Fun and creative habits to add to your list of 2019 resolutions

January 31, 2019 – Vinz Lamorena—Hitting the gym regularly, spending less on food, filling up your savings account—these are new year’s resolutions we’ve heard of before (and have sworn to live by throughout the year). While there’s nothing wrong with having a long list of goals, it can get pretty overwhelming.

You probably have a lot of things you want to change about yourself, coupled with a wish list to keep your progress in check—and that’s a good thing. The first step to achieving your goals is to become aware of your aspirations. 

The new year doesn’t just come for you to bank good intentions, it presents itself as a time to reap the investments of your time and effort. But wait a minute—it’s possible that as the first month of the year wraps up, you might have abandoned most of your resolutions. But we’re here to remind you it’s never too late to start over and pledge new commitments to yourself. Like the cliche goes, it doesn’t matter when you start, it only matters that you start it.

They say it only takes 21 consecutive days to form a habit. And if you didn’t know by now, consistency has its rewards. We look to turn our resolutions into healthy habits that provide daily opportunities to learn, practice your craft, and become the responsible individual you always wanted to be, year after year.

Here is a list of things you can challenge yourself to start this 2019:

Unleash the artist

One film a night

We’re all guilty of keeping our movie watch lists long. There’s always a new film premiering every week and we know how hard it is to fit a cinema visit into busy schedules. But if movies are on top of your interests, challenge yourself to watch one film a night. Trust us, it’s a great way to unwind after a long day.

It doesn’t matter if it’s in the “Now Showing” roster of malls, it just has to be something you’ve never seen before. This is one way you can make the most out of your streaming subscriptions, too. There are a lot of movies to choose from—classics, animations, documentaries, independent films. Imagine going through hundreds of films in one year and how immersed you’ll become in the medium’s mode of storytelling. It’s definitely something we recommend for anyone pursuing the art of film.

Filling up a sketchbook

Close to 50,000 sketchbooks have been part of the Brooklyn Art Library’s permanent collection, and yours can be, too. All you have to do is fill up the pages of a sketchbook with your works. There are no rules when it comes to this project. It doesn’t limit people to render in specific techniques or work with a certain medium. Take this chance to experiment and get your creative juices flowing. There are sketchbooks that feature collages, journaling, random doodles, and small paintings. You don’t even have to send it to The Sketchbook Project, but where’s the fun in that?

Read one book a week

Reading a total of 52 books in a year may not seem like much for the dedicated bookworms among us, but for those trying to find the discipline of turning the pages of their untouched stack of books this is our challenge: Read during your downtime. Instead of scrolling through your phone, try and sneak in some reads during your daily commute. On weekends, take some time off social media and turn to fictitious worlds instead—either way, you’re dealing with things that aren’t what they seem to be.

Let 2019 be the year you explore new genres as well. Maybe you haven’t read much biographies, historical fiction, poetry, or Philippine literature—it’s now time to add these in your personal collection. Treat yourself to a new book whenever you finish a weekly read; or better yet, go through all the books in your shelves you always promised you’d one day finish.

(RELATED READ: 8 offbeat books to add on your 2019 reading list)

Documenting the year

Week in Scraps

We take inspiration from New York-based artist Adam J. Kurtz’s 2014 project called Week In Scraps. If you’re the type who keeps tickets, wrappers, torn notebook pages, and all sorts of little bits and pieces, then this is perfect for you. Every week, you gather the scraps (or what other people refer to as garbage) and pull off some sort of Marie Kondo. Decide which scraps add meaning and memory to what happened during your week. You don’t even have to consciously gather scraps, work with what you’ve ended up pocketing at the day’s windup.

The idea behind “Week in Scraps” is being able to evaluate what matters to you and what you invest on, even if it turns out to be just little things. Tickets, receipts, notes, and keepsakes all show what you value as a person.

List it down

This is the bullet journal’s influence on us: We just want to keep listing things down. For 2019, make lists a part of your life. It can track even the most mundane things, the shows and series you’ve watched, movies you’ve seen, things you’ve bought, and books you’ve read. Or you can make a list of the new friends you’ve made, or places you’ve been to. The traditional bucketlist is surely an option, too. Any list is great to look back on—it will show where you’ve spent your time, money, and efforts on.

Becoming more environmental

Bring Your Own Things

Yes, everyone is obsessed with owning a metal straw these days. We often see it piercing the plastic tops and lids of plastic cups, so we thought of challenging people to take their eco-friendly awareness and efforts up a notch. While it’s noble to start with small things, why not expand the reusables in your bag? And no, we’re not asking you to buy new bamboo utensils, silicone resealable bags or stainless steel tumblers. We’re urging you to find things in your home that will lessen your waste whenever you’re outdoors. 

Have you ever tried to ask if your fast-food take-out could be placed in your mom’s trusty Tupperware? Well, you’ll never know if you don’t go for the experience. Are you a compulsive shopper? Then always have an extra eco-bag tucked in your everyday tote. If you’re a milk tea addict, establishments like Coco and Serenitea accept orders to be placed on tumblers. The only downside is since they don’t often encounter tumbler orders from customers, they tend to forget the add-ons, so just make sure they’ve placed your drinks’ sinkers.

Feeling snacky?

Probably one of the hardest things to do on this list is to give up on junk food. Why, you might ask? Because junk food is often packaged inside plastic. But hear us out: Less waste means less on your waist. Not only do you lessen the plastic waste you personally contribute to landfills, you’re also helping yourself become healthier as you stop consuming useless calories. We’re not telling you to ban chips, chocolate, instant noodles, etc., from your life, we’re telling you to say no to them whenever you can.

The big bucks

New purchases

Year after year, we end up with things we didn’t really have needs for. We try to justify our purchases with the “treat yourself” mantra. We label things as investments, and we give in to tempting sale prices. Challenge yourself to not buy anything new this 2019—unless it’s an urgent need, of course. 

If you’re looking for a loophole in this challenge, there is one: You can buy anything second-hand to save a few pesos. But remember, anything that you don’t need is expensive.

Financial investments

Let this new year be the one when you finally work on a big investment. Learn the trade of stocks and try investing your extra income there. Maybe get yourself different kinds of insurance that will let you earn a good percentage in the next year. With the rate inflation is going, saving your money in the bank truly isn’t enough. Make 2019 the year you explore more streams of income, or find new ways to protect the money you worked so hard to earn.