1. Buy a stranger a meal. I’ve given money to a stranger for a meal, but I’ve never actually invited someone unknown to me out for lunch or dinner. I think it would be fun and something nice to do.
2. Go to a concert by myself. I’ve actually done this a few times in the past, but I realized that at the beginning of this year that I hadn’t been to a concert in a while and one of my excuses was I had no one to go with. That’s a pretty lame excuse for not doing something. Thus, I’ve bought presale tickets to my favorite band, the 1975, and plan to enjoy that good old “live performance” feeling by myself. In fact, I’m not going to go out of my way to invite anyone.
3. Take a bus ride somewhere. Every year I say I’m going to do this, and every year something prevents me from it. I’d like to buy a ticket to a different city and just explore it for a weekend. I’m not sure about other places, but where I live people only count “vacations” if you get on a plane to some place tropical but I think just being on the road and going to a town I’ve never been is a good way to open my senses and mind. Foreign doesn’t just apply to different countries; that coffee shop you’ve never been to just down your street is just as foreign. It’s time to get out there and explore places near and far.
4. Buy a book, without reading reviews first. There’s something about blindly discovering something. I know there are a lot of authors who’ve written great stories but aren’t getting sales just because they’re book isn’t on the best selling list. I think it’s time to take a chance on people. I’d like to buy a new book that isn’t popular every month.
5. Give more, spend less. This sounds more like a financial resolution but it’s about more than just saving money. I noticed a lot of people are more content to give their money than their time, and I fear I may become one of those people. I don’t want to. Instead of buying a birthday meal for my friend, I think it would be nice to make one; or volunteer my time instead of just giving money to a cause. Spending money can sometimes make you emotionally detached from things. Take Christmas for instance. While I do want everyone to like the gifts I got them, it can get to the point where I’m giving gifts because I feel I have to rather than because I truly want to. I want to know that I am being genuine and giving myself to things and people.
6. Spend more time in nature. By this, I don’t mean simply going camping or hiking but making a conscious decision to spend more time outdoors. Why go to a mall on a bright sunny day if a park is near by? Nature is all around us, and I need to embrace more. Not just during summer days when I’m out by the lake, but taking a walk in the rain, going outside to read or listen music instead being in front of the computer. Nature is good for the soul and being in it, around it, a part of it is both peaceful and exciting.
7. Have more relaxing evenings. I find I don’t allow myself to unwind and enjoy to the end of the day as much as I should. My mind gets focussed on what I have to do tomorrow or even that very night. This can make it hard for me to calm my thoughts. I think taking the time to relax at the end of the day may help.
8. Eat more pizza. Pizza just makes things better and you can make it in a million different ways so one can’t say it’s a boring food. I need far more pizza in life.
9. Share my thoughts. I’ve gotten into the habit of silencing myself. Actually, I’m going to say others have silenced me and I went along with it but I think it’s time to start speaking up.
10. Watch foreign movies. I already do this a great deal but I find I’m not watching nearly enough in terms of embracing other cultures. What I mean by this is I watch a lot of Asian films or French ones and that makes me feel “cultured” for the moment, but there are Polish films, Spanish ones, Nigerian films that I’m not adding to my watch list. I think it’s time I see how other countries embrace cinema.
11. Go local. I’ve been meaning to do this for ages and 2014 will be the year I actually do it. When it comes to shopping, dinning out, or using services I find I’m choosing to build someone else’s economy when there are plenty of talented individuals in my city that can offer what I seek. I’ve never been a “big chain” kind of person. I’ve always preferred local business but I need to start getting more in touch with what’s in and around my city.
12. Take more photos just for the sake of the memory. Instagram, blogging, and social media in general has turned me into a photo snapping junkie. But it isn’t because I want to capture and savour a moment, I just want the likes. Ok, sometimes it’s for the memories. But I’d like the focus of my picture to be more about capturing a moment and not just notes. I saw a quotes once “if you couldn’t take your camera, would you still go?” I had to actually think about it! I’ve even asked waiters what the most attractive meal on the menu was because I wanted a good looking instapic. Terrible and shallow I know, but I’m hoping to change that.
13. Connect more. I’m a little too solitary these days. It’s as if I avoid interacting with people, which is odd since I love people. I need to make more use of all those social accounts and actually try to be social on them.
14. Grow a garden. Even if it’s just a small plant, it’s wonderful to see something grow. I’m not sure why, but it inspires growth within me.