A new year comes along and we all make a resolution. This year, however, I don’t have one firm goal. Rather, I’d like to make a conscious effort to become a more well-rounded human being. I have a tendency to take the easy way out – watch trash television, sit in front of my computer, stay home and do the same old thing. Don’t get me wrong, I think we all deserve a bit of comfort, but this year I want to push myself to do more and I’m sure a lot of you guys feel the same way. After all, there’s a whole world out there for the taking. So here are some ideas for growing yourself as a person.
1. Spend time with animals
Being with animals is one of the best therapies possible. It’s truly wonderful. If you don’t have a pet, offer to walk your friends dog when you can or sign up to help at your local shelter. It’s a win for both you and the fuzzy little creatures.
2. Join a sports team/exercise
Everybody knows exercise is both healthy for the body and mind. Exercising makes you feel more energetic and happy. It gives you a sense of achievement and self worth. Try looking at drop in sports at your local rec center.
3. Practice breathing/meditation
You don’t have to be spiritual to practice meditation. Mindfulness meditation focuses on being in the moment and letting go of everything else. You use your breathing to relax your body and focus your attention. If you tend to harbor anxiety or you’re someone that ruminates a lot on negative feelings, I think meditation would benefit you. I’ve really enjoyed using UCLA’s weekly podcasts and I know a lot of people love the Headspace app.
4. Face a fear
Start small. If you’re nervous about traveling around the city, for example, plan a route and take a trip there. My counselor had me do just that and it gave me a nice sense of achievement without overwhelming me. Figure out what you want to achieve and start making moves in that direction.
The memories you make traveling are ones that you will carry forever. At least that’s been my experience. If it’s not possible to do a Eurotrip, that’s fine. Something closer to home can equally change up the scenery and give you a different perspective.
6. Spend time outside
One of my favourite things to do is to sit out by the lighthouse where I used to live, look out on the ocean and let the fresh air fill my lungs.
7. Lose yourself in music
Music is like food for your soul man! Sometimes you need to cry your eyes out to Damien Rice and sometimes you need to twerk your ass off to the Biebs. Whatever it is, turn that mother trucker UP and DO IT.
8. Read more
I’m terrible about sitting down and reading. The sad thing is, I really enjoy reading, I just don’t often do it because it’s more effort than watching TV. But reading is so much more stimulating for your imagination. You get to visually create this world that you’re reading about and there’s something much more rewarding in that.
9. Learn a new skill set
Learn to sew. Learn to write calligraphy. Learn to dance. Learn calculus (any interest there?). There’s got to be something you’ve always wanted to do. Do it.
10. Cook your own food
This year try being a gluten free, vegan, paleo crossfitter. Lololol. Just kidding. But do try to prepare your own food. It’s so much healthier and rewarding than eating processed food. I find being organized is the only way I can do it. Check out r/mealprepsunday for some ideas on how to get organized. And it terms of cookbooks to get you in the mood… What Katie Ate is one of the most beautiful, inspiring ones I’ve ever come across. She also has a blog.