Mollie Hawkins
December 31, 2015 8:57 am

Around this time last year I made myself a list. I didn’t call it “New Years Resolutions for 2015,” but instead called it “Proposals for 2015.” See, I’ve never been one for resolutions. We all get bored with the whole “I want to lose 5/10/50 pounds/get real buff” and then call it quits when our new gym crush sees us drop our phone on the treadmill and watches, in complete pity/awe, as it ricochets off the belt and into the wall. Or we give up on our health challenges once we rediscover the scones at our daily coffee shop. Because those little stinkers are delicious. We’re so used to seeing all the magazine covers this time of year touting “New Year: New You,” and the focus is all about punishing yourself to make up for all the “bad stuff” you did the previous year (see also: delicious scones). In 2015 I decided that was total b.s. and instead did something different. My “proposals” were all about doing positive.

It’s a simple concept. In all the frenzy of jobs, school, dating, and just trying to get through the day without collapsing into a frazzled puddle of grown-up-goo—it’s hard to remember to take a moment and just relax sometimes. Make a list. Mine was written in a little Moleskin book that I take with me everywhere. And for the first time, I was able to check off all my “resolutions” except one (hey, I still have a couple of weeks!), and it made 2015 seem pretty darn swell. I’m proposing we all make positive resolutions for 2016. Here’s some unconventional ideas for your own resolutions…settle in and remember: you got this.

Be kinder to yourself this year

What’s the fun in punishing yourself for all the weight/bad boyfriends/whatever you gained in 2015? This year focus on all the positive stuff you have going on in your life. Or just celebrate that day that your hair game was on point—because sometimes that makes all the difference. Treat yo’self to that chocolate that cost 5 bucks. But maybe only once a month, because that’s an expensive habit, you guys.

Put positivity out there—support the little guy!

Believe it or not, your voice can make a huge difference. For 2015, my friend Carrie decided to start a campaign called 30 Days of Local Praise that focused on writing one positive review for a local business on Yelp once a day for a month. Think about it: how many times do you go to research local brunch spots and all you see is a wall of negative reviews, a lot of them petty and undeserved? Well, here’s your chance to show some love for your favorite businesses. Snap pictures on IG and hashtag #localpraise. It’s a fun way to show off a local business and that gorgeous latte art.

Give your time to other people

Volunteer! It feels amazing to help others, and you’ll find that if you volunteer in a place you’re passionate about (like an animal shelter, because, puppies!), you will end up meeting some likeminded folks that could end up being your new best friend. Libraries are also great places to spend an hour every week in (trust us: there’s something zen about putting books in alphabetical order, not even kidding). Don’t know where to start? This website can help match you with an opportunity that matches your interests.

Make more time for people that make you laugh.

And less time for the ones that don’t. Because spending tons of time surrounded by people that continuously drag you down with their negativity (let’s face it: we all have those people in our lives) isn’t healthy. There’s a point where you have to step back and spend less of your positive energy on emotional brick walls. We all have “bad friend” days and love being there to help our pals out of their funks, but this year you should focus more on the good relationships and think about cutting out others. And  take an improv class together! Make 2016 filled with laughter.

Have adventures/do something you’ve never done before

Instead of joining a gym to lose weight, I joined a climbing gym so that I could get “ripped” (haha) enough to climb their walls. The idea terrified me. I’d never climbed before, and I thought it would be a fun place to meet people. 6 months later, I’d lost around 30 pounds on accident —I was happier and healthier—and not because I abstained or “dieted” my way to it. I had fun along the way, fell down a few times and didn’t care (and yes, I did drop my phone on the treadmill and watch it fly into the wall), and accidentally met my boyfriend there, Sam, after giving him the stink-eye for stealing my favorite rowing machine. I went on hikes. I took “city walks” around Sacramento and took photos of street art, trees, rusted buildings.

The point is—step outside your comfort zone this year, because you might be surprised at what you are capable of and the people that you might meet that will change your life for the better. Make 2016 the year of being kinder to yourself and others…because we’re all worth that love.

[Image via MGM ]

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