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It always seems like a little bit of a cliche to make New Year’s resolutions or set intentions for the New Year, but at the end of the day, why not. It’s a guaranteed fresh start – the calendar resets and so does your mindset (if you’ll allow it). Whether you allow yourself to feel the hype of New Year’s resolutions/intentions or not, the hype is still there. And what better excuse than a brand new year to lay out a whole new set of goals for yourself. Below I’ve listed 25 bad-ass things to do this year, in case you’re looking for a little extra oomph in your life.
New Year’s Resolutions Done Wrong
I spent a large portion of my life waiting for the new year to change me, thinking the new number we were facing would magically wash over all aspects of my life. Until I started realizing that wasn’t enough to change me, that something had to come from deeper inside.
The trick to making a change (and allowing it to stick) is that it has to come from a place within you that is stronger than your fears, willpower and excuses. Making a change has to resonate with something inside of you – meaning, you have to be making a change that you truly want to make. Changing aspects of ourselves for other people, jobs or images never really works.
The mistake so many people (myself included, over and over) often make is that they think the new year will be enough of a change to feel a difference. I hate to burst the bubble, but it’s not enough. You have to get real specific, real focused and be willing to work at it more than you’ve ever worked at anything before.
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25 Bad-Ass Things to do This Year
The list of 25 bad-ass things to do this year stems from a place of wanting to see you succeed. I want something to spark inside of you that hasn’t been ignited in a long time or even ever before. I want you to walk into this year feeling like you have something new you want to work towards. This list isn’t meant to be fully accomplished (but if you do, thats fucking amazing and you need to tell me!), but hopefully you’ll find one or two things that resonate with you and inspire you to make a life altering change.
1. Travel Somewhere You’ve Never Been Before
It doesn’t matter if it’s one province away, or one continent away. Pick up and go somewhere new! Completely immerse yourself in the culture, try new things, speak to a local. Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or a homebody, getting out and breaking your same-old routine can add a new perspective and sense of inspiration in your life. Not to mention, you may end up having a blast!
2. Start a Blog
Or a book, or a podcast or a Youtube Channel! Whatever it is your heart desires, give it a try. For over a year before I started a blog, I was helplessly yearning to become a blogger. I wanted to share my experiences and thoughts with others, but I was too much a chicken. Fast forward to today and I get endless compliments on my blog (I cringe at the thought of how far along my blog would be if I had started when I wanted to!). The response I give everyone who thinks about starting a blog is that if you’re even considering it a little bit, do it. Your heart wants it, so go and get it!
3. Consider Inclusivity in Your Language
Discussions around gender and sex have become quite the hot topic. While it’s easy to carry on as you always have, it also takes just a few seconds to consider inclusivity. For example, when I originally thought of this blog post, it was going to be called 25 Boss Girl Things to do This Year. I changed it to Bad-Ass because not everyone who reads this is going to identify as female, and not only females are out there doing bad-ass things. Take a second this year and ask yourself if theres a way you can rephrase what you’re saying to be inclusive to all (not just gender/sex, but race, age, able etc.)
4. Move Out
Whether you’ve never moved out before, or you’ve been thinking of moving to a new city, just do it. Stop sitting there and mulling it over and take the leap. Moving out is a great way to build independence, and an excellent way to change your surroundings. If a fresh start is what you’ve been craving, this is the ultimate fresh start!
5. Find a New Hobby
It’s never to late to start a hobby! Challenge yourself to learn something new, whether it’s a new craft, game or skill. Having a hobby you enjoy creates a space for you to escape to and immerse yourself! As humans, we absolutely need to have time for enjoyment in order to be able to relax and step away from day to day stresses. Try your hand at something you have yet to try but always wanted to!
6. Stop Apologizing
Stop saying sorry for every. little. thing. Stop apologizing for who you are as a person. Stop apologizing for things that are out of your control. Taking the blame on yourself weighs on you and drags you down. This year, try doing more things to uplift yourself and move onwards.
*There are tons of resources online for how to reword phrases to remove the word ‘sorry’ and instead replacing it with other words.
7. Embrace the Power of ‘No’
“No is a complete sentence” – a conversation a few girls and I had over some wine. Read it over and over again. The first time I heard it I was so shocked at the power of that statement. Now, I embrace it.
No, literally means no. And it’s okay to say no more often if it means preserving yourself mentally, emotionally or physically. We don’t say no often enough and that can lead to fatigue and burnout. Learn the empowering feeling of saying no to things you don’t want to do.
8. Pay Down Debt
While debt is something we feel like we don’t see unless we open up our banking, the toll extends long beyond our bank statements. Debt is a weight on your shoulders and effects everything you do. The stress of carrying around is overwhelming, and while you may not be able to see the immediate consequences, the long term effects of carrying that stress will eventually take its toll. Pay off your debts. Pay them down as soon as you can. Make a conscientious effort to rid yourself of your debts and then make it happen.
9. Take Control of Your Health
You are an adult (I assume all of you are)! There is no one else who is going to take care of you! Avoiding things like a yearly check-up at the doctor’s, dental check-ups, appointments for sight and hearing (and anything else you may be avoiding health wise!) is irresponsible, frankly. You need to take charge of your health before your health isn’t there.
As someone who works in health care, I all too often see the result of not taking care of yourself over the years, and how seemingly small things truly do add up over time. It’s your duty to take care of the body you’re in and make sure it’s in working order! This includes, but isn’t limited to exercise, eating well, getting enough sleep, and checking in with a health care professional.
10. Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone
I’m telling you right now, nothing great happens inside of your comfort zone. It’s where you take those leaps and bounds outside of your comfort zone that all of the magic happens. Growth is a direct result of making yourself uncomfortable and pushing yourself beyond what’s comfortable. You owe it to yourself and your potential to step outside of your comfort zone. Whether this is signing up to a gym or travelling solo across Europe or starting your own business. Do the thing that scares you the most and get out there!
Related Post: Your Best Year Yet: Making Yourself a Priority
11. Remove a Toxic Person From Your Life
Whether that person is just a friend on Facebook, or in real life, they need to go. Maybe they’re a family member or a co-worker. It doesn’t matter, you owe it to yourself to surround yourself with people who uplift you, love and support you. Repeat: you do not need to keep toxic people in your life regardless of their connection.
12. Take a Break
Working until you’re burnt out and disgruntled is not only detrimental to your health, but detrimental to your productivity. In order to be successful you don’t need to be working yourself into the ground every day. Maybe it’s just a day, a week or however long you deem, but do the unthinkable and take a break. You owe it to yourself and your well-being to take a break for a little while and recharge.
13. Try Something That Scares the Shit Out of You
Of course we all have our fears, the things we absolutely dread doing. But sometimes to bring us closer to our goals, avoiding the thing that scares the shit out of you may be the one thing holding you back. Whether it’s actually starting a new journey, going somewhere you’ve never been, applying for a job you think you won’t get, etc., it may be the one thing thats going to completely change your life. I’m challenging you to sit down, look at all of the things you’re terrified of doing, and then rationalize: is there a way you can try just one to break out of your comfort zone?
14. Put Yourself in Someone Else’s Shoes
Cliche maybe, but actually giving it a try is harder than it looks. Instead of continuing an argument with someone, maybe try to see where they may be coming from. Holding a grudge? Do you know what the other person’s intentions truly were? Sometimes we can get so caught up in our own expectations of people that we forget other’s current struggles, point of view and current situation. Try to see something from someone else’s perspective and see how it changes your own view.
15. Fall in Love with the Mundane
Everyone is always reminiscing on the big moments: getting engaged, graduating, landing the dream job, etc. But those big moments don’t always happen that often. Falling in love with your life doesn’t mean creating big moment after big moment, it mainly focuses on enjoying the little moments that we do daily. Like waking up and having a cup of coffee before the whole house is awake, enjoying the first page of a crisp new book, making last minute weekend travel plans to a nearby city. Learn to savour the smallest of moments & make them the highlight.
Bonus: try writing down one moment each day you are grateful for/made you smile for an entire year!
16. Become a Tourist in Your Own City
I don’t just mean for the weekend, I mean truly dedicate yourself to finding the most hidden gems your city has to offer. Learn to know your home like the back of your hand. From restaurants to local shops to hotels to parks, uncover every hidden space. Become so well versed in your own city you could write a detailed itinerary for any visitor. Enjoy the adventures as you uncover some of the best food, entertainment and people.
17. Decide to Change One Thing
It’s common to get wrapped up in quantity when we think of wanting to make a change. We over-estimate our abilities to handle many changes at once and pile them on there, only to be disappointed when they all fall through. Try to choose just one thing to change, whether it’s creating a new habit, working on a personality trait or whatever it is you feel needs rejuvenating, and work on just that one thing. Once you master that, you can move onto the next, but try to just change one thing at a time.
18. Read 1 Chapter of a Book Each Day
I’m often guilty of proclaiming I don’t have time to read. Well, if I try to sit down and read an entire book, then I definitely don’t have time. If reading is something you wish you had more time to do, break it down into manageable chunks. Start with a chapter a day. You absolutely have time to carve out 20 minutes to yourself to sit, immerse yourself in a book and relax.
Bonus: try alternating your favourite genre with personal development books, that way you’ll be working on yourself while still making time for pleasure reads!
19. Invest in Yourself
Investing in yourself is time or money that is never wasted. While this may look like taking up a new skill, taking a class, or investing money into something that will mentally, emotionally or physically better you, it will never go to waste. Make the effort this year to invest in an area of your life you feel is lacking, or simply to further yourself.
20. Make a New Friend
Each individual person on this planet brings a unique perspective to the table, and sometimes that is what you need to spice up your life. Inviting new people into your life can seem scary, and frankly as we get older, we find it a little harder to do. Make the leap and try to make one new friend.
21. Start Taking Care of Your Skin
Whether your current routine needs a little spicing up or you don’t have a routine at all, you need to start taking care of your skin. Your skin is your largest organ, and is often forgotten about when it comes to taking care of ourselves. This goes beyond introducing new products into your life, I’m talking sunscreen, proper hydration, non-toxic products and monthly skin checks (especially for those who live in sunnier climates). Take charge of your skin and your health this year by starting a routine that not only covers the skin on your face, but your entire body!
22. Go to a Concert or Music Festival
There’s just something about live music that’s good for the soul, amiright? When was the last time you went to a concert? (some of the answers I’ve gotten to this are frightening!) Going to concerts is something people tend to put on the back burner when it comes to considering entertainment. I’m saying take the leap and invest in live music! Not only is it a feel good activity, it can easily double as a social activity or date night!
Tip: if financial reasons are what’s holding you back from attending concerts, check for places like Kiji or Groupon – they sometimes have discounted prices on tickets! Or simply try your luck with radio stations!
23. Laugh. A lot.
When was the last time you full out busted out a belly laugh? Who were you with? What were you doing? Recreate that. Laughing really is the best medicine and truly has several health benefits (you can check them out here!) If you have a hard time remembering the last time you really laughed about something, you aren’t laughing enough. Find more time to incorporate fun and humour into your life (seriously, your body and mental health will thank you).
24. Waste Less
It’s no secret climate change is becoming more of a publicized issue. While you can choose to believe it isn’t happening, the truth is it’s happening. We need to make more individual changes – any small bit helps. This year, find a way to waste less – whether that’s purchasing reusable food containers (I personally prefer glass!), improving your recycling habits, eating less meat, choosing to thrift over buying new, etc., start making a habit that sticks and waste less!
25. Practice Gratitude Daily
Practicing gratitude is the key to unlocking a world of potential. Gratitude focuses on being grateful and thankful towards what we already have. The truth is, when we focus on the good, the good gets better. Not only does gratitude offer a plethora of health benefits, it improves your overall state of being. Practicing gratitude also primes you for practicing The Law of Attraction, which is a significant factor in unlocking all of your potential!
One Last Thing
While it’s tempting to do more than one at once, try your best to focus on one. Creating New Year’s resolutions isn’t meant to be resentful or a chore, it’s meant to focus on something you’d like to change in the new year. Some people don’t need a ‘set start’ to begin their changes, some people do and that’s okay. Use this list to inspire you to make a change in your life, or to pick up a new idea for something you want to accomplish this year! However this list inspires you, go with it!
What’s one thing you’d love to accomplish this year? (Off of this list or off of your own!) Tell me in the comments below!