make all the minutes you spend doing everything else just a bit more bearable.
6. Move a little more. Not all of us need more exercise, but a lot of us sure do! Find something active that you enjoy doing. Dance your heart out at a local dance class. Train for a 5k – there are so many fun ones nowadays: zombie runs, color runs, holiday runs – something for everyone. Get out some aggression and take up boxing. Get out into the wild by hiking all the local trails. Indulge your competitive side with a pedometer and challenge your friends on steps taken per day.
7. Join an organization or group. Do you have a cause you’re passionate about? Join an organization with people who share that passion. Besides the easily identifiable organizations, there are also Meetup groups (www.meetup.com) where you can find people interested in nearly everything. Sure, it might be a bit intimidating at first, but you’ll be filling your life with new friends who share your same interests!
8. Do something you’re afraid of. Go paragliding off Tiger Mountain, jump out of plane, find something that scares you and conquer it. (Of course, do your research. Only use reputable companies, check safety records, etc. Don’t be that adventurous.) Step outside of your comfort zone and experience life!
9. Step out in faith. This is all about being real and vulnerable. Ask for the raise you deserve, flirt with that cutie you’ve been dreaming about, share your real desires with your loved ones. Making yourself vulnerable can be scary, but also rewarding when you’re willing to take the risk.
10. Try something new. Wear a color you don’t usually wear, eat something you’ve never tried before, drive a new route to work – anything to break up the every day monotony.
11. Change your environment. It is amazing how much a can of paint can change the mood of a room. New throw pillows can brighten up an old couch. New towels can make you excited to step out of the shower. Perking up the little things in your world can have a large effect on your demeanor.
12. Take your parent(s) out drinking. If they don’t drink, take them to dinner or out . The point is to spend time with them as you would with our friends. Get to know them on a different level. You might be surprised by what you learn – especially after a couple drinks!
13. Clean up and organize. I know, not really that much fun. But if you’re anything like me, you have years worth of books you’ll never read again, clothes that are way out of style, that one “storage” room that you stuff all the things that you plan to deal with later…. Clean it up! Spend a weekend or two, or five if you need to. But don’t throw away those things you don’t need – recycle them, donate them, sell them on Craigslist. It’s good soul-cleansing work!
14. Attend a service for a religion you don’t believe in or understand. It doesn’t matter if you’re an atheist or Hindu or Christian, you should have an understanding of other religions – and not just through hearsay or reading articles. Sit in on a service or meeting to experience it for yourself. You don’t have to believe or convert – just learn.
15. Don’t be afraid to be by yourself. Everything listed above is something you can do on your own. Too often we turn down opportunities or avoid trying things because we don’t want to do it alone. Sure, everything is better when you can share it with someone, but that should never stop you from doing what you want. Learn to enjoy the time by yourself and appreciate time with others all the more!
A special thanks to my girls Stefeny Anderson and Sonja Harris for some of these ideas.