Honestly, 2016 was a tough year. It doesn’t matter what color state you live in, what you eat for breakfast, or what car you drive – it was just a tough year. So instead of going after goals that sap your will to live, such as lose weight, eat more kale, or spend less money for 2017, we at Julianna Rae asked everyone here to contribute one New Year’s resolution that they wanted to do and then voted on the 7 options that met two criteria: 1) are achievable, and 2) would make 2017 a better year for all of us!
1. Ride a Donkey.
We know everyone can find a bike to ride, a cute Vespa, or even a horse but how about a donkey? Donkeys have been working with humans for more than 5000 years and have often been the animal of choice to help us get in and out of some very tricky terrain. Heck, half the fun will be finding a place to ride a donkey! And riding a mule counts if you want to do a Grand Canyon Mule Trip .
2. Plate your food.
See all those gorgeous pictures of food in magazines, blogs, Instagram and Pinterest? Making those meals look pretty is called “plating”. It turns eating into an experience and gives you an easy way to unleash your creativity. Take the time to arrange your food on the plate and add garnishes for color and visual appeal. Set your place with your beverage of choice in a nice glass (don’t use that broken chipped mug – save that for the morning coffee) and add a napkin and utensils. Take a minute to admire what you’ve done and what you’re about to eat and your meal will be that much more satisfying. We’re not saying to do this with every meal – start with just one meal a week. (You’ll find it so easy and enjoyable you will start doing it more often!)
3. Implement the 30 second parking space search rule.
Have you ever driven more than two minutes around a parking lot looking for the closest space or waited for someone to get out of their space because it was near the door? Not this year. Give yourself only 30 seconds to find a parking spot nearby. After that, just go as far as you need to go to find a space. You will save gas, burn some calories, contribute less pollution, and reduce your stress level. That’s a 4X win!
4. Send a physical card once a month to someone.
We know you probably have a few covered: the holidays, a few birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day. That leaves only a few you would have to send to fulfill this resolution. Because receiving a card is such a joy, send at least one each month to a friend, a relative, a neighbor, a service provider, or even a soldier you don’t know but who might appreciate a friendly note. Nothing fancy, just let them know you are thinking of them or say “Thank You,” or “I like your garden”!
5. Learn profanity in another language.
And use it. You will find that your language cleans up quite a bit as you will now have to pull an unfamiliar word from your head in order to express profanity and by the time you have found the word, the moment will have passed. And of course, if you get very used to these foreign words and they start coming naturally, well, you’ll be speaking another language and we’ve heard that makes people look very attractive to others.
6. Talk to someone from another country.
It will be good for both of you. It’s always fascinating to find out what it is like to grow up in another culture, and what their hopes and dreams are. Learning in what ways they are similar to – and different from – us helps in our understanding and enjoyment of humanity as a whole. One of the best experiences this writer has ever had was discovering the sense of humor people from other countries had – it wasn’t always the same but the joy they had in laughing was. Don’t know anyone in another country? Here’s how to get started.
7. Take an improv class.
Maybe you don’t intend to be a comic at any time in your life, but the skills you learn in an improv class will be useful throughout your life. What better and fun way to learn communication skills and to give you some tools to interact with people you don’t know? You’ll be well prepared to handle that next uncomfortable situation – because there is always a next uncomfortable situation. And if you do turn out to be really good at it, go ahead and become a comic!
Welcome 2017! Let us know if you have a resolution we should add to our list or if you try any of ours! Of course, our unspoken resolution for this year and really, should be kept every year, is always to relax more (we have just the outfit to do it in!), be kind to others, and keep discovering. The world is a really nifty place.