New year, same watermelon board. Photo by Shendell Hay.

In recent years, I’ve noticed that to most people, New Years resolutions are so rarely accomplished that they have almost become something of a joke. Everyone seems to set these semi-unrealistic goals for the year assuming that they will be forgotten in a couple weeks time. Although I am a major advocate of dreaming big, I always try to ensure that my goals are somewhat within the realm of achievability. This year, I thought I could make a list of just a handful of New Year’s resolutions (or just guidelines) that I am going to be working on, but we all can follow! While they might not result in major life changes, they can be helpful for personal happiness and health, and the betterment of society!

  1. Call somebody!

At least once in a while, call someone. Like, on the phone. Old school, I know. Although I’m another one of those pesky millenials, I do appreciate a good old fashioned chat on the phone. Because of time differences and life getting in the way, I’ve recently had some scheduled phone calls with friends back home, and we just talked and talked for hours. I think in these busy modern times, taking the time out of your day to call a friend or family member just to catch up is a lovely and relaxing activity. This year, I’m going to try to make at least one lengthy phone call per week.

  1. Pick up trash.

Recently, I heard news that yet another giant garbage patch was found floating in the South Pacific. Although we are pretty fortunate to have relatively clean beaches in San Diego, there are always at least a few pieces of trash in the water or lying in the sand. Even where I’m living now, the beaches are almost spotless, but I still see plastic here and there. If everyone just picked up a few pieces of trash each time they head to the beach, we can at least attempt make a dent in the global issue with plastic pollution!

  1. Shop small!

In our futuristic world, it's so easy to just click-click-click and have items delivered to your door within a matter of hours. Unfortunately, society’s obsession with convenience comes at a price. Small, locally run businesses are losing out to big multinational corporations, affecting friends, neighbors, and family. In 2018, let’s all try to shop small in order to make a big difference! Towns like Encinitas are full of family-run businesses (like Hansen’s!), with quality consumer experiences that mega-corpos just cannot replicate.

  1. Watch where you’re going!

I don’t mean this in a negative way, but really, this year, try to look up a little bit more. Some might think that this suggestion mostly applies to people my age, and yes, I am guilty of looking at my phone while walking, but I also see plenty of people from various generations doing the same. This is definitely something that I want to focus on in 2018, because I realized how much I miss when I look down while walking. The world is a beautiful place, so you might as well keep your chin up, metaphorically and literally speaking.

  1. Don’t be a jerk in the water.

Seriously guys, let’s all try to stop burning each other. If it happens on accident, say sorry and move on. I really don’t want to see any more grown men having completely serious splash fights in the water. It’s embarrassing.

Of course, some or all of these may not apply to you. I also have specific personal resolutions for this year, but I wanted to share these with everyone, just in case they might be things you haven’t thought about in a while! Happy new year my friends, and welcome to the future.