19 Teeny-Tiny Resolutions for a Happier 2019
Instead of telling you how to completely turn around your life or unlock your limitless potential (there are lots of people on Medium who are happy to do this), here’s a list of teeny-tiny things you can do to feel just a little bit better in 2019.
These New Year’s resolutions won’t make you a millionaire or give you the body of your dreams, but they might make your day a little better. And if you make most of your days a little better, then your year will be better. That’s just math.
1. Text a friend you haven’t talked to in a while.
Even if it’s just to say you were thinking of them and you hope they’re having a good day. This will take about ten seconds and will make them feel loved and that love will probably be returned.
2. Park efficiently
This is one of my favorite little challenges. Take the few seconds to park in a way that there’s room for one more person on that stretch of curb. How great do you feel when you find a parking spot? You have the power to make someone else feel that way.
3. Put your takeout or frozen meal on a real plate.
When my roommate puts her Trader Joe’s salad in a ceramic bowl, I suddenly feel like I’m in a Michelin starred restaurant. Treat yo’self.
4. Keep a reusable cup in your car
Speaking of cars, try to keep a reusable cup in yours. Even if you forget to bring it into the coffee shop nine times out of 10, that’s one less cup you end up throwing in the trash. Not to mention, some places give a discount for bringing your own cup.
5. Tell someone at work how they helped you
It sucks when your job is harder because someone didn’t do theirs. Instead of waiting to be mad when that happens, make a point of saying thanks and telling someone when they do something to make your life easier. Even if it’s their job to do that in the first place.
6. Keep a fork at your desk
Better yet, keep a reusable spoon and knife there too. Obviously, this means less single-use plastic in the landfill, but it also means you never again have to go searching through the break room drawers to find a spare spork. Less frustrated fork-hunting, more eco-friendly munching.
7. Create a Pick-Me-Up folder on your phone
The next time you a take a picture or come across an image that makes you laugh or smile or well up with pride, add it to your cheer up folder of images. Silly GIFs are also great to have on hand when you need to be reminded that there’s good in the world.
8. Tell your partner, parent, child, or friend something you love about them
You know how you love when your kid makes their bed without being asked? Or how cute it is when your partner twirls their hair like that? Or how much you love your friend’s laugh? Tell them!
9. Leave an extra dollar when you tip
If you are able, of course. As a former server, I promise you that this makes a difference in our day.
10. Clean your freezer
If you’re anything like me, there are a few things that have been buried in that frozen tundra for far too long. If possible, donate before throwing out (though I know it’s much easier to donate non-perishables). Then wipe down the walls of your freezer. Hell, go crazy — wash your ice trays! You’ll feel so put-together!
11. Clean your ceiling fan.
It’ll be gross and satisfying. You’ll probably be shocked at how much dust and dirt has piled up. Cleaning your whole house is hard, cleaning your ceiling fan only takes about two minutes.
11. Take a walk. For no reason.
If you can’t go for a walk, go outside and get some sunshine. Look at a tree. Think about exactly what shade of blue the sky is. Listen closely for something you never notices.
13. Spend one minute writing a list of things you’re grateful for.
It makes your brain happy. When you’re focusing on what you want to acquire or achieve, it’s easy to forget all the wonderful things you already have. Your list doesn’t have to be full of profound, Earth-shattering things. I’m grateful for books and Diet Coke and sweatpants.
14. Dress a little nicer than usual
I will wear the same plain T-shirts and jeans until they disintegrate off my body and I get asked to leave Target. But once in a while, it’s nice to put in a little extra effort . You don’t have to impress anyone else, just put on something that makes you feel like a badass when you walk out the door.
15. Go to that thing. You know the one.
Pick some attraction in your town or city that you’ve never gotten around to visiting and set a date to go. It could be a hiking trail, a museum, a restaurant, or anything. For example, everyone who has ever been to San Diego has taken a picture on Potato Chip Rock. Maybe I’ll do that this year.
16. Give a compliment
It could be to a friend, coworker, stranger, or anyone. (Please consider context though. No need to be creepy.) Just saying “I like your shirt” can make someone smile.
17. Stretch for 5 minutes.
18. Do for thy neighbor
Next time you shovel your walk, rake your leaves, or mow your lawn, do your neighbor’s as well. It will probably only take a few more minutes and it will definitely make your neighbors more likely to feed your cat when you’re out of town.
19. Do a jigsaw puzzle.
I got one for Christmas. It’s super satisfying. They can be super easy or extremely difficult and you can take as long as you like.
We all want 2019 to be better than 2018. But whether you’re hoping to achieve an epic goal this year or are just trying to keep it together, you can use these little acts to bring a little joy to yourself and others.