02/03/2013 02:45 EST

Creative New Year's Resolutions: 5 Fun Ways To Start Fresh In 2013


Do you dread setting resolutions for the new year? It’s no wonder you do — since resolutions often revolve around goals that we find particularly tough to accomplish. But resolutions don’t have to bring on feelings of doom and gloom. Taking a simpler approach — by setting goals that simply shift your perspective and get you out of the comfy space you’ve created for yourself — can translate into a fun, not to mention very achievable, resolution you may look forward to pulling off. Here are five resolutions you can try — or at least use to inspire you when establishing yours.

5 New Year's Resolutions To Take You Outside Your Comfort Zone

Try A Different Look

We all gravitate towards a certain style or look — whether that’s soccer mom or stylista about town — and it affects how we carry ourselves and how we’re perceived by others. This year, experiment every week or month with a different look. It could be as simple as wearing a bold lipstick when you usually just sport a clear lip balm or putting on flats instead of heels for the day, or you can go for a total overhaul: if your usual attire is trendy and revealing, switch it up and try a traditional, ladylike outfit (think skirt suit and blouse), for example. You may discover an entirely new side to yourself.

Add A New Type Of Workout

When it comes to your fitness personality, consider what you tend towards (maybe you’re a cardio junkie, for example) and incorporate something new into your regimen that’s different from your usual workout. Discover the calmer and more meditative practice of yoga, or the camaraderie of joining a team sport. Trying something different may help get you out of a fitness plateau, and the cross-training may help you excel in your favourite activity. Give the new workout a try for at least a month, and if it’s just not working for you, then try a different one until you find one you enjoy enough to stick to regularly.

Explore A New Cuisine

Wake up your tastebuds by resolving to explore a new cuisine this year. Make your goal to discovering and mastering the recipes of at least three dishes from a particular cuisine to add to your cooking repertoire. Perhaps it’s the exotic spiciness of Moroccan food you can experiment with (you have that tagine taking up space in your cupboard, after all), or the sweet and sour goodness of Chinese cuisine that you’d like to take a stab at.

Be More Social

Commit to going out at least once a week with another person. At times, we can all get so caught up with errands and tasks that we overlook making time to connect with friends and family (and we end up relying on social media to help us feel connected). Whether it’s brunch with a girlfriend or just a simple outing to the park with your daughter, resolve to making quality time a regular occurrence in your life.

Cross Something Off Of Your Bucket List

Don’t be the person who says “Oh, I’ve always wanted to try that.” Mull over the random list of things you’ve always wanted to do, and choose one you can achieve this year. If visiting Australia has always been a dream, and your number of vacation days and your budget permits, then start planning your trip. If something that grand is not feasible in 2013, look at smaller things, such as taking that photography class you’ve always wanted to take (your picture-taking skills will come in handy when you eventually make that trip Down Under). Remember, though, to choose a very specific resolution from your bucket list and make sure it’s measurable, achievable, realistic and timely (those make for smart objectives after all — that theory about proper goal-setting works).