You look in the mirror, shrug, then turn to the side to confirm what you were afraid of: Another year goes by, and that ol’ body of yours is starting to have a little wave and groove to it. Sigh. You walk out of the bathroom to grab your purse from on top of the bookshelf, and head out for that pre or post-holiday dinner with your parents’ friends that haven’t seen you since college. Upon grabbing said purse, you knock over a few books sitting on the corner of the IKEA faux-wood. You pick them up and realize that, apart from the thin layer of dust, these books are literally untouched—so your shoulders slant another four degrees forward, and you have yet another moment of intense self-deprecation. “This next year,” you say audibly to yourself, “I’m going to work out and read more.”
OK, real creative. Not to give you a hard time, but these are goals that likely make up the baseline of just about any late-20s/early-30s human’s yearly resolutions. And sure, it’s nice to have goals that are also the goals of your peers, because technically, you’ll have some accountability partners. At the same rate, however, it’s also no secret that New Year’s resolution retainment rates are comically low. Once one of us stops going to the gym...we all stop going to the gym. So, in our completely subjective attempt to make everybody’s lives a little bit better in 2018, here are some slightly bolder and more creative resolutions that you should consider when tallying up your soon-to-be abandoned list (just kidding…sort of).
Start a company
We aren’t talking about a Fortune 500 crypto-currency empire here (though by all means, do that, too), but this should be the year that you harness your leadership capabilities and truly sell your craft. There are more resources than ever before when it comes to turning a great idea into an entrepreneurial adventure; more often than not, the biggest barrier is personal (remember that self-deprecation we were talking about?). Plus, not only could a new company be a lucrative opportunity, but building your own brand from the ground up becomes a complete game-changer in terms of other tertiary goals you may have. Want to cut back on drinking? Want to finally learn Photoshop? Want to better understand how “adult” finances work? Well, if you start your own business, you may not have a choice but to solve all those other more isolated goals in one fell swoop. When it comes to goal-setting, we’re big fans of the whole “start big, then improvise until you learn” idea. Sure you may fail—but at least someone somewhere in the world will end up wearing that ridiculous shirt concept you’ve been thinking about for the last four years.
Increase your Reddit karma by another 2000 points
Reddit is the undisputed front page of the Internet (sorry, 4Chat). For the Reddit n00bs, it’s an instant resource for a little more info on that one thing you love about the Internet (see r/funny); however, for those who are intellectually involved in the Internet as a cultural phenomenon and human social movement, Reddit is the world’s most powerful, valuable, and perplexing tool. Either way, we’re all on the Internet, and for better or for worse, it’s an important time to care about what the Internet really means. With the FCC recently repealing net neutrality rules, the Internet (as we know it) may be at risk of changing in a way that impedes our collective ability to exchange information. Reddit, despite its silly memes and Star Wars fights, was and is at the center of the fight against corporations trying to claim the Internet for their own personal profit. So, we encourage everyone to spend a bit more time on this magical, perplexing, enchanting, and generally bizarre source of any and all things Internet –related. You’ll learn more about the things you love, and you’ll find a new appreciation for the things you never knew you loved as much as you do. And most importantly, you’ll consciously or subconsciously be engaging in an important dialogue about the future of information-sharing. We know your dusty old Dostoyevsky novel is screaming for your attention, but Reddit comprises the world of today and tomorrow, and is worthy of attention. (If you want a little starter lesson, perhaps give a listen to the funny and informative podcast, “Did You Reddit?”.)
Earn a certification
Like starting a company, this goal is the peak of a goal tree that’ll encourage a lot of valuable learning and skill-acquisition along the way. This is basically our way of suggesting that you enroll in a course—and make it all the way through. With the rise of online education, it’s easier than ever to enroll in a course from a well-regarded educational institution, sometimes even for free. However, because it’s free, it can be just as easy to quit along the way. When you set about earning a certificate, no matter how potentially useless it may be, it will still force you to commit yourself to seeing something through to completion. Plus, while your entry point into the subject matter may be a course that you’re actually interested in, earning a certificate means you’ll also have to engage with topics that may be less interesting, but that much more important. Oh, you want to learn how to program videogames? Well, before you take “Character Development for Destiny 101,” let’s get you through the “Pong-Tracking Using Binary” course. Before you know it, you’ll be the foremost binary pong-tracking expert in the Western Hemisphere. (We don’t know if there is such a course, or even if binary pong-tracking is a thing, but you get the idea.)
If you want to really engage in self-improvement, you’ve got to take the time to focus on what actually needs to be improved. For some, it’s as simple as a couple of days at the gym every week, but for others, it’ll be a little more complicated than that. True happiness may be harder to identify, and require a more dramatic attempt to unearth pieces of the puzzle that aren’t quite fitting. So, perhaps it’s time for a move. Feng shui is a thing, and some people are more sensitive than others—meaning that it might not be about the dynamics of your couch-window ratio in the living room, but more so about the dynamics of your day-to-day living situation in your neighborhood, or even your city. Sometimes, you have to leave a place to learn that it ultimately wasn’t for you. Does the idea of leaving your friends in Denver make you sad? Well, that’s another powerful and revealing part of the “moving” process—considering the “opportunity cost” of leaving one place for another. (In which case, you’re doing some necessary self-reflection that will help you better understand who you are, what makes you tick, and why you feel you need to shift something in your life.) So, whether you decide to move or not, just thinking about your life elsewhere and/or in the future is an attempt to better understand your life in the here and now—and that’s ultimately what resolutions are all about, right?