50 Unconventional New Year’s Resolution Ideas

Dear P,

We’ve never been the kind of people who are into normal New Year’s Resolutions like “Lose ten pounds” or  “Quit smoking”. Therefore, I’ve made a list of more interesting resolution inspiration. I’ve put stars by the resolutions that are particularly for me.

1. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro*

2. Adopt a candy-free diet. Sugar is my addiction and it makes me feel as burned-out as a hard drug.*

3. No E! shows or magazines that revolve around judging people.

4. Do 3 nice things for people every day*

5. Keep a logbook. I made mine out of an animal book I got for two dollars at goodwill.*

6. Make every present you give this year.*

7. Wake up at 5 or 6 AM and go to sleep at 9 or 10 PM. See James Altucher’s Daily Practice, as well as this article about how waking up earlier increases creativity and productivity. *

8. Run a marathon on Valentine’s weekend* (hint- there’s one in Austin)

9. Visit at least one continent you haven’t before*

10. Create something every day. Write a poem. Make a watercolor painting. Bake a cake.*

11. Go on a road trip. Make a perfect playlist and read Jack Kerouac while you’re at it.*

12. Have at least 3 positive, meaningful interactions with people every day. At the end of the day, do Barbara Fredrickson’s positivity meditation, in which you send three nice wishes to as many people as you like. Example: “May P be healthy, May P be happy, May P be safe.”*

13. Kiss at least three non-humans. Last year, I kissed a snake, a frog, and a puppy.

14. Eat an apple a day. I don’t know if it keeps the doctor away, but it can’t hurt.

15. Take a picture of one thing every day of the year. I don’t have any suggestions of what to do with all the pictures at the end of the year, but you can probably think of something.

16. Learn or practice a new language*

17. Learn to code

18. Give away all the clothes you don’t like but have kept for whatever reason. Life is too short.

19. Have at least one magnificent, all-stops-pulled party.*

20. Make a playlist for each month, then try not to listen to those songs again for awhile. Musical memories are powerful.*

21. Don’t lie. It eats you from the inside.*

22. Start conversations with strangers. You never know where they may take you.

23. Have at least ten new ideas every day (again, thanks Altucher)*

24. Don’t buy clothes from the mall.*

25. Volunteer at least an hour a week. More if you can spare the time. If you don’t know how to get started, check out this awesome website.*

26. Make sure to see both old people and young people at least once a month. It can be isolating while in college to only see 20-year-olds. Diversity is important to keep perspective.*

27. Use all the gift cards people get you. This is the only exception to Rule 24.*

28. Get your eyebrows done regularly. I get mine done once a year, they look amazing, I vow to get them done more often, and then I forget about it. Brows make such a difference in the way you look, especially if you have bushman eyebrows like me.*

29. Write thank you notes for all gifts, material and otherwise.*

30. Go to office hours, and not only professor’s. I was inspired when my uncle got a lot of famous people to write letters to his son when the son got an eagle scout. He did this by simply emailing them.*

31. Eat big breakfasts (thanks, Ben Franklin)*

32. Eat things off the floor if you drop them. It’s good for your immune system.*

33. Spend more time naked. Benjamin Franklin recommended taking dry baths, or laying on the ground naked. I think this is brilliant and, as Americans, we should all learn to embrace nudity a little more.

34. Don’t watch the news.

35. Edit wikipedia articles in subjects you are knowledgeable about. Answer Yahoo answer questions. Translate wikipedia articles on Duolingo. In other words, give back on the Internet.*

36. Save someone’s life this year. I am getting my EMT certification, but if you don’t have the time for that, get your CPR certification. It takes about three hours and is worth it if you are confident you could someone’s life.*

37. Do all of these 50 date ideas with your significant other, or come up with your own.

38. Sing in the shower. Bring rubber duckies and chocolate-scented soap in while you’re at it.

39. Jump in every puddle you see, all year. This challenge is a lot easier if you live in our dry hometown.

40. Take more selfies.

41. Check your email once a day, or set it on your phone and only check it when it dings.

42. Use candles.*

43. When you are upset about something, talk to someone about it. However, if you talk to more than three people about your problem, you are just looking for attention. *

44. When you hear someone speak, work to come up with at least one meaningful question to ask them. This works to keep you engaged and keep the conversation moving.*

45. Build a treehouse. Build a fort. Build a firepit.

46. Write a manifesto.

47. Delete candy crush, Facebook and fruit ninja from your phone.

48. Drink more water. Just do it. You are made of water. Consider any water you drink an addition to your soul.*

49. Do stretches before you go to sleep. I’ve been doing this for a long time to combat my natural muscle-tighness. It hasn’t gotten me to the realm of normal flexibility but it has helped me get a lot better than I was.

50. Stretch yourself. January 1st is not the only time you should be creating goals. I create mine by the week, month, and day. Avoid the Okay Plateau by constantly pushing yourself to be better. It’s so easy to fall into stagnation.

Love,

E

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