A Year of Resolutions — One Month at a Time

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Prague, New Year’s 2011.

Struggling to stick to your New Year’s resolution? It’s all refreshing and motivating once the ball drops and the champagne pops, but as January trickles into February, you may already be feeling worn out. Know you’re not the only one, fellow human, and congrats on taking a leap to better your life. Perhaps what you need are step-by-step changes that stay fresh and engaging. Maybe you need to look at improvements in your life in a different light, because pushing yourself all at once might be overwhelming. Forget following the crowd! It’s not too late to change plans. So, no excuses — check out the neat monthly calendar of ideas below. I dare you!

January: Waste Nothing

Are you ever amazed at the amount of garbage we humans can create on a daily basis? Even in just one household? Get a clean start this month — try your best not to produce garbage each day. Recyclables and reusables are okay, of course.

February: Volunteer

Perhaps the animal shelter needs a dog walker, or the soup kitchen needs someone to dish out food. Help those in need. A simple doggie kiss or a smile and a “thank you” can further motivate you to be an even better version of yourself.

March: Cook-It-Up

No take-out or fast-food allowed. Grab yourself a book of recipes and get to cooking. Choose healthy, filling meals, and set aside time to prepare them for days in advance to make it easier on yourself. You’ll be a master chef before you know it, and a sizzling inspiration!

April: Journaling

Time flies and your life is beautiful and important. Write down any exciting events that have happened, lingering thoughts, or vent if you have to. You’ll look back on it and realize how much you can learn from your best teacher: yourself.

May: Mile-Runs

Looking to get in shape? Run a mile a few times a week — you’ll be amazed at how your body adapts over a short amount of time (as long as you stick with it, super star).

June: Meet New People

Get out more often. Don’t make excuses to stay in because you’re comfortable that way. Go out and experience life! Check out the cool summer events popping up around town. Mix and mingle. The experiences of others can open your mind and present opportunities.

July: Recycle

If you don’t have one already, set up a separate garbage bin for recyclables. It’s something small that can make a bigger difference to the environment than you realize.

August: Add Extra Money to Debt Payments

If you’re like most people when it comes to paying your debts, you want it done quickly, but stick to paying the monthly minimum. In the long run, it’s best to nip that debt in the bud and eliminate it as soon as possible. Give yourself a boost and pay more than the minimum — double or triple your payment — at least for a month. It can pay off.

September: Start a Side Project

Keep on putting aside that blog or side business you often dream about as you’re tied to your desk in that cubicle? Quit it! Do this for you. Just research what you have to do and start. Nobody else will do it for you. You’ll never know what this will be like until you try. Even if it doesn’t go as you imagined, you can be at peace with the fact that you tried. Also, this can take time.

October: Learn About Investing

Hey you pretty young thing, you’ll be old before you know it. Set aside money for your golden days so you don’t have to break your back until you’re too sick to do anything. Be smart with your money and learn how to invest it. If you don’t know where to start, pull up Google to search on investing for beginners. Learn about the stock market and how it works, read others’ opinions, or, you know, toss $50 a month into a jar so that you can put it towards your future.

November: Donate

Those can of green beans in the pantry that you’re not going to use? Donate them to someone who would love to eat them! The same goes for all those sweaters hanging in your closet that you never wear. There are people that would be thankful to have the items that you forget about. There’s a warm and fuzzy feeling that comes with donating, too. It’s because it’s a good deed and you know it.

December: Get Crafty

Get crafty and make a mess! Live a little! Tis the season! Whether you want to get back into finger-painting, photography, wood-working, or want to sew a new scarf for your grandma for Christmas, put your creativity to use. You’ll be happy you did!

And look at that; it’s the end of another year already, and there you are, improved and inspiring. Doable, right? Have other meaningful goals or resolutions to share? Leave a comment below!

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