New Year’s Resolutions

Every year we vow to challenge ourselves with new things, tackle new projects, change bad habits and generally make our lives (and often the world) better. But somehow, in this quest to improve ourselves and our surroundings, we end up frustrated, criticizing the short-lived attempt at change. So what can we do differently and how can we succeed at our goals during the New Year?

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How many resolutions are too many? Only you can decide. Everyone is different and the challenges they can handle are different, but ask yourself: how many things can I really change in my own life without causing undue stress? It’s great to set goals and strive to meet them, but set too many and you’ll find yourself stressed and unable to accomplish any of them. New Year’s Resolutions aren’t a bucket list and cramming to many goals in will limit your ability to succeed in the most important ones.


We all have big dreams that we wish we could turn into realities, but setting unrealistic goals can be counterproductive, making the process of trying to reach them overwhelming and stressful. We all know what happens – a month in we give up, frustrated. Set small goals that are milestones within larger goals. Want to lose weight? Rather than making the daunting number a goal, start with making a goal of being more active and eating differently, genuinely designing a plan around your schedule, making it something you can accomplish. When you succeed at that first, smaller goal you’ll be ready to up the ante, feeling good about yourself and your ability to meet your own challenges.


Don’t make goals you’re not really ready to commit to. If you set a goal, be sure it actually matters to you, enough that you will commit to making it happen. When you do, you’ll feel ready to tackle anything you set your mind to. It’ll make you stronger, more determined and happier.

Our New Year’s Resolutions tend to be focused on ourselves and the changes we want to make in our lives, but what if we broadened that focus to include our community and our world? Often times doing good things for others, living cleaner and thinking outside of ourselves is the key to self-improvement. Here are some ideas for making out-of-the-box resolutions this year.



Living differently can start in your home – reducing plastic usage, reusing things instead of tossing them out, fixing things that are broken rather than buying new ones, electing to wash rather than use disposable items, and choosing eco-friendly options such as low-energy light bulbs, and biodegradable, non-toxic products. All of these things improve the health of the planet, and thusly the lives of its inhabitants.


Our money decides the trends of the market. Choosing what to buy based on reducing waste and carbon footprint (via transportation costs and packaging), as well as selecting foods that aren’t GMOs and support local economies, are just a few of the ways you can make your dollars count.


Living healthier is actually better for the planet. Eating fresh, locally-sourced food instead of processed or imported items, adding more vegetables and fruit to your diet, making your own health and beauty products rather than purchasing those whose ingredients contain a long list of mysterious chemicals can not only help the planet and improve your health, but can even help your pocketbook. Farmer’s markets are great places to stock up on delicious fresh and local foods at a great price, and making your own beauty and cleaning products will greatly reduce living expenses. It’s shocking how easy many of the DIY things are to make and how little they cost you.



Giving to others is often the best gift you can give yourself. Perspective and gratitude come with helping those who are less fortunate, making you feel part of something bigger than yourself and creating a wealth of experience with your time and energy.


Our community is what we create it to be. Seek out what inspires you. Leave your comfort zone and try new and exciting things. Can’t find what you want in your community? Create it. Don’t be afraid to engage community and find the people and activities that will make you shine.

Got thoughts about New Year’s Resolutions? Share them with us in the comments below!

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