So, it’s the New Year again. Time to drag out those dusty old resolutions: lose weight, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and be more financially responsible. You know the ones. What if this year, though, you decide to change things up? Try to find ideas that will inspire and invigorate you rather than bore you to tears. In case you need help getting your mind turned in that direction, here are a few ideas.
Help at least one person every day
A few years ago, a book appeared on the market called “29 Gifts.” The author, Cami Walker, had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She was frightened and depressed. A medicine woman advised her to keep her thoughts positive by giving 29 gifts, one each day. The gift could be a financial contribution or even something as simple as setting aside some time to play with her cat.
Think about the gifts you have to offer. How about homemade cookies for an elderly neighbor, a kind ear to listen to a friend’s trouble or a friendly smile for a lonely stranger? You may also enjoy yourself by paying it back at a drive-through or offering a gas station gift card to someone who seems down on their luck.
Learn a new skill
Is there anything you’ve ever especially wanted to learn? Maybe it is something that could help you with your career, or maybe it’s something that just interests you, even though you can’t think how it would fit into your life. Whatever it is, go for it. Learn how to speak conversational French or play the clarinet, or join a writing group and get started on that novel you’ve had in your head for ten years. Learning something new keeps you young and has a way of drawing opportunities into your life.
Stay in touch with loved ones
How many people do you hear from only when you exchange greeting cards once a year? See if you can keep in closer touch during the following year. Send a birthday card, or try a few emails or the occasional phone call. Reach out with good news or even with bad news. Talking out a problem can help a lot. Even introverts need human contact so set aside some time to stay close to the people you care about.
Take a walk every day
Enjoy your surroundings. See if you can spot something new each time you go out. Rediscover the nature around you. Take time to watch a hummingbird in the garden or a gray squirrel that runs across your path. You may even have the pleasure of meeting and greeting new families as they move into your neighborhood.
Do more of the things you enjoy
It’s easy to let your favorite hobbies and activities fall by the wayside. Take a look at the things you enjoy that you haven’t done in a while and make plans to fit at least some of them into your schedule. If adding items to your calendar makes you feel overbooked, ask yourself if there are any less enjoyable activities that you are able and willing to give up.
Your New Year’s Resolutions don’t have to be the same ones that didn’t work last year. This year, you can inspire yourself to try new things and improve your life in ways you’ve never imagined.