Every year it is the same old resolutions…Lose weight, eat better, start working out and go to the gym every day. Most of these resolutions have the same outcome, FAILURE. And really, who wants to fail? By mid-January we have kicked our new found resolutions to the curb in favor of our old ways. But this year, I want to challenge myself, and you, to do something different. It is time to throw away these old resolutions in favor of adding character building activities into our daily lives. Dedicate 2017 to making small daily, weekly, and monthly goals that will enrich your health, overall outlook and disposition!
Here are 12 resolutions everyone should consider making in 2017:
1. Complain Less, Do More
It is so easy to get caught up in the worrisome details of our day to day lives. This year, resolve to be more mindful by spending a few hours each month doing something for someone else…such as baking a yummy treat for the elderly couple across the street, or spending time working at your local animal shelter. Giving back feels good and helps bring life into perspective.
2. Spend Time in Reflection
I love reflection because it often brings about clarity about a situation. Resolve to spend a few minutes each evening reflecting on your day and the choices you made. Not only does reflection help you become more self-aware, it will help remove any inner roadblocks you are currently struggling with.
3. Resolve To Not Compare Your Journey With Others
We get so caught up in comparing ourselves to others that we often forget we are all at different places in our lives. If you are just starting out living a healthy lifestyle or see someone making progress on a new skill and you seem to be slowly inching along, keep in mind that we all move at different paces. Keep focused on your goals and moving forward and soon you will see the difference you are making in your own life. If you see someone who seems to be progressing, take a few moments to tell them how encouraged you feel by seeing their progress and use it as an inspirational catalyst to propel you forward.
4. Smile More
Did you know that smiling has health advantages? It not only helps control stress by reducing the stress hormone cortisol, but it also expands the lungs and stimulates homeostasis in the body. Carve out some time to watch a funny movie, tell a few jokes, and flash those pearly whites on the daily!
5. Eat More Fruits & Veggies
Alright, so maybe this is a more traditional resolution, but it is an important one. We all know fruits and veggies are good for us, so this is the time to resolve to add more into our daily diets. Try experimenting with new fruits and veggies and recipes to keep things exciting. Keep it fun and colorful and remember, what seemed like a burden last year, will soon become a new exciting culinary adventure!
6. Get Some Fresh Air
2017 is the time to get outdoors more and get some fresh air. Find an activity that you enjoy beyond the confines of your office or home. Unplugging can seem scary, because, well, let’s face it, we all have a little FOMO going on. But taking the time to regroup outside of the techsphere is healthy and allows us to have a break from the constant updates. So buy a good pair of hiking shoes, a frisbee, or a boat – whatever it takes to get you up and out, and active!
7. Handwrite Letters
Old school? Totally, but there is something special about receiving a handwritten letter in the mail – and writing the old fashioned way. 2017 is a great time to pull out that fancy stationary hiding in your desk drawer and pen a masterpiece or a simple “thank you for being a friend” note to your bestie!
8. Cut Yourself (And Others) Some Slack
In 2017, focus on forgiveness, both of yourself and of others. Harboring anger and bitterness inhibits our ability to move forward with our relationships. Beyond that, harboring bitterness hurts us emotionally and can leave deep scars. By focusing on forgiving and letting go, we free ourselves from the burden of hurt and can move toward a healthy and happy life.
9. Read More Books
When was the last time you read for fun? It is so easy to get caught up in reading for class that we often forget to find pleasure in reading. Challenge yourself to read at least one “fun” book each quarter. Looking for a few suggestions? Check these out:
10. Challenge Yourself
We have all heard of the saying “do one thing each day that scares you” and 2017 is all about taking this advice! This year, resolve to push yourself out of your comfort zone and you will soon find that you have grown in soul and spirit. From introducing yourself to someone who piques your interest to going on a solo trip, there are plenty of opportunities that will challenge you and help you grow in character. Make 2015 the year you didn’t get in your own way!
11. Spend Time Cultivating Your Talents
Investing time in yourself is one of the most important things you can do in 2017. Learning a new skill, taking a foreign language class, or exploring your creative side, you will have the opportunity to meet new people and learn more about talents you may not have known about. And who knows… it could lead to a new passion!
12. Adopt The Mantra “I Choose To Be Healthy, Happy, & Full Of Love”
One of the things I love about having a daily mantra is it is a constant reminder of what I am working towards. Print this handy little image and place around the house to be a constant reminder to choose to be healthy, happy, and full of love in 2017!
This article originally appeared on TheBodyDepartment.com