(March 21st to April 19th)
1. Focus on problems in your life right now that need addressing, instead of putting a band-aid on these things and then focusing on outside stimuli (like travel or work) that you use to try to distract yourself.
2. Learn how to meditate. No one needs to learn how to meditate, and how to sit still, and how to live in the moment more than you.
3. Do one very small, but very nice, thing every day for someone else. This will help to remind you how much is going on in the world outside of your bubble.
(April 20th to May 21st)
1. Listen more than you talk.
2. Accept that you can’t control other people’s feelings – only your own.
3. Find more things that make you happy that you don’t need to depend on anyone else for – like exercising, or taking a class, or reading one book every month. This will remind you that loved ones are the most important thing, but you still need to find fulfillment on your own, too.
(May 22nd to June 21st)
1. When you feel yourself getting upset, start addressing your feelings instead of burying them and avoiding them. You can address them through writing, or talking to your best friend, or therapy – whichever (healthy) way you want to do it is the right way to do it.
2. Work on small ways you can be a better friend, and try a new thing every month. The key is doing small things, like texting someone that you’re thinking about them, or calling a friend you haven’t talked to in a long time, or sending an actual card to someone. When you try starting with smaller things, it seems way less intimidating and way more maintainable.
3. Show up to every single thing you commit to – work things, social things, personal enrichment things. Go to every single thing you say yes to (unless you are sick or really need a mental or emotional break), and use this year to become the person who’s dependable and never flakes.
(June 22nd to July 22nd)
1. Work on your ability to forgive. This doesn’t just have to mean actually forgiving someone to their face every single time – sometimes it’s just as helpful and important to forgive someone internally and let go of the anger you feel, for your own benefit and happiness.
2. Find a physical activity that lets you blow off steam and commit to it once a week. It can be a slower-paced physical activity like yoga or something as intense as rock climbing or anything in between.
3. Try something that lets you make friends outside of your solidified comfort zone of familiar people – an exercise class, a church group, a Meetup group, whatever. It’s time that you give yourself a chance to branch out and meet people who are different than you.
(July 23rd to August 22nd)
1. Develop some more humility by taking a class in a subject you know nothing about but have always been fascinated by.
2. Get to know a coworker who you’ve never spent much time talking to in the past. Ask them questions, remember things about their family and friends, and work on being someone who listens and remembers things about people – it’s one of the most meaningful things in the world.
3. Be generous with yourself sometimes too – you’re always doing thoughtful things for other people, but it’s okay to sometimes take a break and do something nice for yourself – a spa day, a quiet evening at home, a delicious meal at a restaurant, whatever makes you happy and relaxed.
(August 23rd to September 22nd)
1. Stop looking at your phone before bed. Just STOP. Half an hour before bed, put your phone somewhere where you can’t easily reach over to it.
2. Find three more long-term things that will make you feel better or happier or more relaxed instead of always going to short term stuff like alcohol and food and shopping and anything else of that nature. Things like alcohol and food and exciting purchases are perfectly wonderful in moderation, but you need to find 3 long-term solutions that will help you with your anxiety – such as yoga, walking, therapy, healthier eating/cooking, exercise classes, self-help books – WHATEVER HELPS.
3. Put more energy into the friends who show up for you and support you and make you happy, instead of dividing your time and energy between the friends that deserve you and the friends that don’t.
(September 23rd to October 22nd)
1. Do not look at your phone when you’re with your friends. As in, if you need to check it every once in a while, fine. But when you’re at a restaurant or you’re having a drink together or you’re just having a fun time hanging out at one of your places, put it on silent and put it in your bag and stop looking at it.
2. Stop waffling on decisions. You can take some time on things if you need to, but every important decision you make needs to happen with a firm ‘yes’ or ‘no’ instead of you just passively sliding into it.
3. Absorb more content in your life that helps you form decisions and opinions on your own – make an effort to read the news every day (even 5-10 minutes is great), read more books, watch documentaries, go to lectures, watch lectures online, read articles from reputable publications. Bring more content into your life that helps you learn and figure out how you feel about things, instead of just unintentionally taking on the opinions of your parents or friends.
(October 23rd to November 22nd)
1. Do a real, intimidating, and honest deep dive into why you struggle with jealousy and secrecy. Do this in whatever way you think will help you most: self-help books, online seminars or lectures, therapy, talking to loved ones. Whatever is going to help you figure out why you struggle with needing to control things and keep things from others.
2. Spend less time on social media. No one is telling you to quit cold turkey, but spend less time, even if that means you are on it ten less minutes per day in the beginning and you work your way up from there. That is how it will seem manageable and doable long-term.
3. Find a very specific hobby that is completely unrelated to whatever you do at work, and make time for it at least once a week.
(November 23rd to December 21st)
1. Write down a list of things you want to accomplish at the beginning of every month. Then track it throughout the month and review it at the end of each month. Make these measurable, tangible goals.
2. Hold yourself accountable to your 2018 goals, resolutions, and ambitions by talking to your friends about them, getting advice from people you trust, and rewarding yourself in small and healthy ways when you achieve something that’s important to you.
3. Be more organized. You don’t have to turn your life upside down, but start creating little habits that help you feel like you have more control over the little details in your life – productivity apps, to-do lists, semi-annual purges of your belongings, etc.
(December 22nd to January 20th)
1. Find more ways to relax outside of work – and none of these relaxation techniques can be related to work in any way (meaning, no seminars or work-related books or anything that keeps your mind on work). Do something that takes your mind completely outside of your career and puts it into a totally different category for a chunk of time.
2. Stop answering non-urgent work emails after 7 pm every single night.
3. Let volunteering become part of your life in some way. Help out at a non-profit once a month or run races that benefit important causes or find some other way to give back regularly in your day-to-day life.
(January 21st to February 18th)
1. Learn how to lean more willingly on your loved ones – call your sister when you’re having a hard month, ask your mom for advice, text your friend when you’ve had a bad day and ask if they can come over or meet up with you at a bar. Start leaning on the people who actually want to help you.
2. Look up. Make eye contact with people. Watch the world around you. How often? All the time. Let this become a regular part of your life and a regular thing that you do.
3. Make more time in your life for a humanitarian cause that you’ve always cared about and wanted to get more involved in. If not now, when will you ever do it?
(February 19th to March 20th)
1. Do more things for yourself and don’t tell people about it – save up for a luxury item you really want, take a class, join a gym, make space in your daily routine for the creative medium that you care about. Do it for you.
2. Learn how to actually enjoy being alone. Even though you really prefer not to be by yourself, find things that make you love it – through books, television series you bingewatch only when you’re alone, creative hobbies, whatever. Just figure out a way to love your own company.
3. Start speaking up for yourself. Start going after what you want and what you deserve. Start telling people when they’ve hurt you.