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One-Hour Ways To Keep Your Resolutions

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that you probably had a lot of goals for 2016 that didn’t get done. Resolutions, goals, wishes, and bucket list items…all those things.

No? Just me, then?

When it comes to good practices or goal setting, New Year’s Day is pretty arbitrary. It’s not like anything is truly going to change on 00:01 on 01/01, no matter how much people say they can’t wait for 2016 to be over. As a start/finish line, January 1st is logical, but this isn’t The Great British Bake-Off where there’s a countdown and then it’s hands off your mixing bowl.

That said, there’s something to be said for a quick wrap up or a running start. Here are some one-hour ways to knock some items off your 2017 list.


One-Hour Ways To Keep Your Resolutions

Most of these things can be done in an afternoon, and some in 15 minutes. You can even accomplish stuff while you watch the Tournament of Roses Parade in your PJs.

Ready, set, go.

  • Have a clear out. Take an hour and tackle the things you can get rid of right now,  straight into the trash or the recycling bin, so special disposition or disposal required. Just a few:
    • Those mystery leftovers in the back of the freezer.
    • User manuals for appliances and stuff. They’re pretty much all available online.
    • Old utility bills (also available online), and all those Starbucks receipts in your purse, desk, and wallet.
    • Old magazines.
    • Old makeup. Even if it was expensive once.
    • All those packets of soy sauce and hot mustard stashed in the kitchen drawer. Or at least half of them. Just buy a bottle of ketchup like a grown-up.
  • Zero your inbox. You can do this while watching football. Or pretending to watch football when you’re just there for the food. Or maybe you see your unread messages badge like the high score of a video game. You can still have an electronic clear out.
  • Travel! Go on a virtual World Tour with Google Maps. Visit the Great Pyramids at Giza and Machu Pichu. Stop at the Vatican, or sightsee at Mount Rushmore. (You can also visit Area 51 and possibly Atlantis.)
  • Travel…to Mars! Hop on NASA’s Be a Martian website. Put that on next year’s Christmas family newsletter. You will win the vacation one-upmanship contents, hands down.
  • Build a library. Get book recommendations (or give them) and start putting books on the shelves of your Goodreads library. You can check out my library here. Lifehacker has helpfully gone through almost 40 “Best of 2016” lists to compile a list of, you guessed it, Best Books of 2016.
  • Learn a language. Or a word in a language. Duolingo is totally free, totally intuitive, and works a lot like much more expensive programs. You can also compete with groups and friends. You could say “Pass the bean dip” in Russian before you know it.
  • Call or write a friend or family member you’ve been meaning to stay in touch with but haven’t. You know when you haven’t talked to someone in so long that you think “well, now it’ll just be weird and awkward.” At the New Year, you don’t even have to explain why you finally picked up the phone after unintentionally ghosting on them back in July. (Hey, David. Expect a call later.)

Whether you’re wrapping up one year or getting a jump on the next, there’s nothing like making a check mark next to a goal. Productivity is self-perpetuating, and big projects are made up of small tasks.

Whatever your big plans for the New Year, here’s wishing you a safe, happy, and healthy one.