“6 New Year’s Resolutions You Probably Never Thought About,” New Era, January 2018
Get better grades.
Have any of these goals made your list? Don’t be too surprised if they have—year after year, these are among the most popular New Year’s resolutions. In fact, if you’re like many people, these goals were on your list last year—and the year before that.
For some reason, we keep setting (and oftentimes, not achieving) the same goals year after year. There’s nothing wrong with these goals, and there’s no reason why you can’t accomplish them, but why not shake things up a bit by setting (and meeting) a goal you’ve never thought of before? Here are six new goals that will help make 2018 amazing!
If you’re looking to make new friends, this is a great goal to set. Don’t overdo it—staring into someone’s eyes for too long (sometimes even for just a little) might make them uncomfortable—but try to look people directly in their eyes as they talk to you. When you meet someone new, notice the color of their eyes. Looking people directly in their eyes sends the message that you see and appreciate who they are.
We think thousands of thoughts every day, and if we’re not careful, many of these can be negative. Repeating a positive, powerful, and hopeful thought to yourself is a great way to keep out all those complaints, criticism, and fears. Repeating that thought out loud makes it an even more powerful reminder. The fact that you are a child of God who loves you and will help you is one of the most positive, powerful, and hopeful thoughts out there!
What do you do when you’re sitting in class before the bell rings? Or waiting for your mom to pick you up? Chances are, you pull your phone out. But what if you didn’t?
Set a goal to not pull your phone out every single time you’re bored or waiting. Give your mind time to wander. Look around. Notice things. Bored? Good. You can handle a few minutes of boredom. Creativity can happen when you’re bored.
Think outside the (cereal) box. Reach for some fresh ingredients and kitchen gadgets and wow your family with your chef skills. Whether you love to cook or aren’t sure what a tsp is, learning a new recipe is always a good idea! You can find someone who cooks well to teach you a few things, or you can find some recipes to try yourself. Don’t forget to clean up!
This doesn’t mean you have to jump into a new hobby every day. Something new can be something little. Never hang up your coat? Hang it up! Always sit with the same people at lunch? Sit with someone new. Even making the smallest changes can lead to amazing new experiences, and help you learn new things.
“Fill up your memory bank and your book of life with as many ‘I’m glad I did’ activities as you can possibly crowd into one lifetime,” counseled Elder L. Tom Perry (1922–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.1 Don’t let fear, laziness, or a routine keep you from “I’m glad I did” experiences. Surprise yourself! You’ll be glad you did.
You can make someone’s day by showing them some gratitude, but studies show that being grateful has a powerful effect on your own mood and well-being. Many people find that the more they focus on things to be grateful for, the happier they are. Want to be happier, healthier, and make someone’s day? Amp up the gratitude. “No matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish,” said President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency. “There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it.”2
Try saying “thank you” 10 times a day. Or finish each day by writing down 10 things you are grateful for.
There are many, many different things you can do to become a little more like Heavenly Father this year. After all, that’s the ultimate goal, isn’t it? Maybe you really are going to practice discipline as you lose weight or save more money this year. Or maybe you want to shake things up and set a brand new goal. Whatever you choose to do, just remember what President Thomas S. Monson has taught: “It is not enough to want to make the effort and to say we’ll make the effort. … It’s in the doing, not just the thinking, that we accomplish our goals.”3
Happy New Year!