When it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, many of us think about what we could be doing less of (unhealthy eating, smoking, drinking, etc.). But what about doing more in 2015 to help become your best self? By Carly Petrone.
Sign up to do something adventurous – dare we say something out of your comfort zone? There are plenty of activities that can be done right here in New York City to get your adrenaline pumping. Get over your fear of heights by taking a trapeze or rock climbing class or take an improv class to help get over shyness or fear of public speaking. You may just surprise yourself.
Looking to relax more this year? Winding down from a long workweek or getting a break from a stressful situation doesn’t have to cost a lot of money (or a gym membership fee). Stream a yoga class online, get a bunch of friends together and create your own obstacle course, or take advantage of free outdoor park space and play a game of pickup basketball or soccer. If you do end up with some extra cash to spend, splurge on a massage or spa treatment to rejuvenate and replenish yourself for what’s ahead.
If making new connections is important to you try signing up for a meetup group, where you can find other people in your neighborhood with similar interests. From screenwriting to belly dancing, there’s a group where everyone can feel comfortable and make new friends. It’s also a wonderful way to meet people if you’re new to a city or if a move is in your immediate future and you’d like to get a jumpstart on creating a sense of community. When it comes to more of a romantic connection, try something fun like attending a supper club or throwing a singles party where everyone who is invited has to bring one of their single friends. Who knows, your love connection could be right around the corner.
Helping others is always a nice thing to do, too. VolunteerMatch is a great way to find out where to find opportunities in specific cities around the U.S. while websites like Idealist allow you to plan your next vacation with a purpose. Specifically in New York City, you volunteer your time to help end hunger at City Harvest, teach children through New York Cares, or comfort someone during a personal crisis by answering calls with The Samaritans of New York. You can even reach out to NYC Service and search by zip code or area of interest to find opportunities in your neighborhood.
Finally, if there is anything you should be doing less of, it’s probably spending money. Limit your credit card debt this upcoming year by only charging what you can pay for each month and making sure you’re always paying off the cards with the highest interest rates. If saving money is more on your radar, try opening up a new bank account (separate from your checking and savings), where you can add in a small amount of money from your paycheck every month. By the end of the year, you’ll have some “play” money to use without feeling the guilt of charging your credit card. Another small change you can make is try adding in a tiny percentage (1%-2%) to your retirement plan or 401(k) – this can really make a big difference in the long run.
So get out there and try something new in 2015. Whether it’s an activity, a financial change, or making new connections, you can definitely make a big impact in your own life (and others) by making a small change.