Every New Year's Eve, we take stock of our lives amidst a flurry of confetti, sparkly dresses and ties. We identify areas in need of an overhaul, and we make certain promises to ourselves to achieve the life goals we set. But this process is hardly foolproof.
First, it means you're only making resolutions once a year. What happens when you get off track, or — what normally happens to me — you completely forget what you resolved to do in the first place?
And it's perfectly understandable. New Year's resolutions tend to be a big deal. They're these giant goals that few among us are actually ready to take on. We vow that we're going to run a marathon, read a book every day and “be a better person” (whatever that means).
Yet what we really need throughout the year is a recalibration: A plan for climbing out of the rut we'll inevitably fall into, so we can attain that upgraded life we're striving for. It sounds difficult, but it's much easier than tackling a huge resolution once a year.
And the best part? You don't have to spend an inordinate amount of time or money to upgrade all areas of your life. There are simple ways to make it happen now. Here are 13 of them.
Join your local library.
Is there anything better than reading a great book? Indeed, there is: Reading a great book that is also free. And to do that, all you need is a membership to your local library. As a bonus to the savings, you'll get a quiet retreat from your fast-paced life — and a place to scope out a new love interest.
Get yourself a seltzer maker.
Without water, there would be no life on Earth. But sometimes even water needs an upgrade. What better way than with bubbles? Instead of hitting up the convenience store twice a day for sparkling water, get a seltzer maker and have it for free any time you want.
Reconnect with an old friend you've been missing.
We've all been there before: You're going about your day when, all of a sudden, someone you haven't talked to in eons pops into your head. Next time it happens, give that person a call. It's always nice to take a trip down memory lane.
Upgrade your music collection with a record player.
Sure, your favorite streaming service is convenient and gets the job done. But if you want to impress your squad the next time you have them over, upgrade your computer speakers for a record player. Before you know it, you'll have an extensive record collection — not to mention hipster cred among your friend group.
Take a bubble bath.
This one's easy. Whose life isn't instantly upgraded when they're relaxed in a bubble bath? A hot tub is a panacea for life's problems. Whether you're sick, tired or stressed, just take a nice bubble bath and go to bed early. I GUARANTEE you'll feel better in the morning.
Buy an impromptu cup of coffee for your boss.
Most of us have nice bosses. That's the plain and simple truth. So, the next time you think of it, buy your manager a cup of coffee. It will keep you in his or her good graces, AND — perhaps even more important — it will put your boss in a good mood. That's a win-win.
Put up holiday lights outside of winter.
If you can capture the magic of the holiday season all year long, why not? There's nothing better than mood lighting, and the soft glow of the lights will instantly brighten any (every) room in your home, both in radiance and in spirit.
Purchase a new phone cover instead of a new phone.
Similar lesson to the above: Unless your phone is really on its last legs, a new phone cover is an inexpensive way to hit the refresh button. I mean, you need it for the phone's protection anyway, right?
Buy a fresh bouquet of flowers.
Fresh flowers will add a dose of fragrance and color to your boring old table. Plus, there's really nothing better than coming home to a beautiful flower arrangement.
Set your alarm 10 minutes before you actually need to get up.
Sleep is great. But think of everything you could accomplish with an extra 10 minutes in your morning routine. You could do a quick yoga series, make an omelet or repeat motivational quotes to yourself in the mirror to get pumped up. The possibilities are endless.
Get new accessories instead of new clothes.
After you've donated your clothes, look at what remains. Instead of reaching the point where you consider purchasing an entirely new wardrobe, opt for accessories. A new belt or scarf can really turn things around and inject some life into your sartorial decisions.
Start following fitness experts on social media.
With social media and the Internet, we have oodles and oodles of information at our fingertips. Leverage those resources to find new workouts you can do in your home or at your local park. It's less expensive than joining a gym, and it's a good way to keep your exercise routine fresh.
Learn something new.
With all the money you'll be saving on the gym, enroll in a class to upgrade your knowledge base and skillset. Improv, pottery, creative writing, graphic design — it's all out there for the learning. So, what's stopping you?
Compensation for this post was provided by CLEAR CARE® via Elite Daily. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of CLEAR CARE® or Elite Daily.