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Great New Year’s Resolution Ideas

For many years, my lone New Year’s resolution was to make the next year better than the previous. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn’t. I suppose I should have made more specific points as I raised my champagne glass on January 1st. This year, I’ve decided to get more proactive with my resolutions, and look for a way to change my life that is attainable, complete with a game plan. I’ve come up with five ideas that you can steal, too.

Getty Images, Fred Morley
Getty Images, Fred Morley

Take a Trip Somewhere You've Never Been Before


Maybe you already have a destination in mind, and maybe you'll take a long look at an atlas - or globe - for this one. But this is the year for you to take a trip and see something you've never seen before. Don't just say you want to, then hope it happens. You don't have to go on an expensive excursion. Remember, this resolution is simply a trip to somewhere you've never been before. Plan your trip carefully, research the things you want to do on your trip, get an estimated cost, and set aside a set amount of money every month until you reach your goal. Another good idea, to keep you motivated, is to cut out pictures of your destination and put them on your refrigerator, in your car and at the office as friendly reminders that you're taking this trip, and nothing is going to stop you.

Getty Images, Joe Raedle
Getty Images, Joe Raedle

Volunteer for a Non-Profit Organization


Find an organization you can become passionate about, or just find one that needs volunteers. It really doesn't matter, because the reward you get from volunteering far exceeds simply making a financial contribution. Getting involved in a non-profit organization once a month can make a huge difference in your community, expand your social circle, and give you great satisfaction that you're doing something positive to help someone or something that doesn't have it as good as you. Spend a little time researching local non-profits, make some calls and ask what they need from volunteers, and think about any special skills you can offer them. Don't just throw yourself into volunteering for a children's charity just because you like kids. Try to find an organization that will make good use of you and your time.

Getty Images, Joe Kohen
Getty Images, Joe Kohen

Take a Class


If you're 40 years old and always wish you'd learned to play guitar, do it. If you want to spruce up your house, but you can't get your creative juices to work, learn a craft. Go see what classes the colleges in town offer to adults, and sign up for something that sounds interesting. Maybe you're looking to learn something that will help you make extra money, or just want a hobby, or a chance to meet new people. Whatever the reason, challenge yourself to learn something new. This resolution is all about adding another dimension to your life. You're never too old to learn something new (unless you're a dog, I suppose). If you try a class and find out immediately it's not for you, resolve to take a different class.

Getty Images, WPA Pool
Getty Images, WPA Pool

Call Someone You Rarely Talk to Each Week


I call and talk to my parents fairly regularly. But I also have six brothers and sisters, and I don't think I even have all of their phone numbers. Facebook is great for staying in touch with old friends, family, and pretty much anyone else. But think about how cool it would be to make a phone call to someone whose voice you haven't heard in years, and say "hi".

Make a list of people you'd like to talk to, then plan a day and time each week to call and talk. You don't have to plan to be on the phone for the entire day (although my brother Mark would probably take up that kind of time). Just catch up with loved ones you've lost touch with the old fashioned way, and tell them it was Dave's idea. You're welcome.

Getty Images, Christopher Polk
Getty Images, Christopher Polk

Go to a Concert You Never Would Have Gone to Before


Everybody loves music. Most folks love a specific kind of music, and that's fine. But there is so much different music out there that it's impossible to keep track of it all. Country, pop, rock & roll, rap, Americana, Tejano, bluegrass, classical, heavy get the point. Why not go out of your way to attend a concert you never would buy a ticket for in a million years.

As a suggestion, maybe get with a friend, a co-worker, or a neighbor who likes a different kind of music than you. Let them pick the show for you, and even go to the concert with them (even return the favor, and invite them to see one of your favorites). This is a great opportunity to open your mind, and maybe find something new that you'll appreciate for the rest of your life.


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