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15 Unconventional Resolutions to Spice Up Your New Year

Take a different route home.

You never know what you'll discover when wandering through an industrial area, down a side street, or onto a different train. This resolution only requires a once a week commitment, and I bet you’ll be addicted to discovering new things in no time!

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Keep a gratitude journal.

Writing 5 things you’re grateful for each day changes your focus from what's wrong in life to what's right. Your mood will improve, which will make it even easier to keep this resolution.

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Send handwritten thank you notes.

Emoji, texts, and emails are fast. Handwritten notes, on the other hand, will make you stand out from the crowd. Plus, it’s fun to buy new stationery and stamps!

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Plant, tend, and harvest.

Plant flowers, herbs, or vegetables in a pot or in the ground. Tend them while they grow, then harvest them to liven up your table. This will keep you committed to something, and you may discover you have a green thumb. 

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Write yourself a letter of encouragement.

In this letter, state all of the things you'd like to happen during the year. Put it away and read it next year to gauge your progress. This resolution should restore your faith in the practice, because there is no failure option. 

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Learn a new language.

If French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, and Hindi don't interest you, try sign language. Not only will you be able to meet so many more people, but you may be inspired to take the trip of a lifetime!

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Do at least one thing that scares you.

Choose something that makes you nervous! Skydiving, yoga, entering a contest, singing a solo, or vacationing by yourself are great options. Make sure it’s nothing you’re too uncomfortable with, or you could end up losing faith in New Year’s resolutions all over again.

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Get to know your neighbors.

Don't just give the occasional wave when you leave for work. Have them over for tea, coffee, or a glass of wine on the porch. Who knows? Maybe you’ll make a new best friend to help you celebrate the good times and encourage you during the hard times this coming year.

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Give time instead of money.

Choose a charity and volunteer your time. A hands-on experience brings a different perspective and priceless rewards.

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Learn a new skill.

There are hundreds of possibilities from which to choose! Knit, sew, bake, ride a unicycle, build a website, fly a plane, make jewelry, paint, swim, or build furniture.

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Adopt a senior.

Of the 1.4 million elderly people in long-term care in the US, many have few visitors. Choose one to visit once a week. You’ll make your year brighter, as well as someone else’s. 

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Buy a stranger's dinner.

Occasionally pick up the tab for a stranger in a restaurant. Simply let your waiter know to bring you the check. You’ll start a new string of “pay it forward” to make the year a little better for everyone. 

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Actively listen.

While in conversation, use all your senses to fully concentrate on what is being said. Engaged listening can bridge many gaps and build understanding and trust. Mended work and personal relationships may be just what you need to make this year the best yet!

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Practice saying no.

Sometimes it's hard to disappoint, but there are times when it's best to just say no. Leaving things hanging can disintegrate trust, and always saying yes can disintegrate your spirit. Improving these two things can help make this coming year a great one!

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Unplug and sit still.

This sounds easy enough, but can you sit still and alone for 30 minutes a day? No TV, no music, no phone, and no social media allowed. Try it and find out! You might just discover some inner truth that will enlighten the new year. 

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