Allow us to recommend some resolutions that have nothing to do with weight loss or making a million dollars.
Be kind to yourself: Instead of heading to the gym for the fourth time this week, take a long walk – without either Rush Limbaugh or Rachel Maddow in your ear. Listen to the birds instead. Hug a dog. Smile. Laugh. Do something silly. Find a friend and play Pokémon Go (It’s OK, even if you are older than 11.)
Allow yourself time to be blissfully unproductive.
Be kind to others: You will probably never know the effect your smile or simple act of human kindness will have on another person. It may go completely unnoticed, or it could save a life. That’s OK. Do it anyway.
Declutter, your space and your mind: Imagine how good it would feel not to have four jars of pickles in the fridge that are past their “best by” date. That matcha drink powder you bought last August that tastes like mulch? It’s taking up space in your brain as well as your pantry. Let it go.
The pants that you told yourself you’d wear when you lost a few pounds … the board games that take a Ph.D. to figure out … the gifts you received from people who you thought knew you better … pack ‘em up and ship them out.
It’s tough. It might feel like giving up, but allow yourself permission to free yourself of stuff that doesn’t serve you.
Pause, just pause.
Take a tech break: Put your phone on “do not disturb” for a few hours a day. You’ll be amazed at the conversations you’ll have, the expressions you’ll notice on the faces of those around you. It may be difficult at first; the lure of the text message is strong. But you may come to look forward to the weighty absence of dinging and buzzing.
Write a letter, in cursive: If you still remember how.
Learn something new: Fauquier County offers myriad classes and clubs that could allow you to try something you’ve always wanted to -- quilting, fishing, cooking, playing a musical instrument, learning a new language, painting, meditation, gardening, pickleball.
Be authentic: We are inundated with Facebook images and advertising messages that tell us we are too fat or too thin, too old or too young, too liberal or too conservative … Give yourself permission to be who you are, in all your imperfect inconsistency.
Take action where you can: 2020 promises to be a chaotic year. In just its first few days, uncertainty, fear, isolation and division anew threaten our country. Threats from inside and out are real and frightening. It is natural to feel overwhelmed and even helpless.
But there is power in taking action – whether it’s the simple act of writing a letter or donating to a cause, or the somewhat more complicated decision to run for office or start a nonprofit.
Use your voice, your talents and your passion to make a difference where you can.
Arguing with your cousin on social media doesn’t count.