Tis’ the season! It’s that time of year when everyone starts thinking about the New Year ahead. And, more specifically, all the new year’s resolutions that go hand in hand. We always dive into these resolutions with the best of intentions. But, can you actually say you’ve been successful at reaching your goals year-after-year? No? I thought so. I’m no better.
If we look at a few typical new year’s resolutions—the ones we’re all guilty of attempting halfheartedly one year or another: workout/get in shape; eat healthier/eat less junk or fast food; and try to save/not spend too much money.
I’d say those are the big 3. Feel free to add any you’d like to in the comments section of this post. The point I’m trying to make is that we spend so much energy, time and feeling into cutting back or cutting out. What if instead we spent that energy on resolutions that gave more. No, I’m not saying eat more or spend more money. I’m talking about the intangible things like time, love, effort, friendship. Things that can’t be bought. I guess that could be debatable. But, you see my point. The statistics don’t support common new year’s resolutions’ goals thinking. Check out these stats on the most popular resolutions, to the percentage of Americans who attempt them, to those who are actually successful. You may be surprised what you read.
Now, what if instead of the typical big 3 new year’s resolutions above, we did something like this: open your home/heart to another human and/or pet; volunteer more—maybe at a local food bank/shelter or a local animal rescue; make it a point to go out of your way to help someone who could never return the favor. And, repeat.
Things look a bit different when put into this perspective. I know these concepts are nothing new. But it’s more about selflessness rather than selfishness, and changing the way we think about what a resolution really is, or can be. Why not continue into the new year with the already-present spirit of giving? Too quickly the holidays come and go and so does our spirit of selflessness and good will towards others. It’s very temporary. Let’s change that.
So, here are a few ideas of new, New Year’s resolutions that you may want to consider coming into the new year ahead. I personally have volunteered at Second Harvest Food Bank. It’s a great local cause, and actually a lot of fun if you get your friends involved. If I remember correctly we had a group of about 10-15 people. We did it the week before Christmas. It was basically sorting and boxing different kinds of fruits and food items that were to be distributed to local shelters and families in need. The time spent volunteering was about 3 hours. It was a great bonding experience as we got to socialize and meet other groups doing the same.
Maybe you’d rather spend your free time around some furry four-legged creatures. If that’s the case, you’re in luck! Pet adoption rates peak during the holidays, and local centers can really use your help. Check out this list of Bay Area animal rescues that would love to have you.
Or, it could simply be just taking an extra moment to do something nice for another human being. Preferably one you don’t know. Maybe you pay the car behind you’s bridge toll. Maybe you buy lunch for someone who’s hungry. It doesn’t have to involve money at all. Get creative. Even something as simple as holding the door open for someone tends to illicit a smile. 🙂
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” -John Bunyan