5 New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Actually Want to Keep!

New Year's Resolutions
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New Year’s Resolutions for 2018

Here we are again, that time of year when we collectively decide we’re going to be better people and improve our lives with New Year’s resolutions. Like most people, I approach January 1st with good intentions only to decide by the end of the month (or by the end of the first week) that it’s too cold outside to really worry about anything but keeping warm.

This year, though, is going to be different! I’m going to be realistic and have resolutions that will bring fun into my life. No more resolutions that leave me feeling restricted, guilty, and like a failure.

Below are five New Year’s resolutions for you to share that don’t involve starving yourself or exercising for two hours a day, six days a week.

1 – Find a New Hobby

I’m constantly on the lookout for a new hobby, and have wanted a creative outlet to occupy my time outside of work. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time or money to take a class, so I’ll have to rely on other resources:

Learn to Draw
Draw: A Graphic Guide to Life Drawing by David Hedderman

Hedderman uses infographic-focused learning to teach readers how to sketch and draw in a series of simple steps. Much of the focus is on drawing the human form, which sounds a bit intimidating, but nobody has to see your horrible first attempts if you don’t want them to!

Of course, new hobbies aren’t only for the artistically inclined. For all my hipster and wannabe hipster readers we have:

Home Brewing
Brew: A Graphic Guide to Home Brewing by Mitch Adams

This book provides a complete course in mastering the art of home brewing, and, like Draw above, uses infographics to explain the process. Adams even teachers brewers how to play with recipes to create their own unique flavors. A home brewing hobby is also a great excuse to have some friends over for a drink in the dark of winter, making your life a bit more hygge.

2 – Rediscover the Classics (or discover some for the first time)

Classic Books

 A couple of years ago, one of my resolutions was to read War and Peace. Despite the fact lugging it around me definitely gave me back problems, I loved the book and felt like I’d really achieved something when I finished. (I celebrated with dinner at a Russian restaurant).

This year I’m finally going to read Anna Karenina, even though I know how it ends.

Before reading War and Peace I did a bit of research on which translation was the best, and ended up with the edition Louise and Aylmer Maude translated. I was pleased with their work, so plan to read their translation of Anna Karenina as well.

Anna Karenina

If you’re a commuter who prefers to listen to books, BBC Audio has got you covered.  Journey to the Center of the Earth and The War of the Worlds are just two of the many options available (which you can find here). Many of the audiobooks are full-cast dramatizations that are sure to keep you entertained.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth - BBC Audio 
 The War of the Worlds - BBC Audio

 3 – Simplify Your Life

Destination Simple
Destination Simple: Everyday Rituals for a Slower Life by Brooke McAlary

This is a New Year’s resolution I’m sure most people could use, though it’s definitely a daunting task. In Destination Simple, author Brooke McAlary (of the blog Slow Your Home) shares daily rituals you can perform to live a calmer, happier life.

The Simple Home
The Simple Home: A Month-by-Month Guide to Self-Reliance, Productivity and Contentment by Rhonda Hetzel

If daily steps to simplify your life are a bit too much for you, try taking it one month at a time. In The Simple Home, Rhonda Hetzel provides readers with a year’s worth of monthly projects to make household management easier and help you appreciate what you already have.

4 – Learn a New Language

Foreign Languages
Picture: LinkedIn

This is a personal favorite of mine, having studied a few languages in my day (#humblebrag). As I’ve learned through experience, taking classes can be hard to fit into your schedule and can quickly become expensive.  Collins UK makes numerous resources for people who want learn a language on their own time at their own pace (or get extra practice outside of a class).

I personally have many of the products below to help me with Italian, but particularly love the easy learning Italian Audio Course and Essential Italian in 2 Hours with Paul Noble.  It’s hard to learn a language if you never hear it, so these are both great resources. The Paul Noble CDs and accompanying books are perfect for tourists or business travelers.

Collins Language Collection
A Sampling of Collins’ Language Collection

While I have a soft spot for Italian, you can try another language. The Collins Audio Courses come in a variety of languages (beyond those shown above), which you can find here.

5 – Give Your Career a Boost

career boost

 You don’t have to be in the market for a new job to make career development a priority. Whether it’s getting the most out of your day, learning how to give presentations, improving your memory, or something else, there’s always room for improvement.

Time Management
The Skinny on Time Management: How to Maximize Your 24-Hour Gift by Jim Randel

I often feel like there’s not enough time in the day for me to get to everything on my to-do list. And while it doesn’t seem practical to spend precious time reading a book about time management, The Skinny on Time Management is a quick read that will have you back to work before you know it.

How To: Academy
The How To: Academy series from Pan Macmillan UK

For other work-related issues, Pan Macmillan has the How To: Academy series. These titles have something to offer everyone looking to become a better, more efficient worker.

Time to Make 2018 Awesome

New Years Resolutions

Now that you have more exciting resolution options to choose from, it’s time to get out there and make 2018 your best year yet!

Do you have an interesting resolution to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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