13 things for 2013
Every now and then I come across those lists of “X-ways to make 2013 the best year everrrrr,” and well, I click. Hoping to find some stranger tell me how to make a whole year the best it has ever been, I’m usually disappointed.
So maybe this list is a top-secret-personal-pseudo new year’s resolution list, or another crack at trying to figure out the things that actually improve someones year. Or maybe….it’s Thursday morning and I’m waiting for the sun to rise a little more because the light in our bathroom doesn’t work and I don’t want to shower in the dark.
Anyways, here are 13 things that I know will make my 2013 better, and maybe it will impact yours in some way too.
1. Find a cause you care about and devote time to it. Don’t just send a one-time check, but try to feel part of the organization. How that exactly works, I’m not so sure. But charities are responsive! Talk with them on Twitter, share it with your friends, write a blog post about it, sell something on Etsy and raise some money…get fun with it. Some of my favorites? Vitamin Angels, Kiva, Charity Water, Polaris Project, and Pencils of Promise.
2. Forget a small thing. I’ve become aware of some small things that stress me out on a daily basis. For one, my subway station is outside, meaning I have to walk up the stupid stairs. And when I see a train coming from down the street, I book it, sprinting with my three bags down three blocks and up three flights of stairs….. and then I still usually miss the train. And my legs are tired. And I stress. And then another one comes four minutes later.
3. Call people. Sometimes I am very bad at this. I think about my family and friends a lot, but in my brain that never translates to pick-up-phone-and-talk-to-them. Luckily my mom got me a mug for Christmas that says “text your mother.” It’s a good reminder. Call your family and friends more often.
4. Budget friendly. Take care of your finances if you gotta. Create a budget and actually see what you’re spending your money on. Open up smart bank accounts that give you actual interest. Make sure you have good credit, or open up a 401K (wait shit do I have to do this?). Just…figure it out. I recommend LearnVest, Mint, or….asking your dad. (Thanks dad!)
5. Give up a bad habit. Not all of them…just one or two. Do you snooze eight times in the morning? Eat dinner way too late? Are sometimes super passive aggressive? Pick something and throw it out the window. (But not literally if it’s your dinner…deliver that to me!) This piece on Zen Habits has some good advice on getting rid of them bad habits.
6. Go somewhere. If you don’t like to travel, you are lying. Book a plane ticket and just go somewhere. Please, just do it. If you can afford to go out drinking every weekend and eat out a few times a week, you can cut back on those things and take a trip. Use Kayak to find cheap tickets, and use the Lonely Planet to research places of interest.
7. Save up for something you just… really want. Maybe that’s a tattoo. Or a kitten. Or a computer that actually works. Find something and start saving. Any of the budgeting tools above can help with saving up and putting aside the moneys.
8. Say no. Stop doing things you don’t want to do. It’s not selfish to say no to someone if your heart’s not in it. Be honest with your friends, because they’ll love you no matter what. Learn how to say no here.
9. But don’t hide. Maybe it’s hypocritical, but some of my best nights have been the unexpected ones, or when I’ve been dragged out of my apartment. So don’t say no to everything. Try new things. Go to more museums or find a best friend and go to da club. Bite your tongue and go on a date. Or better yet, get on a first name basis with a local bartender and watch those free drinks fly.
10. Read. Read 13 books. I dare you. It’s easy. Here: a good list of top books from 2012! Or maybe treat yourself to The NYTimes weekender. Or download one of those apps (Instapaper, Pocket, Readability) that lets you save online articles and read them on your phone when you’re commuting.
11. And cook! Save money, be healthy, have dinner parties….it’s endless. Get Bittman’s How to Cook Everything if you’re lost, or read The Kitchn for some fun tips. Or check out 246 healthy recipes that are on Greatist!
12. Exercise happy. Find what kind of movement makes you happy. This past year I experimented a lot to figure out what I love. Running? Of course. Classes? Not so much. Lifting? Sometimes! Cross-training? Absolutely not. I’ve found a workout regime that works for me and now I do it without thinking because I love it.
13. Love a little more. Show and tell people you love them. Love is this scary four letter word that people stay away from. (Read this great post by Lauren about it). But “love” doesn’t always mean “I am in love with you,” nor does it have to be saved for the most **special** of people. I love so many people. And you do too. So tell them.
And then go and have the best 2013 ever. I Love you.