Every January people across the country decide that this will be the year when they finally lose weight, quit smoking, or otherwise give up their bad habits. Six weeks later almost everyone has given up on the idea of trying to become a better person, resigned to the fact that giving up the things they enjoy is simply too difficult a task.
But what if your goal wasn't to give up something at all? Sure, you want to be a better person, but you don't need to lose ten pounds to do that! You can choose to add things to your life that make you smarter, happier, or more fulfilled rather than berating yourself for your bad habits. This year you should forgo the annual gym membership and try one of these resolutions instead!
Try Something Different
If I asked the waitstaff at your favorite restaurant what you like to eat, would they be able to tell me your exact order? Do you stream the same six movies over and over even though there are thousands of things you've never seen before just waiting to entertain you?
Now is the perfect time to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and try something new. Whether it is a new food, an author you've never heard of before, or a crazy new haircut, make 2018 the year you discovered your new favorite thing.
Make a Little Extra Money
Don't worry, I'm not talking about delivering pizzas or turning yourself into a de facto taxi cab service. Those are perfectly respectable ways to make a little extra money, and while there is nothing wrong with having a solid work ethic, a second job usually isn't something you would aspire to with a New Year's resolution.
That being said, if you have a hobby you love, why not try to monetize it? For example, do you make scented soaps and bath bombs? Consider finding a venue where you can sell your wares. If you paint, knit, sculpt, crochet, write, or do just about any other creative thing for fun there is a good chance you could make a little money on the side. You never know, there might be an audience out there just waiting to read your Depression-era Steampunk horror novel! If you are successful, you might use that money to...
Explore the World
Have you ever wanted to go hunting for UFOs or Bigfoot? Do you dream about spending the night in a gothic castle in Belarus? Do you want to go find the pub where your great, great, great grandfather was a regular and hoist a pint in his honor? Then do it already! Don't let another year go by without having some kind of adventure, even if it is something as simple as hiking in your nearest national park.
Nobody ever spends New Year's Eve wishing they'd spent more time watching TV that year. Get out there and search for ghosts, climb a mountain, or visit a relative you haven't seen in years. If nothing else, you'll probably end up with a pretty amazing story to tell.
Live Your Values
2018 is a great opportunity to do some soul searching. If you feel like this is the year you want to align your values with your day to day life, ask yourself what things are most important to you and how can you incorporate them into your routine.
If family is the thing that is most important to you, perhaps this is the year you help your father clean out his garage or set up a weekly game night with your kids. If you are an environmentalist, maybe this is the year you finally start a compost pile or stop using disposable cups to help reduce your carbon footprint. If you're an animal lover this would be an excellent time to start volunteering at or making regular donations to the local animal shelter.
Be More You
We typically spend most of our time in places we'd rather not be, sitting in classrooms, hidden away in a cubicle, or stuck behind the wheel of a car for the bulk of our day. While you can't exactly stop going to work or school, you can absolutely find small ways to be true to yourself while you are there.
If you are goth and stuck in an office where you have to wear a suit, you can absolutely find small ways to embrace who you are without breaking the office dress code. Men might consider cufflinks or a neck tie that have a discreetly gothic image, while women might choose to wear a corset under their suit jacket or add a cameo brooch to their lapel. A pagan might choose to subtly add images of moons, antlers, or crystals to the decor on their desk.
Someone who is into steampunk might wear a watch designed to look like a cogwheel or round sunglasses with a bit of a goggle feel to them for that long drive to school in the morning. Adding these little reminders of the things that matter to you can make being stuck in a classroom or a boring office job bearable.
We all have things that are low grade annoyances in our lives. Door knobs that won't latch properly, tail lights that have burnt out, and dresser drawers that have fallen off of their track are all small enough issues that they are easy to ignore, but these minor irritations can sometimes be enough to make an otherwise average day seem unpleasant.
With a little bit of time and effort you can easily repair these problems, letting you focus on the more important things in your life. Take a couple of hours this weekend and change out lightbulbs, fix that broken drawer, or install a new doorknob so that you don't have to spend a single moment of the next year thinking about them. As a bonus, this one can be done so quickly that you can guarantee that you will accomplish your resolution this year!