4 New Year’s Resolutions That I'm Hoping Will Enrich My Life
Why you might want to follow my lead.
Most people begin the new year with ambitious New Year’s resolutions. I’m not one of them. I’m not very good with lofty long-term goals, nor do I want to push myself too hard. The older I get, the less I feel the need to put myself through too much stress — because life as it is, offers enough of that. I do, however, want to find new ways to make my life more meaningful and fulfilling. Those pursuits seem to be my priority more and more these days. My physical health is important, too, and I sure could stand to lose a few pounds, change my diet and establish a strict and steady exercise plan. But I’m honestly OK with my 50s’ flab while savoring my favorite foods and sometimes choosing to take naps in place of exercise.
I’d much rather focus on new ways to enrich my life that challenge me but don’t overwhelm me. Things I can do that will crack open my comfort zone just a little, where I might slowly slip out to try something new. I know most people find thrill and excitement in experiencing new things, but I am not one of them. Approaching anything I don’t know often triggers great anxiety. I was more fearless in my 20s and even my 30s. But things shifted in my 40s and now I’m midway through my 50s, where I rather like a life that’s filled with the same old everyday routines.
This year I’ve decided on four reasonable and realistic goals that will improve my well-being and nudge me to experience new opportunities. If you’re anything like me, you might also want to consider these New Year’s resolutions.
Plan two new experiences I’ve never done before
It has been a while since I’ve tried something new. I know expanding my own little world to include some experiences would certainly enrich my life. I considered taking a class or weekend workshop, learning a new hobby, or traveling to a new town. But I decided I simply want to enjoy a few new fun experiences in my own great city of Columbus, Ohio. I’ve thought through various options to pursue, and there are plenty to pick that I have always wanted to do but never made the time. Since I moved here 25 years ago, I’ve never toured the Columbus Museum of Art.
So, I will plan a day to enjoy this excursion and invite a friend to join me — because some things are much more fun with your girlfriends. I’d also like to visit Heritage Square Antique Mall. Touring antique shops is one of my favorite things to do, and I’ve heard this one is worth the drive. I love searching for unique gifts to buy for my family and friends and exploring all the vintage relics and hidden gems these stores always seem to have.
Pick a way to serve in my community
I used to take my kids with me to serve in our community regularly when they were younger and we had a more flexible schedule. But things slowly shifted as they got older and more involved with their activities, leaving us less room for much else. I also started two ministries out of my home and my aging mother needed me more, so I honestly didn’t have the time or energy. But I’ve felt a strong pull to get back to assisting those in need, and it’s time I do something about this. My husband and I talked about starting this important work together, and we will look into the various opportunities our church offers to serve our city. We’ve always supported their volunteers and ministry programs financially, but now we need to get out there and join them. It will be a big commitment on our part, but there’s nothing more rewarding than offering hope and help to others when we have plenty to give. Doing this with my husband will also grow our relationship in new ways, which will be another added benefit.
Connect with an old friend
I had two best friends in college, and both turned into lifetime friends. Unfortunately, we rarely see each other. I used to meet with one of them for long “catch-up” dinners every six months or so, but we haven’t done that since COVID-19 shut us all down. My other bestie lives fairly close too, but we haven’t met in person for decades. Thankfully we still connect on Facebook, but we keep talking about getting together and it just never happens. I have been thinking so much about these women for the past few years, and it’s time to get some dates on the calendar and follow through. Spending quality time with each of them will be so wonderful and nourishing.
Go through old photo albums and storage boxes to relish the best parts of the past
I save everything that means something to me. The bigger gifts are displayed all over my office and fill my home. But there are hundreds of special cards and photos I’ve collected through the years that have been buried in decorated boxes stacked neatly in my bedroom. I save all those items because they hold the history of every good thing that has ever happened to me. I know going through them will bring back beautiful memories of the people and experiences that have brought so much joy into my life. Spending a weekend opening up these treasure troves will fill me with gratitude as I reflect on and relish each one I saved.
Each of these goals will take some planning, intention, time and commitment. But I’m looking forward to a year filled with more meaningful experiences that will truly enrich my life.
Anyone have a resolution they can share? Let us know in the comments below.