11 Unconventional but Awesome New Year’s Resolutions

The turn of the year is a great opportunity to look back at what you’ve accomplished over the last 12 months and to use that knowledge to prepare for the future. Many people around the world write down New Year’s resolutions every January. Some of the most popular include vows to go to the gym, lose weight, stop smoking, or find a partner.

Research has shown that people tend to keep resolutions when they’re SMART, an acronym made up by the time management gurus at FranklinCovey that stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Resolutions fail when they’re too vague or based on other people’s perceptions and ideas rather than your own.

This year make positive resolutions that you’ll actually achieve. Here are some ideas for unconventional but awesome New Year’s resolutions.

1. Read a specific number of books

Lots of people start the new year with vows to read more. However, that’s a really vague resolution and almost impossible to measure. Instead, make it specific by setting the number of books that you’d like to read. If you set a monthly or yearly target, you’ll be able to measure your progress.

If you’re a regular reader already, a resolution that may appeal to you is a commitment to read more books that challenge your perceptions. A book is a fantastic opportunity to experience someone else’s point of view, which will help you become both kinder and more knowledgeable the more you read.

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2. Keep a journal

Introspection can be hard work. This year, make journaling a part of your New Year’s resolutions.

Journaling has been shown to be extremely beneficial for our mental health and can help increase our awareness of our own feelings. For people that have suffered trauma, journaling can be especially helpful as it helps us process difficult emotions and allows us to confront our fears in a safe, controlled environment.

If you’re apprehensive about making time to write every single day, start small. Write a few sentences about your day or list a few things you’re grateful for. Once you’re in the habit of journaling on a daily basis, you’ll find that you feel a lot better after you process your feelings on paper.

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