7 Unconventional New Year’s Resolution Ideas

As the New Year approaches, many of us are looking for ways to improve our lives with this opportunity at a fresh start. All too often, however, we are committing to unrealistic goals. Goals that are difficult to maintain the path towards, let alone accomplish.

Sure, losing weight by exercising more and eating healthier, or ending that destructive habit you’ve had for years are all great ideals to strive towards, but all too often we pressure ourselves into committing to goals we simply aren’t mentally prepared for. That’s why this year, you should try committing to something unconventional. Something different. Something positive that adding it into your daily routine isn’t likely to throw your entire lifestyle a curveball, and ends up making you dread it.

If it seems like less of a chore to accomplish, chances are you’re more likely to do it. Furthermore, the way you work this new habit into your lifestyle may even help you find ways to bring about change when making other, more significant resolutions, whether it’s the beginning of a new year or not.

  1. Start a new hobby.

Whether it’s crocheting, stamp collecting, or growing a beard, find a new hobby you take pleasure in, and make time to do it.

For my wife, it’s baking and decorating cookies. For me, it’s exercising and playing video games – just not at the same time. She and I have discovered that in our free time, having something occupy our thoughts other than the growing list of to-dos makes us much more productive during those times that we are focused on working.

Besides, lying in bed and thinking of all that needs to be accomplished the next day only results in staying awake longer and not falling asleep… And if you’re anything like me, by the time you wake up the next morning, you have likely forgotten everything on your “to-do” list that you were thinking up as you were falling asleep. I have found that I fall asleep much faster when thinking of something trivial I find pleasure in doing, such as using proper form during my workouts, or what next achievement I’m going to unlock in a video game. My wife tells me that she also sleeps much “sweeter” when she’s thinking about decorating custom cookies as she falls asleep. (Heh, see what I did there?)

When looking for a new hobby, the key is to look for something you actually enjoy spending your time doing, even if it cuts into your 60-hour work week. You’re likely to be more productive during your working hours if you play just as hard as you work.

  1. Spend more time with people you care about, who also care about you.

Surrounding ourselves with individuals we care about usually brings out the best in us. This New Year, set aside time to focus on those that bring out the positives. Those that challenge you to better yourself, and whom you challenge to do the same.

The second part of this resolution is just as important as the first. Reason being is because if we are not careful, we can find ourselves in relationships that are one-sided. In those instances, try to take a step back and evaluate how that relationship is bringing about a change in you. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we can objectively examine the situation that we’re in, and make appropriate adjustments. The point is to surround yourself with individuals who make you better, not bitter.

  1. Give more hugs.

Hugs are awesome! Few things come close to the warm fuzzies you get when you wrap your arms around someone, and they wrap theirs around you. Unless they’re strangers. Then it’s just awkward. Or assault. You want to stay away from those kinds of hugs.

No one ever walks away from a hug in a worse mood than they were in before. If they do, they’re doing it wrong. You shouldn’t hug out of a sense of obligation, or do it begrudgingly because you committed to doing it more. And whatever you do, don’t be that person that goes in for a hug when the recipient isn’t expecting it.

Yes, there’s much more to the hugger-huggee dynamic than these nuggets of wisdom, but we’ll cover that another time. If you’re going to pick this as your resolution, commit to doing it right for the sake of all those involved. Practice consensual hugging.

…Bet you didn’t think there was such a thing as hug etiquette, did you?

  1. Get more sleep.

Although I could spend more time trying to convince you of this one, I don’t think I need to. For a lot of us, getting more sleep is easier said than done. With our demanding schedules and hectic routines, getting a reasonable amount of shut-eye each night is a tall order.

Without going into it in detail, the best way to accomplish this is by committing yourself to going to bed at a set time each night. Even if you are just lying in bed thinking about that new hobby, your body will appreciate the time you take to rest it – even if your mind is still turned on.

  1. Be more generous.

Although this resolution requires a little more effort than others, the rewards you’ll reap in return are worth it. When it comes to giving, the two primary things we have at our disposal are time and money. I’ve heard it said many times that “You’ll make time for the things you want to have time for, and you’ll make money for the things you want to have money for.”

So, if you truly want to make a difference in the coming year, making a conscious effort to be more generous is a great way to do it. However, for a lot of us, it doesn’t just come naturally, and we actually have to put forth an effort into being generous.

Here are some suggestions:

  • A simple Google search for “volunteer opportunities” will return a heap of results for opportunities to donate your time locally. One of the primary search results you’ll see is VolunteerMatch.com, which is a great resource that can pair you up with a cause that you are passionate about.
  • If you would rather donate resources other than your time, make sure you do the research about the organization you are donating to. Reason being is that you want to make sure the resources you are providing are making it into the right hands.
  • Finally, if simple gift giving to brighten someone’s day is more your thing, we can help give you some ideas by going to our website here.
  1. Plan a vacation… and then take it!

One of the best resolutions you can make for yourself this year is committing to taking a vacation. It will give you something to work towards, and something to look forward to. A reward for all the hard work you’ve done up to that point. There are those of you reading this for whom it has been years since you took a real vacation. Don’t let another year pass by without taking an opportunity to make memories that will last you for the rest of your life.

Whenever I think back on the times that I made memories with my family, more often than not, they were the times we all went on vacation.

When I was a child and went on vacation with my parents, some of the fondest memories I have growing up started with my sisters and me in the back seat of our parents’ car, driving to our destination while singing out of tune at the top of our lungs.

Now that I have a family of my own, I cherish every opportunity we get to get away and focus entirely on each other. Whenever I look back fondly on the times we’ve spent together, it wasn’t after I got home after a long day of work. Although my wife and I always look forward to an opportunity to cuddle up on the couch with our little ones piled around us to watch “Cars” or “Frozen” for the umpteenth time, we found that a change of scenery and focusing entirely on one another is much more memorable.

  1. Learn to speak with a different accent. Seriously.

Suggesting that your resolution should be speaking in a different or a foreign accent isn’t meant to be a mockery. It is meant to bring a little comedic relief into your life and the lives of those around you.

I immigrated into this wonderful country at an early age, and have lost my foreign accent a long time ago. However, even with multiple family members who still have thick foreign accents, I don’t find it offensive when my friends joke by speaking with different accents. Quite the contrary – when I hear my friends who have accents of their own attempt speaking in a different one altogether is more entertaining than words can express. Like my Southern friend trying to speak in a Russian accent but not being able to keep the “ya’ll” out of it, or my Hispanic friend speaking like the Swedish chef from The Muppets – it’s hilarious.

Personally, British, Irish, Australian, and Pirate are my favorites. For those that have heard my impressions, it’s hard to tell when one ends and the other begins, but that’s half the fun.

However, if by learning to speak in a different accent, your intent is to poke fun at others and not yourself, then don’t do it. Usually, it’s quite obvious when someone is just having innocent fun by imitating different accents, or if they’re doing it as a mockery.

Finally, I would like to apologize in advance to any pirates I may have offended with this suggestion for a New Year’s resolution. It wasn’t meant as a mockery. Your feelings “arr” just as important as anyone else’s.

5 Tips to Keep down Stress during the Holidays

By Dino Dizdarevic

Holidays are supposed be the time of year when we all shift into lower gear, take a step back, and appreciate all the people and things we are thankful for. I said “supposed to” because unfortunately, as most of us have experienced already, that it is not what actually happens. If your lives, families, and communities are anything like mine, the holidays instead become the most stressful time of year.

During this time, all I see when I step outside is folks doing a mad dash for things forgotten for dinner feasts, or last minute shoppers in desperate attempts to cross another name from their Christmas lists. Dads hanging from roofs in tangled Christmas lights, mothers dragging screaming children through grocery stores, or my favorite, wreath-decorated “sleighs” (with what at other times of the year are the kindest, sweetest grandmas behind the steering wheel), barreling down the road while doing their best NASCAR impression and sporting a serious case of road rage. These are only some of the sights I see, all to the sound of every local radio station looping what seems to be the same Christmas carol, over and over for the umpteenth time. Oh what fun.

So before you, too, develop an uncontrollable twitch as a result of these holidays, just remember that no matter how those around you act, you are in control of your own attitude. Now, since that is a lot easier said than done (and all of us could use a little help every now and then), here are several suggestions to decompress and take some of the stress away to get you into the New Year, even if they are only temporary fixes:


Santa’s not only one making a list and checking it twice. When the number of things that need to get done become so overwhelming that I begin to lose track of them, or run out of fingers and toes to count them on, out comes the trusty notepad. Get those to-dos out of your head and onto a notepad, and you’ll feel much better not having one more thing to remember. Besides, nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment you get when you start checking things off!


Nobody said that the list you made above had to be all done today. Some of you will say “You’re right. It had to be done yesterday!!!” Stop it. You stop that, right now. That kind of talk will only bring on more stress, and that’s not going to help either of us. Truth is, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will whatever else tops your list. Take a breather, and focus on four or five most important things that need to be done that day. Remember, it’s important to think no further than today because if not, you will get overwhelmed. And then the vicious stress cycle begins anew.


Nothing beats that feeling you get after stuffing yourself with turkey and all the trimmings, then going for a brisk jog – said nobody, ever. Although it’s expected that during the holidays, you are going to indulge a little more than you usually would the rest of the year, it doesn’t have to be a free-for-all on your plate every day. In between the times you plan on having those big meals, eat smaller portions, and eat them more often. Ideally, if time allows (HA!), eat about six to seven small meals per day. And don’t wait until you’re hungry – by then, it’s too late. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but that’s because it works. You will look and feel a lot better, and you’ll have one less thing to stress over. Plus, your pants will thank you.


Although it’s close to the bottom of the list, this one should have been at the top of the list – but then you wouldn’t read the others above it!

Now as if you didn’t have a good enough excuse to do it already, an article on webmd.com says that “dark chocolate can decrease stress hormone levels.” “But didn’t you just say that we should eat a well-balanced diet?” Moderation is key, folks. Besides, I never claimed to have all the answers, or that I’m always right. Just ask my wife.

Out of all the other options, this one is my favorite, and by far, the easiest. That is, unless you look on the shelves or in the pantry, and someone’s already beat you to the last of it. Now, unless you’re willing to brave the crowds for your chocolate fix, you’re out of luck.

But you don’t have to be! Go to our website at www.ediblegiftsplus.com and help us, help you. Or don’t. You don’t have to – maybe one of the other tips works better for you. But hey, let’s be realistic here. What works better than chocolate? The answer is “nothing,” folks. Absolutely nothing.

Now, although we don’t do same-day delivery, we can have it there next day. And no, you don’t have to share.

For those poor souls with dairy allergies that are feeling left out right about now, fret not! Due to our youngest son’s dairy allergy, my wife has discovered a dairy, nut, AND soy free alternative! Although you may not be able to find products with these options on our website yet, and because we know there’s little worse than watching others eat tasty treats that you would literally risk life and limb to eat, we had to find an alternative.

With these, you won’t have to sacrifice anything, because the chocolate chips my wife discovered taste EXACTLY like the real thing! They’re made by a company named Enjoy Life, and not only do they carry allergen-free chocolate, but a whole line of tasty, allergy-friendly snacks.


Before you go getting all excited, this doesn’t mean “go to Hawaii” or “book a vacation to Fiji” – although that would be nice. However, for most of us, that isn’t an option. At least not at this time of year.

Instead, if you’re at home and things get to be a bit much, take 10, 15, or 30 minutes, or even an hour and go to your room, or go “grab something from the store you forgot” and drive aimlessly around your neighborhood, or go park somewhere to be by yourself. Turn the radio up and sing at the top of your lungs. Talk to yourself. Or cry. Or do all three at the same time, but that requires a level of talent I simply do not possess.

This option is ideal when having family over and that one cousin, aunt, uncle, or in-law just doesn’t know how to take a subtle hint. Or an obvious one. Face it, you’re not going to change them. So run away to your room, run away to your car, or run away anywhere you can be alone, and preserve your sanity. It will all be over soon.

Author’s Note: This article started as “7 tips,” but between family phone calls, crying babies, needy pets, and minutes required to write this article turning into hours, the author made an executive decision to narrow the list down to “5 tips.” He can now be found in his room, eating some chocolate.