It is tired, it is overdone, but it is also true: The start of a new year is a great time to at least try to consider new habits.
Last year’s five most popular resolutions, according to Statista (tinyurl.com/0119MAF-1) were:
- Eat healthier
- Exercise more
- Save more and
And number four? Not making resolutions.
Those other four are all worthy, but let me suggest four fairly guilt-free goals for this year, with lots of health benefits and no mention of weight:
- Simplify. Joshua Becker writes about making do with less in his blog becomingminimalist.com. If that sounds daunting, he suggests seven baby steps at tinyurl.com/0119MAF-2, from reducing clothes and cooking utensils to simply cleaning off counter tops. And if you need more practical reasons, Bethany Rosselit gives 10 health-related reasons why less could be better, everything from improved brain functions to spiritual growth (tinyurl.com/0119MAF-3).
- Pick a passion. Most people have something they feel strongly about. Whether it is your church or a charity, consider how you can find small ways to help them as well this year. That could mean micro-donation platforms such as Amazon Smile, generosity apps or donating a photo (tinyurl.com/0119MAF-4), or donating a penny a search at GoodSearch.org.
- Read. Make reading a part of your life. Whether it is a book, magazine (such as, ahem, this one) or portable and online reading, there are health benefits to be found (tinyurl.com/0119MAF-5), plus they can bring enjoyment. Adopt a strategy to read more (tinyurl.com/0119MAF-6) or utilize audiobooks (tinyurl.com/0119MAF-7).And utilize your church or public library to save money. Two strategies I use is using apps like Libby that allow loans wherever I am and LibraryExtension.com on Chrome to see the books and ebooks available at your library (for free).One book you should make time for is the Bible. The YouVersion app offers access to literally hundreds of plans; instructions to find one that meets your needs can be found at tinyurl.com/0119MAF-8.
- Bless someone each day. Doing good for others has even more physical and health benefits (tinyurl.com/0119MAF-9). Challenge yourself to make a positive difference in at least one life each day. (Ideas ranging from smiles and compliments to time are at tinyurl.com/0119MAF-10.) For the people who have already made a difference in your life, keep an ongoing list handy and try to call, text or send a note to say thanks throughout the year. If nothing else, it’s great catching up!
Ken Satterfield is marking coordinator for Word&Way and a former media specialist.