The only thing more certain than people making New Year’s resolutions is people giving up on said resolutions after a few weeks. It’s cool if you want to set high goals for yourself, but there are still some totally life-improving New Year’s resolutions that you can complete in a week or less.
I gave up on making New Year’s resolutions years ago, mostly because all of the things I vowed to do were things I should have been doing anyway — like eating healthier, or spending less money on Star Wars figures (just kidding, I will never stop doing that). Plus, we all know that life tends to get in the way sometimes, and you only end up feeling guilty that you didn’t continue with that 5 a.m. hot yoga class or that your apartment is now messier than ever. That’s why it’s always important to set realistic goals you will actually be able to follow through on — and not stress-inducing resolutions.
Believe me, you will feel a lot better in 2016 if you know you actually nailed your resolutions — considering you only had to spend a few days on them. And the great thing about these resolutions is that you can totally continue with them if you want to!
1. Get organized
This resolution is pretty much a New Year’s mainstay. I think most of us look around our apartments, offices, and lives, and wish we were a bit more put together. Luckily, getting more organized isn’t an all year long kind of resolution if you put in a little prep. Get yourself a chic planner to keep track of all your important dates and assignments. Buy a mail and paper organizer to help sort through all the clutter. Invest in some shelves, tubs, and other storage systems to help get your stuff together. Put in a few good days of organization, and you’ll be feeling more efficient before all the champagne is gone.
2. Clean your space
Another constant when it comes to resolutions, cleaning and organizing kind of go hand in hand. The thing you’ll want to remember is to set realistic cleaning goals for yourself — there’s only so much you can do in a week. Start with easy things, like cleaning out your closet, or cleaning your small kitchen, and then move on to bigger things if you still have time. Spend a few hours a day for a week tidying up and wiping down, and your space will look drastically better even after just a couple of days.
3. Meet someone new
I’m the worst when it comes to making new friends or connections — social anxiety is a real struggle — but you can totally meet just one person in a week’s time. If one of your resolutions is to exercise more, sign up for a barre or yoga class, and try and chat with the instructor or a fellow participant. If you’re a foodie, go wine tasting or take a cooking class. Worst case scenario, ask your friend group to bring a friend the rest of you might not know to brunch. Chances are that someone who's friends with your friend likes the same things you do!
4. Find a new hobby
This is an easy one, considering you don’t have to be good at a new hobby in a week — you just have to find one. There are dozens of things you could try out in just a few days — knitting, painting, karate, guitar — and as long as you find one thing you like, you did it!
5. Start saving more money
Learning to hold onto your cash is a lifelong endeavor, but you can start some good habits right after NYE. Make a cute little jar to put your loose change in, or arrange to automatically put part of your paycheck in your savings account going forward. You’ll still have to be mindful about how you spend, but you can put yourself on a good path pretty easily.
6. Do something charitable
You don’t have to commit to a year’s worth of Habitat for Humanity weekends in order to be considered generous. Donate the clothes you cleaned from your closet to a local women’s shelter. Volunteer at a soup kitchen the weekend after New Year’s. Donate part of your holiday bonus to a cause you believe in. Every little bit counts!
7. Learn self-defense
Personally, I think everyone can benefit from self-defense classes, but especially women. You can usually find a class at a local rec center or community college, as well as private dojos and gyms. A couple hours is enough to teach you the basics of self-defense, and who knows, maybe you’ll like it so much, martial arts can become that new hobby you were looking for.
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