New Year offers the opportunity to clean up your act and start afresh. We’ve all had the experience of setting lofty resolutions that inevitably fall by the wayside before January is over.
As New Yorkers, we can easily get caught up in the trappings of money, status, vanity and power, so there’s value in reconnecting with your values and aligning your actions accordingly. What if your New Year’s resolutions were based on intentional goals that gave you a deeper sense of joy and purpose?
You can always find a cohort of empathetic New Yorkers to join you in your quest. Here are nine New Year’s resolutions to help you live your best life.
1. Embrace a Plant Based Diet
The period from Thanksgiving onwards can be a time of gastronomic excess, leaving you nutritionally unbalanced. Do you need to clean up your diet? Consider Veganuary, the world’s largest vegan movement, inspiring people to try experience the benefits of a plant-based diet during January. Veganuary launched in the UK in 2014 and is coming to the US in 2020.
To enhance your vegan experience and tackle food waste at the same time, enjoy heavily discounted organic produce from Misfits Market. It’s a subscription service featuring produce that would otherwise be discarded due to physical non-compliance, eg too big, too small, oddly shaped, or cosmetic scrapes.
Get inspired by plant-based athletes, including Australian Olympian two-time 400m Champion, Morgan Mitchell, featured in The Game Changers documentary.
2. Take a Break from Alcohol
If life in the fast lane that is New York involves a cocktail or two too many, consider taking a break from alcohol for the month of January. Dryuary is sponsored by Moderation Management, a support network for people concerned about their drinking and aiming to make positive lifestyle changes.
If you’re concerned your social life will suffer, think again. The sober bar scene is fast becoming a bona-fide sub-culture in New York, including two notable alcohol-free bars, Listen Bar and Getaway.
3. Invest in Self-Care
If you only complete one act of self-care in 2020, make it a trip to Humming Puppy yoga studio. I recently took my first restorative yoga class at their Chelsea studio, and frankly, I didn’t want to leave. With the luxe waiting area offering coconut water, the gentle soothing hum of the yoga studio, nurturing guidance of our competent instructor, I quickly jettisoned the frenetic pace of city life.
Co-founded by Australian woman, Jackie Alexander, Humming Puppy also has studios in Sydney and Melbourne. Bring a friend and float into 2020. As an added bonus, you may bump into some AWNY volunteers, as Humming Puppy is a popular haven for our committee members.
4. Embrace Minimalism
If the scarcity mindset is an uninvited guest in your life, counter it with minimalism. Minimalism is NOT about whittling down your worldly possessions to fit in a shoebox, or mastering the skill of garment origami. Minimalism is an approach to help you focus your energies on that which will add value to your life and bring you genuine joy.
Want to learn more? Here are 88 best minimalism books of all time, including a few of my personal favorites:
- Soulful Simplicity – How Living With Less Can Lead to So Much More by Courtney Carver
- Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
- Goodbye, Things – The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Sasaki.
For more inspiration:
- Find out how to thrive with 33 items in your closet for 3 months, with Courtney Carver, who will be in New York on March 3 for her Project 333 book tour.
- If you’re on the US West Coast, join The Minimalists for a night of less on their Less Coast Tour 2020 (here’s hoping they will follow up with a “Least Coast” tour).
- Sign up for a free 30 day minimalism challenge with Emily and David Smith at The Best of This Life, which kicks off on January 1, 2020.
5. Save a Life (or Three)
Take the tradition of holiday gift giving to the next level by giving the ultimate gift of blood. Did you know that one donation can save up to three lives?
The New York Blood Center provides blood products to nearly 200 hospitals in New York, New Jersey and beyond, with multiple daily donation centers.
It takes less than 2 hours to complete a donation, during which time you get to lie back, relax, and connect with the blood bank staff and fellow donors, which is the perfect therapy for every highly-strung, stressed-out New Yorker.
6. Forgo Quid Pro Quo for Pro Bono
When you’re a busy professional in New York, it’s easy to get caught up in climbing the corporate ladder and creating shareholder value, both of which have their place in the world. But what if you could also leverage your skills to help nonprofits thrive, who would otherwise not have the budget to engage specialist skill sets?
The Taproot Foundation connects skilled volunteers with non-profit clients for short term Taproot Plus projects, such as building a website, creating a marketing plan or writing a grant proposal. Nonprofit sectors seeking pro bono skills include animal welfare, arts, social services, environment, education.
7. Give Back Every Day
Let’s face it, even the most altruistic New Yorker can become a little wrapped up in the trappings of consumerism. However, we all have basic material needs and if you take a moment to direct where your shopping dollar goes, it can have a positive social impact.
Introducing Beam, an App that enables supports the causes you care about for free, while buying the things you love. Donate part of your everyday purchases to a cause you love, such as animal welfare, LGBTQ+ health and advocacy, youth music programs, with no extra cost to you. Partners in NYC include Think Coffee, Ikea, Dig Inn, Blue Stripes.
Fittingly, Beam Impact was co-founded by New York transplants, Viveka Hulyalkar and Alexandra Salvatore.
8. Swap Single Use for Reusable Packaging
Sometimes New York feels like the convenience (aka throwaway) capital of the world and at times I find the excess of plastic overwhelming. But every little bit helps, including swapping single use for reusable packaging.
Loop Store is a way to shop online for products designed in containers that are owned, collected, cleaned and refilled by Loop. Currently in pilot stage, the Loop Store is available to specific zip codes in NY, NJ and various other places in the US and Paris.
Loop has partnered with popular brands including The Body Shop, Haagen-Dazs, and Seventh Generation, to provide a range of grocery, household, and personal items. To get started, sign up with Loop and if there is a spot in the platform for your zip code, you can start shopping straightaway.
9. Connect With the AWNY Community
How often have you thought, “I really must get along to an AWNY event” without following through? I promise we don’t bite and the odds are pretty good you’ll have a few laughs and meet some really cool Aussies. Check out the AWNY website, Facebook page and monthly newsletter for upcoming events.
Happy New Year from the AWNY Committee. What New Year resolutions will you be embarking on? Let us know in the comments below.