With 2020 breathing down our necks, you can’t have missed all the articles floating around the internet talking about how to stick to those strict New Year’s resolutions. Want to lose some weight? Hide your food and get a literal padlock for your fridge — for only $139.99! Looking to get better sleep? Swap out that memory foam mattress and replace it with a slab of carrara marble straight from Italy (so you know it’s fancy). All joking aside, it’s not all that weird to think of January 1st as a good time to look at your current habits. Plus, the tools and resources to make a change are going to be all over the place. Instead of making the standard resolutions to start hitting the ‘dreadmill’ 5 times a week and subsist on only protein smoothies, try getting a little creative this year.
Commit to Experimenting
Let’s take sleep, for example. Chat with a scientist who studies sleep off the record, and many will admit that there are so many things they still don’t know about snoozing. Instead of reading some article on The One Single Change To Make This Year That Will Definitely, Absolutely Improve Your Sleep, commit to a willingness to experiment. Try a few things out. Be okay with ditching habits that don’t work. Get ready to take some notes or stick it out to make sure you’re not giving up or giving in prematurely. This can be applied to more than just sleep, too.
Pick a Thing
You know who the easiest people to buy presents for this year were? The ones who said “I like puzzles” when you asked what kind of gift they wanted. Puzzles is just a placeholder here of course. It could be a specific sports team’s paraphernalia. It could be a genre of book or movie. It could be dangly earrings or running socks with funny says. Try becoming the easiest person to get gifts for this year.
Break a Totally Meaningless Record
How many books can you read on a lazy Sunday? What’s the longest you’ve gone without checking your phone? How fast can you donate blood? There’s nothing quite so sweet as breaking your own totally meaningless personal record with something that doesn’t technically matter.
Get Great at Something
Ideally, this is something low-stakes with high payoff. Figure out how to brew an amazing cup of coffee. Master the art of cocktail-making with one (1) singular signature drink. It’s something you can take pride in sharing with others, but that you by no means have to.
Practice Something Useful
Have you ever answered “I’m amazing at it” when someone asked how you are talking to strangers on the phone? Imagine a future where you can honestly say that.
Throw Something Away
Whether it’s the literal garbage sitting in your kitchen or something you’ve been holding onto for far too long for no real reason, commit to getting something out of your living space January 1st.
Become Well-Versed In…Something
Wine. Beer. Coffee. Computer Games. Chess. 19th century magical realism. It doesn’t matter what it is (though hopefully it’s something that you enjoy at least talking about).
Make a New Playlist
Out with the old, in with the new. Even if it’s music from 100 years ago, try making a brand new playlist of music to expand your horizons. It’s low stakes and you can ditch it if you hate it without any repercussions.
Are you already doing something habit-wise that’s working for you? Resolve to keep it going instead of throwing a wrench in to gum up the works.
Do Things For Other People
MLK Day is Monday, January 20. It’s also become one of the best times to volunteer in the US with many organizations putting together opportunities for people trying to get involved. Find one. Sign up. Participate. Maybe make a habit out of it.