Friends might already be mourning the passing of another year and setting hopes and expectations for 2016, but this year isn’t over yet! 2015 still has a good 30 days, and a lot can happen in 30 days.
If you’ve come to the end of this year anxious, tired, and with a little regret, you’re not alone. Time flies and time crawls, but we can feel especially nostalgic in December. Most of us struggled to keep our New Year’s resolutions– and many of us were surprised by unexpected ups and downs this year. For whatever reason, 2015 might not have been all that you hoped it would be.
New Year, Old You?
Somehow we think that January is a good month to change all the bad habits we regret indulging in December. But the truth is, change happens whenever we make it happen— and change is difficult no matter what month we’re in. The reason why years go by and we still haven’t created new habits is perhaps that we’re trying to do it all at once.
There is too much pressure on January, and what we really need to do is to see value in the moments we have right now. I’ve compiled a list of goals I have for the rest of this year (and going into next year). Let’s not lay 2015 to rest just yet!
10 Realistic Goals for the End of 2015
1) Call that friend you’ve been meaning to call all year.
“I’ll call you this week” eventually becomes “I’ll call you soon,” and then that call gets forgotten. In a digital age we often forget that actually picking up the phone and having a vocal conversation can have many benefits. So if there’s a friend you haven’t spoken to in a long time, give them a ring. You never know what an encouragement it could be for them to hear your voice.
2) Go for that early morning walk. Schedule it with a family member or neighbor and just talk.
We love the idea of walking– so why don’t more of us do it? If it’s warm enough outdoors, then bundle up and enjoy the crisp morning air. It will likely leave your refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
3) Make that new recipe for your next holiday gathering.
Have you ever thought to yourself, I’ve always wondered how to make ____! Well, holiday recipes abound on Pinterest, and the holidays are the perfect time to prepare and share. Bring your new creation to the next holiday gathering to share your accomplishment!
4) Look up that charity you were impressed with and send them a donation.
If you’re like me, you have about 20 charities flagged in your mind for later giving. But, like the friend we keep forgetting to call, it is all too easy to have every intention of giving without actually giving. Many charities have fun options this time of year, so it’s a great time to make your donation.
5) Bring those unwanted items you decluttered to a secondhand store.
Today’s adults love decluttering– but we’re not so good at putting those unwanted items in the car and actually driving them to a secondhand store (or the dump). Bring your simplifying mission to completion by putting things where they belong; once they leave your home, they’re likely to finally find their second home.
6) Dig out your water bottle and start hydrating sufficiently.
‘Tis the season to drink hot holiday coffees, apple cider, festive cocktails, spicy teas– anything but plain water. But it’s also the most important time of year to hydrate well, especially with all the holiday gatherings and heated air. It’s just as important to drink water in the winter as it is in the summer!
7) Buy a gift for a child who will otherwise not receive one.
Find a program through your local community center, church or homeless shelter that is collecting gifts for under-resourced families. Many times the children in these families won’t receive anything unless it is given to them by generous hearts outside their circumstances.
8) Set aside an evening just for family and loved ones.
In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we sometimes forget to demonstrate our love for those closest to us. Even time at home with a board game and cookies can become a precious memory amidst the busy-ness.
9) Get up early one (or more) day of the week to reflect, journal, meditate or pray.
What a difference those moments of peace can make in a day that will be full of ups and downs. This has been a personal goal of mine, and I’ve failed to achieve it. I think if I’m able to set aside just one morning, it can happen. I’ll be working on this in the next several weeks.
10) Finish a book you started and enjoyed– any of them.
I’m no advocate of finishing a book you don’t love (there are just too many books in the world), but there are likely books that you would like to finish. I’ve become accustomed to keeping books in my car, or developing a habit of opening my Kindle app whenever I get the chance. I recently finished this book about the importance of our 20s and loved it!