2020. It’s not only a new year, it’s a new decade. And with new beginnings, it’s a good idea to set aside time to think about what you’d like to accomplish this year or during the next few. But lives get busy, pressures take over and we can lose sight of our goals. In fact, a recent study says most people have already abandoned their resolutions by January 19.
That’s why I’m making the case for resolutions that are different—out of the box. Mantras that grow our character each day and push ourselves to something greater.
1. This year, I resolve to travel—outside my comfort zone.
Going outside of our comfort zone can be daunting. A little bit of that can be due to the confusion of where our comfort zone actually lies. Perhaps best described as creatures of habit, we fill our days with familiar routines so we don’t know what it means to get out of the comfortable worlds we’ve created. So I implore you to take a step back, examine your day-to-day schedule and make a shift that pushes you, even a baby step, outside of the comfort of your routine. Travel to work in a new way. Sign up for a class in your community to learn something new. Volunteer with an organization you admire. Ask your friends or family for ideas. Make a choice, and start today.
2. This year, I resolve to lose the weight—of expectations.
Let’s say it together: self-compassion. With the ever-demanding use of social media in our lives, it’s no wonder that “recent studies have shown that more social media use is associated with increased reported symptoms of social anxiety, social isolation, and feelings of loneliness.” I myself have felt pressured to have a certain persona online, posting updates that impress my friends and even competes with what they’re doing. At one point, I remember thinking, do I want to take this trip because it will look good online, or because I actually want to go? The disconnect from social media to my actual life often left me feeling lonely and unhappy. This statement of losing expectations helps me remember that social media doesn’t dictate who I am or my worth. What expectations can you lose this year that will help you be happier?
3. This year, I resolve to quit my—self-doubt and fears.
At Outward Bound, we like to talk about getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. Show up when it matters and don’t let the unknown stop you from having great experiences in your life. Fear does serve a valuable purpose in some cases, but not when it comes to stopping us from trying new things that can help us become better humans. Perhaps you want to change careers but think it’s too late. Or you want to learn a new skill but think everyone will laugh at you. Do you want to start getting outdoors but think it’s only for experts? We can help you with that!
The greatest enemy of personal development is your own self-doubt and fears—think where you could be a year from now without them.
4. This year, I resolve to learn—that I’m only limited by my imagination.
If we could go back in time, our 10-year old selves would tell us this one is obvious. Yet, there’s something about being an adult that tempts us to lose our imaginations along the way. Let’s change that. Need ideas? Read more books. Listen to a podcast you never would think interests you. Paint what you see out the window. Engage someone in a discussion about a topic you disagree on and approach it with an open mind. The more we stretch our minds to think in different ways, the more creative problem solvers we are—at work, school, in relationships and in general.
5. This year, I resolve to spend less—time on online and more time with the people that matter.
I saved the best for last. This is huge. If you look back on your last 10 years, what memories stand out to you? I would bet that at least a few of them are moments spent with people you care about. Let’s stop being glued to our phones and start making time for people that matter to us—myself included. Even if we’re physically present, sometimes we can mentally check out if we’re thinking about social media, work or something else that’s stressing us out. It serves as a good reminder to take inventory of what we give our time to—especially our thoughts and energy.
Good luck to you as you embark on this next year. Even if you don’t adopt any of these resolutions, I hope they made you think about what is important to you.
About the Author
Melissa Paradis is the Marketing Manager for the Outward Bound Services Group. She enjoys reading about Mt. Everest, going on walks with her dog and watching scary movies.
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