By Susan Cox

New Year’s resolutions. Some years I make them and some years I don’t. I’m never sure what kind of resolutions I should make, and when I do make some they usually end up on a list that I don’t look at again.

I still haven’t come up with any goals for this year. I like the idea of resolutions, but maybe I need a different kind of resolution or approach.

As I was reading an article about resolutions in a magazine my church publishes, several of their suggestions stood out to me. These resolutions were not the usual exercise more, spend less money, eat healthier types.

The first was “Do something besides pull out your phone when you have free time.” I know I tend to use my phone a lot when I have to wait. What would happen if I didn’t automatically turn to my phone to fill my time? I might not get my email read as quickly or finish one more game, but I might have the opportunity to talk to someone or just have time to think. Being bored can actually promote creativity, so I think I will add this idea to my list for this year. Plus, it shouldn’t be too hard to leave my phone in my pocket more often.

Another suggestion from the magazine was to say “thank you” 10 times a day, or each day to write down 10 things for which you are thankful. I was already thinking about doing something like this, but I hadn’t thought about it as a resolution.

A few months ago, a group of women at my church talked about gratitude and made gratitude journals. I decided to start my journal on Jan. 1 and I record one thing I am thankful for that day. I also have seen suggestions to make a gratitude jar where you put a slip of paper with something you are grateful for in the jar each day or week. At the end of the year you can look back and count your blessings. This doesn’t take much time but can help you be happier.

Some other ideas included trying something new each day and learning to cook three new meals this year.

Doing something new each day may seem a bit daunting, but new things don’t have to be big. You could sit with someone new at lunch, drive a new way to work, listen to a new kind of music or make your bed if you usually leave it unmade.

Cooking new meals sounds good to me, too. I tend to use the same recipes over and over, which can get boring. Finding just three new recipes also is very doable.

Another idea I have thought about trying this year is to pick one project I would like to complete. I have all sorts of things I would like to do, but I often can’t decide which to start with, or I start several and then I don’t get any of them done. Maybe if I concentrate on just one project I will know how to spend my free time, and I will feel like I am accomplishing something.

I have a friend who takes a different approach to resolutions. She picks one word to focus on each year.

For 2017, her word was unity, so she and her family talked about what unity meant and worked to have more unity in their home. I like this idea, too. Instead of having a list of things to work on, you could filter everything you do through your focus for that year.

Now that I have some ideas for my resolutions, I need to make sure I actually put these ideas into action. I am already writing in my gratitude journal each day, so next I need to make a plan for my other resolutions.

I hope these suggestions can help you with your resolutions. Pick ideas that will work for you and then do them.

Susan Cox is one of The Republic’s community columnists, and all opinions expressed are those of the writer. She is a mother, an adjunct instructor of English at Ivy Tech Community College-Columbus and a substitute teacher for Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. She can be reached at editorial@ therepublic.com.

Susan Cox is one of The Republic’s community columnists, and all opinions expressed are those of the writer. She is a mother, an adjunct instructor of English at Ivy Tech Community College-Columbus and a substitute teacher for Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. She can be reached at editorial@therepublic.com.