Looking to make a New Year’s resolution? Should teens even make New Year’s resolutions? And what would be the best new year’s resolutions for teens? Do the options look more like a list of things you “should” do but don’t really want to do?
Yes, make resolutions, or even better set goals. This year do something that inspires you. Something you actually want to do, something that fulfills a dream. By turning your New Year’s resolution into something new and meaningful, you will empower yourself to live a healthier, happier, and stronger life. Guaranteed.
1). Skip the bottle. Save a life.
Plastic, glass, and even cardboard bottles used to sell water can take over 1,000 years to bio-degrade. If incinerated, they produce toxic fumes. It is estimated that over 80% of all single-use water bottles used in the U.S. simply become “litter.”
And what happens to this litter? In many cases it ends up in the stomachs of wild life. Take turtles for example. The picture below shows materials found in a single loggerhead turtle’s stomach.
“Turtles are opportunistic feeders, meaning they will eat just about anything – sort of like a billy goat. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible for a turtle to break-down synthetic material once it is ingested, and very often it will cause an intestinal blockage, called an impaction. Of course, a turtle has little chance of eliminating the impaction on it’s own in the wild and this condition will usually end to starvation. This is one reason why we need to keep track of our trash and make sure it is properly disposed of. “ The Turtle Hospital, Marathon, FL.
2). Think Outside the Box – Get Outside.
Resolve to make this your best outdoor year ever. Cross something off the bucket list. Run a marathon, learn to SCUBA dive, bike for a cause. Take a look at what Team Be The Change is doing as part of Climate Ride, and maybe join in! You’ll feel better and look stronger, guaranteed!
3). Limit your screen time. Be the example and a leader.
Next time you’re out with your friends for dinner, throw your phones in the center of the table first one who grabs their phone – pays the bill. As school-work and jobs become more screen time intense, make a conscious effort to engage and dedicate a least a few hours a week to something that doesn’t require a screen. Music, sports, or a weekly game of Settlers of Catan!
4). Just Do It.
Childhood obesity has become part of our national conversation–thanks in large part to the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative. Resolve to stay or get in good shape. Already in shape? Dedicate some time to help others and coach/mentor those younger (or older), grab a friend and get fit.
5). Learn a new language.
Expand your worldview, gain a greater intercultural appreciation and sensitivity and as a bonus get a competitive edge on your future. Mandarin, Arabic, and Spanish are a few languages that will be invaluable later down the road as you enter the work force.
6). Support a Cause.
Find an hour a month to rally around a social, political or cultural issue. Collaborate with others and help create solutions to resolve a tough problem. Need advice on where to start? Contact us and we can help you start your own cause or connect you with existing movements around the nation.
7). Get a Voice. Speak up. Show Courage.
Take a stand for what you believe in. Don’t laugh at an inappropriate joke or comment to fit in. Have an opinion and express your opinions. . Find opportunities to speak up at school or in your community.
8). Be Yourself – Stop Comparing!
Stop obsessing over how many people “like” your posts, comments and photos. It doesn’t matter. Stop wishing for “thigh gaps” and the best selfie. Social media anxiety is a real problem and a waste of time. Your time is precious, and valuable, don’t waste it on meaningless virtual rewards.
9). Leave the country.
Travel. Look into doing some service work abroad. Live, Learn and Explore the world and become a global citizen. Join us for an adventure, or connect with us to lead teenagers around the world, scholarships available.
10). “Do one thing every day that scares you.” as Eleanor Roosevelt once said.
Whether killing a spider, climbing a mountain, kayaking down white water rapids or going through your first haunted house, push yourself to new limits. It will keep you alive and growing.
Ready for 2014? What will be your resolution?