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5 New Year’s Resolutions We Should All Make

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I am so tired of New Year’s resolutions. These promises we make ourselves are bound for failure and leave most of us depressed, backtracking and feeling weak because we couldn’t persevere.

Well guess what? DON’T DO IT! If you feel the need to make arbitrary vows to yourself, keep them not just doable but frickin’ awesome. Need some suggestions? Here you go:

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5. Act like a kid sometimes and enjoy it!

Want to bust out a cartwheel at the park? Do it. Montell Jordan playing at Trader Joe’s? Dance in front of the cheese section like you mean it. I had a friend who wanted to have a cereal bar at her birthday party this year and it was amazing. We all danced then sat on the floor and ate Cocoa Pebbles. It was so much fun. Yes, people will look at you. Yes, they may judge you. And YES you will be having much more fun than any of them. Plus you may inspire them to let loose a little. Silly is contagious and awesome. This one is so easy, so stop taking yourself so seriously!

4. Get over the idea that audiobooks don’t count as reading. They count.

I have been known to listen to book club books because I am too dang busy, and guess what? No one cares. The exact same words are in the audio version and you can listen while you drive or clean or make food or do sit-ups in your den. Reading is a luxury many of us can’t always afford, but audiobooks have opened up a beautiful world filled with syncing devices and headphones!

3. Do charity work and don’t get wrapped up in how much you do.

Get creative and you’ll be amazed at what a difference you can make.

Have a couple hours once a month or every six months? Great! There are 100,000 organizations at your fingertips who will gladly accept any amount of help. Children, pets, seniors, health clinics: the list is never-ending. Last year, a local organization needed hotel-sized mini shampoos for the homeless (they could even be half used) so i cleaned out a cabinet full of them and dropped them off. Done. Every Christmas we spend two hours helping pack food boxes at the airport and it’s become a tradition for many of us—who doesn’t have two hours once a year? How about the elderly woman down the street? Maybe you could make her a cup of tea once in awhile and listen to her stories, or take her chihuahua for a little walk. Get creative and you’ll be amazed at what a difference you can make.

2. Have people over to your house spontaneously and don’t overthink it.

Do you ever get tired of hearing yourself say, “We should go out soon! Let’s make plans!” I did. Because the reality is that you DO want to go out, you DO want to make plans, but you have way too much crap to do. Happy hour with each of your 27 friends sounds amazing, but there simply are not enough hours in the year. In an attempt to see people more, my neighbors and I started “Open Friday.” Most Fridays we are exhausted from the week, as is everyone else, so we open some wine and slip on some sweatpants and order tacos and whoever wants to come over can. We don’t clean, we don’t prep, we just play it by ear. Some weeks 10 people show up, sometimes it’s just us. Sometimes people bring chips and guac and margaritas and that’s dinner. Kids play and watch a movie and we lay on the lawn or play a game or occasionally fall asleep on the couch (I’m famous for this). As soon as you let go of the notion that every time you have people over it must be a labor-intensive fancy fest, you’ll enjoy actually talking to people when they stop by. It’s seriously the best.

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1. Learn to do something random and allow yourself to feel proud.

I went to a friend’s house for dinner the other night and when we walked in he said, “I spent three days stripping and re-seasoning this cast iron skillet. Nothing I have ever done has made me prouder.” He enthusiastically produced a beautifully restored cast iron skillet and we all marveled at his endeavor. I should mention that this individual is VERY accomplished and has an amazing career and family, so it’s not like he’s never felt what we would all usually consider “true success.” As I listened to him recount the steps and the research and the true manual labor he put into this pan, I was deeply affected by his joy. I was inspired! I found myself thinking, “This is amazing. He’s so HAPPY.” Then we sautéed veggies in his skillet and I thought he was going to cry, but that’s another story. The point is this: Learn to do something random and allow yourself to feel proud, to talk about it with friends or people in line at the bank. Make kombucha, knit a pot holder, strip and spray paint an old chair on your patio. Watch a YouTube video about cleaning sneakers and make your Converse sparkle. It’s not about what you do, it’s about how rad you feel when you realize you can learn new tricks!

And remember, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm” (Winston Churchill).

You are fun. You are funny. People like you and they want to hear about the new wind chime you sculpted—including me! Tweet me and let me know how you’ll use this list. You can definitely succeed at all of these resolutions.

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