New Years Resolutions for the Millennial

We are the generation that has it all together, the generation that made DIY and self-help cool. But many of us have discovered that—despite our thrift, ingenuity, and social clout—we are no closer to our “best self” than before Pinterest. Ever absorbing and growing, we have taught ourselves to adapt. So why should our personal resolutions be so daunting?

If you’re feeling a bit nervous about the looming New Year, I’m with you. But then again, I’ve never met a list I haven’t liked. So here are 8 suggestions for millennials to make 2014 their best year yet.

1.) Be realistic.

The secret to making 2014 truly life-changing is to set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound; in other words = SMART. Sentiments like, “I want to be healthier in 2014” may last for one week. As guilt sets in, the goal to be “healthy” becomes a distant memory. Instead, evaluate your current lifestyle and tweak small concrete habits, such as cutting back to one soda per week for one month.

2.) Digitally unplug.

It’s no secret that we’re spending more and more time plugged into digital outlets. But all is not rosy according to researchers from the University of Gothenberg; out of the 4,100 young adults they studied for a year, those who used computers four or more hours per day reported high levels of stress, anxiety, and sleeping disorders.

No more wasting time reading cat lists on Buzzfeed. (Not even this one.) Fill new-found hours by actually making those Pinterest recipes, write a letter to a friend, or read five pages of that book you have been meaning to start.

3.) Get connected.

Stop counting your Facebook friends and start making real friends. Neuroscientists report that humans are biologically wired to form strong social communities in order to truly flourish. Yet in recent history, authentic communities have been dissolving in favor of a digital individualism.

Buck the trend by calling a different friend every week—for example, during a lunch hour or on your way home from happy hour with the colleagues. You’ll like your physical friendships even more than your Facebook ones.

To read even more, check out my whole article over at Verily Magazine.