Let’s mix it up and change how we make New Year’s resolutions. I propose we each commit to one personal goal and a companion goal to benefit the greater good. Extra credit for green resolutions.
Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for 2014
Each January we have an opportunity to start fresh, set new goals, or push the restart button on an uncompleted goal. New Year’s resolutions are typically related to self-improvement or development and involve promising ourselves we will stop or start doing something.
Statistic Brain compiled the following list of the top 10 New Year’s resolutions for 2014.1
- Lose Weight
- Get Organized
- Spend Less, Save More
- Enjoy Life to the Fullest
- Stay Fit and Healthy
- Learn Something Exciting
- Quit Smoking
- Help Others in Their Dreams
- Fall in Love
- Spend More Time with Family
I’ve also seen New Year’s resolutions to travel more, reduce stress, or get a new job.
3 Tips to Making Doable New Year’s Resolutions
We can achieve our New Year’s resolutions by keeping in mind that when the calendar flipped to January 1st, 2014 we were not magically imbued with special powers enabling us to accomplish grandiose goals with no effort on our part. Let’s choose goals we want to accomplish that suit who we are and fit within our daily lives. Below are three tips to making doable New Year’s resolutions.
- Own It: choose a resolution you actually want to accomplish and are willing to put some work into. Be honest with yourself. Don’t make a resolution just to please someone else.
- Define It: make a resolution that is specific and measurable so you know what success looks like and can map out how to achieve it.
- Make it Real: select a resolution that you can realistically accomplish.
For more help on goal setting, read New Year’s Resolution – Make it SMARTER.
Reimagining 2014 New Year’s Resolutions
Using the top 10 list above, the three examples below illustrate how we can reimagine our 2014 New Year’s resolutions to include a personal goal and a companion goal for the greater good.
Personal Goal: “Clear out and organize my garage so I can park my car in it.”
For the Greater Good: when faced with a garage full of boxes, bags, and piles of stuff, it is tempting to simply rearrange things or toss them in the trash. But imagine the feeling of clearing out your garage and giving some of your unneeded and unused belongings a second life with people who do need and will use them. You can make this a reality by sorting, collecting, and giving away items you don’t use now and won’t use in the future (be honest).
Green Credit: giving an item a second, third, or longer life reduces it’s carbon footprint by making use of the resources and energy already expended to extract materials, manufacture, and transport it. Keeping stuff out of landfills reduces waste and eliminates pollution that would result from discarded items leaching toxins into the soil and water or emitting them into the air.
Stay Fit and Healthy
Personal Goal: “Increase my whole fruit and vegetable intake from 1 serving or less a day to at least 5.”
For the Greater Good: since grocery markets stock many of the same fruits and vegetables all year we may not realize what is in season at any given time or where it came from. You can improve your health and support your community by buying some or all of your produce locally and in season, extra credit for organic. Imagine buying a head of lettuce from a local farmer that is so fresh it will last for 2 weeks or longer in your refrigerator.
Green Credit: buying local food reduces greenhouse gas emissions by decreasing the number of miles your food travels from the farm to your plate. Local food is picked within a day or two of when you buy it so it stays fresh longer which results in less food waste. Purchasing whole fruits and vegetables prevent extra energy and resources from being used for processing and packaging.
Help Others in Their Dreams
Personal Goal: “I will set aside $X dollars a month to help fuel the dreams of my child, niece, nephew, grandchild, or foster child, to go to college, learn a trade, or start a business someday.”
For the Greater Good: crowdfunding and microfinance platforms make it possible for individuals to donate or loan small amounts of money to people, nonprofits, and small businesses across town or across the globe. Imagine contributing to the construction of a solar farm in a remote town with no electricity, a grocery market in a neighborhood with only fast food restaurants and liquor stores, or a community park on a vacant lot in an urban neighborhood. With a small additional amount, you can help make the dreams of a child and someone else come true. Find a cause that speaks to you and make a donation or loan.
Green Credit: invest in projects, organizations, or businesses focused on clean technology, green products, or sustainable food.
Imagine what we could collectively accomplish as individuals by putting a new spin on our New Year’s resolutions for 2014.
- 5 Reasons to Try Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
- 10 Green New Year’s Resolutions for 2015
- 10 Green New Year’s Resolutions for 2013
- Building Social Business – Book Review
- Give Old Electronics a Second Life – Help Others & Be Green
- Green Investing – New Year’s Resolution
- Mircofinance Institutions (MFIs) and Organizations
- New Year’s Celebrations – Go Green
- New Year’s Resolution – Make it SMARTER
- Renewable Energy – Solar Power
- Spring Decluttering – Deciding, Sorting, and Parting Ways
- HubSpot – 7 Top Crowdfunding Sites for Nonprofits and Higher-Ed Institutions, by Taylor Corrado, 2013/09/09
- Innovation for Social Change – My 10 favorite Crowdsourcing platforms for social good, by Guadalupe de la Mata, 2013/09/03
- TriplePundit – Crowdfunding Platforms: What You Should Know, by Priscilla Burgess, 2013/06/25
- Wikipedia – Crowdfunding
- Wikipedia – Microfinance