The last time I accomplished all my New Year's resolutions was December 2012. In my defense, I think I worked hard enough that year to last me until now. In twenty twelve I somehow managed to get admitted into a university abroad, start my blogging journey and earn enough credits to allow me to participate in an internship program in Washington DC. Those three goals led me to where I am today, permanently living in DC and writing daily about my experience as a twenty something trying to figure out this whole adulthood thing.
Resolutions are hard to accomplish for so many reasons. Work, school, family responsibilities and social lives prevent us from visiting the gym four times a week and finishing our reading lists. The joy that comes along with the holidays mixed with the allure that comes with a new calendar year leaves us optimistic about everything we can accomplish, and in the end all we have are gym memberships we can't get refunds for and piles of books gathering dust.
Not every resolution has to be major though, and no one needs to have a resolution list as long as their contact list. Narrow down your resolutions, set goals for each, and create a timeline you'd like to follow. Breaking down big projects into smaller, more tangible steps allows you to remain motivated while making small progressive steps towards your ultimate goal.
What are you to do if you know you want 2016 to rock but have no idea where to start? After spending some time thinking about what twenty somethings struggle with on a daily basis, I've rounded up some resolutions that would benefit everyone. Nothing too impossible, nothing that will leave you feel like a failure come springtime.
Reevaluate who you want to include in your life.Confession: every few months I go through the entire list of my Facebook friends and delete anyone who I don't want to see my updates or whose updates I'm not interested in reading. If you cant give someone ten seconds of your attention once a day, you probably aren't really friends. Cutting out people in your life who bring anything less than positivity and support allows you to grow closer to those you do have around. Trust me, no one really has 300 friends, so don't feel like you need to follow and friend everyone you meet.
Visit somewhere new.I'm not insisting you grab your passport and blow all your savings, but take the time to go somewhere you've never explored before. Whether you want to finally visit Europe or take a cross country road trip with friends, start your planning for it early in the year to avoid last minute stress.
Be pickier about your social media presence.This past year I took this resolution a little to the extreme, yet I don't regret not sharing every aspect of my life on social media. You can make a rule to only share what you would like to be reminded about a year from now or only what you'd be comfortable sharing at work. Being more aware of all the statuses you post will save you not only the time it takes to constantly be online, but keep your private life a little more private.
Unplug once a month.My life consists of sitting at a computer all day at work, playing with my phone the bus ride home, then going home and either sitting with my laptop or watching TV. It's a lot, and it's turned what should be my fun electronics into feeling like more work. Once a month pull away from all electronics for a few hours, leave your phone at home and go do something for the sake of just enjoying it. Going out can be so much more fun when you aren't worried about capturing the perfect photo or replying to all your text messages.
Start saving money.Whether you want to spend what you save on a trip or that item you've been eyeing is up to you, but saving something as small as $100 per month can leave you with enough money to spend one whole weekend doing anything you like. To make it easier on yourself open a separate savings account, that way you wont be lured into spending the money on something else halfway through the year.
Stick up for yourself.This weekend I did something I've never done, I walked away from an argument I had no interest in having. Sticking up for yourself doesn't have to mean you fire back with insults, sometimes rising above and not allowing yourself to stand there and be insulted is all you need to do. Whether it's in your friendships or relationship, don't settle for anything less than love.
Learn a new skill.Developing a new skill and starting a new hobby are great for those nights when you don't feel like going out but also don't want to stay home and watch TV. Learning something new can expose you to a whole new group of people, plus once you get good at it, it can totally become something you look forward to after a long day.
Work on your professional development.Finding ways to boost your resume should always be a priority, especially when so many of us are stuck in jobs that are unrelated to our field of study. Volunteer, revise your resume or join a professional organization in your city. Doing something to increase your skills outside the office shows you're serious about your professional development.
Create and follow a budget.Every twenty something could benefit from this, especially me. I have a bad habit of walking into Target for a new deodorant and walking out with fifty less dollars in my bank account. Creating a budget not only makes you more aware of your spending habits, it allows for you to save money for things you most likely would much rather spend your money on, like that vacation we were talking about earlier. Break down what you earn monthly, what your necessities are and what you are able to save each month.
Go back and finish what you started!Do you have a resolution that you never got around to in 2015? Finish it! This time make this resolution your number one priority, break it up into smaller goals and set deadlines for each goal. Giving yourself a milestone to reach will keep you motivated those days when you feel like nothing is progressing.
What are your resolutions for 2016? Are any of your past resolutions getting another chance in the new year?