One thing that Americans are great at around this time of year is making resolutions for the New Year. We love making promises to ourselves to do better and make positive changes for the future. There is never a shortage of weight loss plans and people jumping on the wagon as they try and leave their vices behind. Most of us can list at least a handful of the most common resolutions that Americans love to make, but how about those that never make the top 10 list? Perhaps some of us need some inspiration in choosing a resolution or two that may not be as popular, but may be just as life-changing. Here are my top 5 uncommon New Year’s Resolutions to think about making for 2017:
1. Say “no” to things you really don’t want to do.
There are some of us who are so stuck on pleasing people that they lose their identity. How about not being so readily available to lend your hard-earned money or time to those people who aren’t appreciative? How about being too busy after work to stay an additional hour or two for a project? Sometimes it’s freeing to say no; especially when you really don’t want to say yes. Try it and see how little stress you experience in 2017.
2. Take a day or two per week where you are “off” social media.
Just like the working American has a couple days off of work per week, try using that same concept for social media. Take a break from it. Some of you may not see it as taking a break, but trust me there’s a whole world out there waiting for you to notice it. Use your free time to take a hike or explore your city. Have an intense conversation with someone and really pay attention to them without looking down at your phone. If you decide to try this resolution, make sure to keep your days consistent so you can build a habit. Also, it will be easier to stick to it if you make plans on those days in advance so that you don’t slip up and grab your phone for a quick peek at your Facebook newsfeed. You never know, this could really be a great change to your life.
3. Stop waiting on everything to happen; instead, be proactive and make them happen.
This one may not be as uncommon as the rest, but it’s a good one. And I’ll take it one step further; actually step out there and accomplish something that will help you achieve that goal that you have. Whatever it may be, don’t just plan on it or tweet about it, actually take a step forward towards making it happen. Sometimes we get caught up into the fantasy of a thing so much that we end up stifling ourselves. I’ll admit a good Facebook brag is hard to resist when you’ve got an exciting business idea; however, the more time you spend talking about your plans, the less time you have to actually do something about it. Be proactive in your pursuits. Which leads me to the next resolution:
4. If you work a 9-to-5, take as much time off as you can.
Americans are notorious for being workaholics, working around the clock for our money and sometimes we don’t even get overtime for it. We are also notorious for having corporations that give their employees some of the shortest amounts of paid time off. This doesn’t mean that you can’t take advantage of what time you do have. Make it a point to take a vacation and escape the monotony of everyday working life. And if you are someone with goals and aspirations to start your own company or be independent from corporate America, you can use your time off to plan and work towards your goals.
5. Pay it forward in 2017. Don’t just focus on your individual goals. Try to improve someone else’s life by helping them.
For 2017, be that helping hand for someone who may need it. Be aware of your ability as a human being to really improve someone’s life; even if it’s just a smile or a wave or a “hello”, be more intentional in the way you interact with others. It may sound trite, but you’d be surprised at the fact that some of us need to be reminded to be nice. I know I do. This is why making this resolution and keeping it in the forefront of your mind can really change the way you interact with others. If all of us made this resolution a top priority, our 2017 will be a much needed relief from the chaos of 2016.