For many, New Year’s Resolutions create extra stress. We feel the need to have some – but after years of failing to keep them, we dread the thought of once again setting ourselves up for failure.
How about an entirely new perspective on New Year’s Resolutions? Instead of setting overly ambitious goals, consider linking your resolutions to things that you know help constitute a great life.
Here are some resolutions that will help you live a great life and that are quite a bit different from the normal ones we all set. See if any of these resonate with you – and adopt or adapt them as desired.
- Daily Random Act of Kindness (DRAK) – Each morning, commit to doing at least one act of kindness for someone that day. It need not be a big deal: write a note to a friend; phone a cousin you haven’t spoken with for a while; pick up an extra treat at Starbucks and drop it off at a neighbor’s house. These are simple acts and take very little time – but will touch that other person’s heart – and yours too!
- Anonymous Giving – A great life is enhanced when we give anonymously. What fun to leave a box of cookies on an elderly neighbor’s front step – or send a book to a friend – without signing your name. Look for ways to give so that the recipient cannot return the favor or even thank you – you’ll love the feeling you get!
- Don’t take that parking space – Let’s admit it – we all love to see that open parking spot near the store we’re going into. Next time that happens, drive right by it and let someone else have it. You’ll be making someone happy – AND you’ll get a few more steps in that day!
- Be more humble – Great lives are joyful lives and some of the most joyful people you and I know are humble people. They focus on others and don’t draw attention to themselves. Give someone else your place in line; hold doors for others; let others lead the conversation you’re having with them.
- Have less social media, less noise and more silence – How about a resolution in which you simply avoid social media and/or television for parts of each day. Or make it a point to sit down every day for 15 minutes of complete silence. You can simply think, pray or reflect on what you’re grateful for. Silence is golden – pursue it and see if your sense of well being doesn’t improve.
- Have real conversations – Determine that you are going to make it a point to have real conversations with people. Don’t just ask how they’re doing. Go deeper. Ask great questions – “What has happened to you that was meaningful since we last saw each other?” Or, “What are you enjoying most about your life right now?” These are questions that invite real dialogue and real dialogue builds real relationships. Great questions are part of a great life!
- Make someone’s day – Make someone’s day by complimenting them (genuine compliments, not false compliments) for something they’ve done well. For example, people working in retail stores are under such great pressure these days – offer a genuine and kind word of thanks for the way they’ve cared for you.
- Move more – Instead of determining that you want to lose 20 pounds – simply make a resolution that you are going to move more each day. Some extra trips up and down the stairs at home or work – or an extra walk around the block. These are easy steps to take that over time will yield results.
New Year’s Resolutions – tie them to what makes up a great life for you and see if you have more success keeping them!
Written by Matt Palmer, Partner and Co-founder