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3 New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Want to Make – and Keep!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll WANT to Make - AND Keep!

There are two types of New Year’s Resolutions. First, the ones that you are making again (lose weight, eat healthy, exercise, get organized, stop procrastinating, blah, blah, blah) Second, the ever popular I-resolve-NOT-to-make-New-Year’s-Resolutions resolution. Both categories are so tired, they should be permanently retired! We are ready for a new-and-improved New Year’s Resolution category – resolutions we look forward to keeping! Here are three that fit nicely into our new category.

  1. The Jar. This idea has been circulating in various forms for the past couple of years and I expect it will be around for years to come – because the results are so positive. The simple premise is you leave a container in a place that you see often and drop in notes throughout the year to commemorate moments, events, thoughts  – whatever you want. At the end of the year you read your notes. I did it this year for the first time, and my husband and I will read through the notes as part of our stay-at-home New Year’s Eve celebration. Our jar was a simple quart canning jar that I left on the kitchen counter – in spite of the fact that it matched nothing! I put a couple of mini notepads inside as well as a pen so that it was convenient to write our notes. I remember some of the notes I dropped in over the past year – a surprise visit from a dear friend, a stupid joke that had us laughing until our eyes watered, the trio of goats that showed up in our back yard. What I’m really looking forward to is reading over the notes I forgot about – and appreciating the moments all over again! As the months went on we found ourselves talking about “a laugh that will make the jar” and referring to events as a “jar moment.” Writing the notes not only magnify the appreciation of what is good or special in the moment, it records a memory to be enjoyed again later. And all for zero cost and a time investment of occasional minutes!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll WANT to Make - AND Keep!

2. A year of Christmas Spirit. One of the wonderful things about the holiday season is it seems to soften hearts and promote generosity. Giving and acts of kindness are at an all-time high during the month of December. Soup kitchens are overrun with volunteers wanting to help serve and an abundance of carolers cheer up nursing home residents. Then comes January, and everyone is all niced-out. But the needs of others don’t get put on hold until the next holiday. And our own need to get outside of ourselves and help others (which can put our own problems and challenges in perspective) doesn’t end when the last holiday decoration is boxed up. Calendar in a monthly act of kindness, generosity, or encouragement. Whether it is twelve months of support for a specific charity (rocking babies, sorting books, serving food, . . . ), twelve different selections (sending a note of encouragement to somebody, mowing another’s lawn, putting a potted plant on a neighbor’s porch . . . ) or something in between, it’s all good. Not only do others benefit from your resolution, but studies show that such acts of kindness benefit the doer physically, spiritually, and emotionally. The ultimate win-win!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll Want to Make - AND Keep

3. Blast back to your past. Commit to a year of lightening up, letting your inner child have a playdate, and go retro. Make a monthly date with yourself (or with a pal) to take a step back in time with something you enjoyed from the past. Whether you  schedule an activity (bowling? swinging at a playground?), watching a movie from “the day” (anybody remember Parent Trap?) or indulging in that blast-from-the-past treat (helloooooo Sander’s Bumpy Cake!!), be intentional about staying young at heart!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll WANT to Make - AND Keep!

Set yourself up for success and productivity by making a New Year’s resolution (or three!) that you will look forward to keeping!



  1. love this! definitely going to try the jar one. Hope you have a great 2016

  2. Great stuff!! I especially like the idea of reaching out to others all year round. I’m keeping my jar going this year too. Happy New Year to you both!

    1. The jar is definitely a repeat for us in the coming year – it was fun to be reminded of moments that were meaningful over the past year. One of the lovely things about 2015 was connecting with you Pauline – and I have some beautiful sunshiny sparkles to remind me of that! We both wish you a wonderful and Happy New Year!

  3. Good stuff hear, ladies! I don’t have a jar, but I have a journal and it’s been eye-opening this past year.
    Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks, Jill. One of the fun things about the jar is that spouses can deposit notes, too – so some of the content could be a surprise to the other at the end of the year. We don’t have kids, but I bet that would add another element of interest – or maybe each child could have their own jar. Oh, the possibilities! Hope your 2016 is especially blessed, my friend!

  4. Thanks for these suggestions–setting up my jar tonight and making a concerted effort to get outside myself on the other two.

  5. Great ideas here. I’ve been doing the jar thing for awhile now. Happy New Year! 🙂

    1. My husband enjoyed the reminders of what had gone on in 2015 (we read them on New Year’s Eve) enough that I think he may be more inclined to participate in the actual note-writing this year – which will make it even more enjoyable for me! Happy New Year, Debby!

  6. I’m in love with #3! This is the most original, fun idea I’ve heard in a long, long time! Thanks!!

  7. Great post. I’ve enjoyed doing the jar before; now I’m looking forward to trying the year of Christmas spirit!

      1. Well, I just had a meeting with the director of a local nonprofit about being part of the steering committee for either their young adult or women’s leadership program. I’ll be talking with the director of those programs soon to see which will be a better fit. I also met with a social worker at a cancer treatment center today about leading a drumming circle there. She said she’d love to have me!

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