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New Year's Resolutions Worth Resolving

Inspired by this article, which I preserved 12/30/2013 here, I decided to write my own version, generalized from the demographic perspective of the author. It well become more my own over time. Feedback welcome.

  1. Stop wasting time on celebrities on social media. Find better uses for your brain, time and energy.
  2. Move beyond the bad and stupid things you've done and said. Learn from your mistakes and don't repeat them. Apologize, make restitution, and restore relationships as possible.
  3. Leave the country. If you don’t have money, look into doing charity work abroad. Some programs will sponsor you. Observing other cultures helps you put into perspective some of your own. That means stepping outside tourist ghettos and interacting with real people.
  4. If you hate your job, quit your job. Repeat after me: THE MONEY IS NOT WORTH IT. Food and shelter are nice though, so make sure you have another job lined up.
  5. Stop beating yourself up for skipping the gym on days you truly didn’t have time. But also, stop skipping the gym on days you had plenty of time to go.
  6. Make up — not to be confused with make out — with an ex.
  7. Rid yourself of enemies. Apologize for what you did wrong and forgive those who have wronged you.
  8. Rid yourself of “frenemies.” Don’t spend your precious future surrounded by people you secretly despise.
  9. If you think somebody is cute or interesting, say “hi” and introduce yourself. Every relationship you have ever had started with a greeting.
  10. Leave your phone number for someone. Worst-case scenario: you won’t get a call and maybe you’ll feel a tiny bit embarrassed. Regardless of the outcome, you put yourself out there and probably made the other person’s day.
  11. Stop caring about how many people “like” your Instagram photos. If you like the photo enough to post it, what else matters? Social media anxiety is a waste of time.
  12. Cross something off your bucket list. Sky dive, bungee jump, scuba dive, etc. Don’t make excuses as to why you can’t accomplish something.
  13. Stop hating yourself for eating dessert. A piece of birthday cake is a right, not a privilege.
  14. Keep a journal. It doesn’t have to be something you use daily, but documenting your experiences is incredibly important. You’ll appreciate it later.
  15. Strengthen relationships with family members. Blood is thicker than water.
  16. Help strangers. “Pay it forward,” do good things for the world — and don’t post a Facebook status about it.
  17. Conquer a fear.
  18. Turn off your smartphone at dinner.
  19. Don’t check your Twitter feed when you’re with friends.
  20. Try a fashion trend you never thought you could pull off. And, do it with confidence. Floppy hats, snap backs, Harem pants; you can do it!
  21. When you have a well-reasoned and informed opinion, express it. When you're tempted to express dogma from your political party or elsewhere, hold your tongue until you can replace that dogma with a well-reasoned and informed opinion.
  22. Shop locally, eat locally and recognize where your money is going. Consumers control the economy, so visit the mom-and-pop coffee shop down the street instead of Starbucks. Buy local/organic food even if it costs a little more today. Shop at boutiques rather than chains (they aren’t all expensive — trust me). Try Etsy.com instead of retail conglomerates.
  23. Cry. When you’re happy and when you’re sad; embrace your emotions as they come.
  24. Stop being so shallow. Stop judging people based on their appearance. "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people." (attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt and others)
  25. If your relationship with another isn't what you want it to be, discuss it with them.