10 Resolutions for a Better Life

The word "resolution" has a multitude of connotations ranging from inspirational to dreadful. For the most part, the negative attachment transpires from the simple fact that resolutions tend to focus on weaknesses. Moreover, most of us give up on them by February 1st. Flash-forward to the 14th, and we're drowning our disappointment in Russel Stover caramel cremes.

So how do we harness the power of new beginnings and create lasting change? First things first, let's reframe the resolution! After all, these are opportunities for growth and a better life we're talking about here. No matter how small or big, in the end, as long as we move forward and welcome more positive and eliminate the negative, it's a win. Here are a few ideas to help you flip the script on resolutions this new year. 

Instead of "fixing," think "mastering." Think of something that you're decent at and vow to be great. The confidence that comes from developing and honing a skill will enable you to further take on new challenges in your life.

Take care of unfinished business. What are some "to-dos" that loom in the back of your mind? Make a list of those and then tackle them once and for all. You'll be surprised at the underlying anxiety they've been causing you all this time.

Marie Kondo, that sh*t! Ridding oneself of clutter is a shortcut to a cleaner apartment and headspace. But, the famed organizing guru asks us to take it a step further by holding onto only things that "spark joy." Imagine a closet brimming with clothes that transform you into your most confident self, a home that nurtures you, and only possessions that inspire you.

Take a step to a healthier you. Let's not kid ourselves with our vows to never eat a carb again or any other extremist measures towards getting to or maintaining an "ideal" weight. Instead, promise to complete one workout class a week. Or, take a walk and catch up on a podcast instead of eating at your desk. A few times a week, replace the chips with veggies and hummus. Simple, incremental changes pay more dividends than flashy goals that sound good on paper but fizzle out mere months later.

Go green. Honor Mother Earth by committing going green in one aspect of your life. Carry a reusable water bottle instead of plastic, buy secondhand, or walk to the store up the street instead of driving. The planet thanks you.

Add some play. Just because we may be "grown-ups" doesn't mean that our need for it died on the day of our 18th birthday. Our bodies still crave movement, and our minds still yearn for freedom in which we ran onto the playground as kids just let out for recess. Only this time, the jungle gym may be replaced with a dance class or recreational kickball league followed by happy hour drinks with the team.

Stop waiting until you're "ready." Many say preparation is key, but it can also keep you at a standstill if you stay stuck in that phase. Don't use that as an excuse. You may never be ready, but you'll be shocked at how much you rise to the occasion if you take that leap.

Book that trip once and for all. Whether it's a weekend trip to the neighboring city or a backpacking trip on the other side of the world, just do it. You may never have as much time or freedom as you do now. Plus, travel is never something that you regret. That overpriced pair of sky-high heels and the pricy Avant-garde haircut... you might.

Reduce screen time. Stop living in virtual reality and make sure to check in with the real world. Technology is so seamlessly intertwined with our lives that it's almost hard to distinguish where one ends, and the other begins. That being said, replace that rapid-fire text conversation with an IRL hang. Stop checking Instagram for likes and talk to your mom, who will build you up more than strangers on a platform ever could. If all that fails to convince you, then remember that exposure to blue light from devices causes wrinkles...

Meet someone new. We all carry with us dreams, viewpoints, and knowledge from our own unique life experiences. When we share those parts of ourselves, we allow others to learn a different perspective. Equally important is for us to garner inspiration from the people that come into our lives. Make an effort to get close with someone new and watch how your worldview expands.

Cheers to a new year. Happy 2020!