A new year has begun, and once you shake the hangover or sleepiness from last night, you’ll eventually start to think of ways you can make 2014 the best year ever.
It doesn’t have to be a punishment, though. New Year’s Resolutions can be fun, raising the likelihood you’ll keep your word for more than a week or two.
I’ve been thinking of a few ways to make my 2014 even better, and I’d like to share a few fun ideas with you. Hopefully, you’ll adopt some of them.
– Clear the clutter: Sure, it seems obvious, but cleaning up your personal space makes for a more productive and relaxing environment. There’s bound to be some stuff lying around that you can get rid of; Don’t wait until Spring Cleaning to do it!
– Sell that clutter: You can even start the year with a few extra bucks in your pocket by selling clothes, furniture or electronics you no longer use. Sites like eBay make it easier than ever. Want it gone even sooner? eBay now has a program called Selling Assistant where a representative will pick up your items and sell them for you.
– Clean up your inbox: A buddy of mine mentioned how he unsubscribed from dozens of daily emails as his New Year’s Resolution, so I tried it. I can’t tell you how liberating it feels to not have the obligation of the daily delete-fest of emails from sites I’ve never actually visited before. Looking for a way to do it quickly and easily? You’ll have a lot of fun using Unroll.me.
(Photos: Breslanta’s Images of 2013)
– Start saving now: If you’re an adult and have a pulse, you should be saving money. Open an account with Charles Schwab or a similar website. You can build a portfolio of stocks or mutual funds, and it’s actually really fun to track every day – especially because the market has performed well recently. You don’t have to be dropping thousands of dollars into it every time you get paid. It adds up faster than you think. Every little bit is important.
– Get active: If you think this means joining a gym, it really doesn’t. The winter months are a bad time to take up outdoor activities for most of us, but in the South, it’s not that bad. Find a nature trail, bundle up and go for a run or bike ride. It’s cheap and easy to shed some calories. Then, when the weather gets warmer, think of ways you can have fun while staying active. Pick up a tennis racket or basketball and get after it. Those skills you had when you were younger probably need a little fine-tuning, anyway.
– Explore your area*: For Atlantans, this can be an expensive task. On the other hand, there are so many options for exploring breweries, parks, restaurants and sporting events on a budget. Get signed up for sites like Groupon and Scoutmob, and they’ll send you daily emails with loads of cheap offers for fun events. You should almost never pay full-price for restaurants because there are so many sites that offer discounted meals nowadays.
* Yes, I know I mentioned cleaning up your inbox. But these are emails you need and will actually want to browse every day.
– Learn a new skill: Make a goal to learn a new skill every month this year. Perhaps it could be changing your own oil or something less complicated, but at the end of the year, you’ll know how to do 12 new things, and that will make your life a lot easier the next time your skills are put to the test.