Resolutions. We all make them. Few of us keep them. Seriously, has anyone ever actually kept New Year’s resolution? Reasons we rarely keep them: they’re hard, require a lot of personal change, and aren’t things we really want to do, or change… badly enough. Also there’s no immediate payoff, and we like immediacy.
Let’s break down the reason for failure behind two of the most classic.
- Quit smoking – It’s a huge lifestyle change that requires a lot of hard work, sacrifice and a decent amount (or a ton) of discomfort. You have to feel a lot worse before eventually feeling better.
- Get fit – There’s no actual definitive goal. How often will you work out? Is it for health, appearance, both? And again, it’s not easy and there’s a lot of sacrifice. And while you might feel great pretty soon off, you’ll plateau and get discouraged. And if you don’t make it a regular part of your new post January 1st lifestyle, it’ll get lost.
Reasons you fail: they’re hard, not fun, and no immediate payoff
So instead, make a resolution that adds something positive into your life that has the power to benefit others. Reasons they have staying power: it will be something you actually enjoy doing, so you’ll want to continue, and you’ll feel enriched as a result of doing something that helps others or makes you a better person.
To figure out your resolution, ask yourself: what do you enjoy doing and where is there a need?
Examples of Resolutions that Benefit the World
Volunteer once a week or month
Ask yourself, what do you enjoy doing and where is there a need? Then find an organization or charity that fits the answer to those questions, call or check online, to see how your skill or preferred method of volunteering can help, and then add it to your schedule. These include: working with animals, working phones, answering emails, helping with marketing, fundraising, making and delivering food – basically there’s a way to put whatever it is you you like doing to good use.
Eat vegetarian 3 days a week
Many people want to go full veg, but can’t. So instead of trying – and failing – vow to eat less meat, by going vegetarian slightly less than half the time. It’s much more doable than going 100%, and your body, the environment, and some animals, will still benefit. If you’re unaware of how the meat industry negatively effects the environment, check here. For this one, maybe it’s that you just really like to eat, so here’s a way to do so with less harmful effects. And when you do eat meat, make sure it’s humanely raised and sourced.
Set the money aside beginning of the month. Choose an organization or cause you wish to support. You can go all in and donate to the same one each month, or mix it up.
Be a good neighbor
When you think you can help out a neighbor, do it. Help an elderly neighbor by running an errand, brining up mail and newspaper, making a dinner, or visiting to say hello. To make it more likely you’ll keep doing it, pick out a certain task – daily or weekly – and add it to your schedule.
Get involved with your community
You live there, so be there. Make a resolution to help out with local politics and committees. Whatever you enjoy doing, there’s a way to use it to better the community.