At this time of year, New Year’s resolutions abound. Most of them have to do with weight or money. Many of these resolutions don’t make it past the first week of the new year.
How about instead of trying to STOP doing old things, one decides to START doing new things.
Here is a list of 10 new things that one could easily start and continue:
- Commit a random act of kindness at least once a day. I love doing nice things for random strangers. It makes me feel good and it helps the world feel good. You can download preprinted cards, make your own, or just do an act spontaneously. The card on the right has been paid forward so many times it is starting to fall apart. Bet it has some great stories.
- Give someone a compliment. It could be the supermarket clerk or the mailman or the boss. Doesn’t matter. It just has to be real and sincere.
- Give yourself a compliment. Yes, a real live “wow, that was good” compliment every day. Sometimes the person we neglect to admire is ourselves.
- Spend at least 20 minutes a day doing something you enjoy. Gardening, dancing, yoga, pretend fencing, whatever. This is not about losing weight (although that would be nice). It is about appreciating that you have a healthy body that can move and breath and see and hear. Yep! Life is good.
- Stop and smell the roses – literally. There are so many wonderful smells in our environment, but we don’t always stop and notice them. Freshly baked cookies are my favorite, but I also love the smell of crayons.
- Write a personal letter to someone. Oooooh! This is a good one. Personal letters have gone out of style. You know, the ones that the postal person delivers. These can be to someone that you know, but they can also be letters to people that you read about or whose work you admire, or military personnel.
- Go through one drawer or small area of your house or office every day and organize it. Just a small area. Something easy to handle so that it doesn’t get overwhelming. Toss things out, give to charity, or offer to your local freecycle list. This includes getting rid of old bottles of spice, white out and decade-old vitamins and buying fresh new bottles if necessary. An old clumpy bottle of white out isn’t going to do anyone any good. A new bottle can be obtained at the 99 cent store.
- Spend at least 20 minutes a day studying something that you want to learn more about. Maybe it’s fly fishing or a new language or how to use all those features on your phone.
- I have a friend who spends New Year’s Day shredding old documents and cleaning up her files. This is a good goal and activity.
- Start each day with a smile. It doesn’t matter what is going on in someone’s life. Finding something to smile about might help and certainty won’t hurt.
Most of these new things don’t cost a cent but can add so much value to anyone’s life. John Lennon said that “Life is what happens while you are making plans.” I plan to relish the gift of life every moment. I hope you do too.