It's fair to say that 2016 has been a bit of a hectic year (election years typically are.) And given how things look for the future, it might be a good time to think up a few New Year's resolutions that'll help you be more progressive.
Progressive people believe in forward thinking. They make sure to act more openly, and try their hardest to solve issues before they arise. Progressive people are all about including and thinking about others. When you're progressive, you don't dwell on the past. Instead, you focus on how to make things better in the future. And even though many people wish to see themselves in such light, trying to find ways to be more progressive is still a great resolution. Why? Well, because it shows you want to make a difference in the world.
When you set out to be more progressive, it's so much more than a New Year's resolution — it's a vow to change your life around, and become more accepting of the changing world around you. Although your goals and dreams might start on January 1, the impact that you make won't end on December 31 — instead, they will continue to make the world a wonderfully diverse place for years to come.
Here are a few good ways to get started.
1. Donate A Small Portion Of Your Paycheck To A Worthy Charity Every Month
Bills are often tight — it's just the way the world works. But even a monthly donation of $5 can make a huge difference for an nonprofit that is looking to make a big change. A few good ones include the American Civil Liberties Union, Children's Defense Fund, and the National Organization for Women.
2. Read Real News
If you find yourself getting mad at Facebook headlines, it's probably a good idea to vow to seek out real news this upcoming year. Headlines can be misleading. Check your sources, make sure they're trustworthy, and read the entire article before passing judgment.
3. Sign Yourself Up For New Experiences
If you want to be more open-minded, you'll want to look outside of your cramped apartment. Challenge yourself to do things you've never imagined doing, with people you should get to know a little bit better. It's important to get out of your comfort zone every once in awhile to truly experience life.
4. Stop Interrupting People
Have you ever thought about the way you communicate with others? Sometimes people are more focused on getting their point across that they fail to listen to what the other person is saying. Remind yourself that you're not always right, and that although your views might differ from the person you're speaking with, you shouldn't act like the authority figure on any given subject.
5. Try To Be More Honest
Despite what social media might have you believe, nobody has a perfect life. One of the best things to do is to honestly analyze your own. Why? Well, because it'll make you more sympathetic towards someone else's struggle. At the end of the day, we're all human, and we all make mistakes. The most progressive thing to do is acknowledge those mistakes, forgive yourself for them, and move on with the knowledge of how to solve it for next time.
If you're a parent, it's definitely good for children to realize that mistakes aren't the end of the world — especially if you learn from them.
6. Vow To Make Every Day Different
It's so easy to get into a set schedule. If you come home from work at 5:30, eat dinner at 6, and then watch TV between 7 and 9 before bed every night, days can get a little repetitive. Mix things up a bit by inviting friends over mid-week or going out for drinks instead of staring at another screen for two hours. Or, maybe nix the television time and replace it with listening to music by a band you've been intrigued about.
7. Try To Learn Something New Every Month
Calligraphy in January, and yoga in February? Why not? By creating a new goal each month, you'll keep things interesting — and perhaps be introduced to a lot of people you wouldn't have met otherwise. Life is all about learning and growing, and it's important to keep doing just that — especially in your 20s, 30s, and 40s.
If you have children, these new skills can also provide amazing activities that you can do together. After all, learning is much more fun in a group.