Losing weight. Cleaning up your act. Getting healthy. These ‘resolutions’ are tired. They’ve been done. This year, resolve to love life more. Focus on infusing your days and nights with happiness, with resolutions that encourage you to relax, laugh, and spend time with loved ones.
1. Relish the Outdoors
Getting some fresh air isn’t just about a change of scenery. Research shows us that spending time outdoor increases energy in 90 percent of people. Imagine that, all you need to do for a pick-me-up is to step outside. Sure, there is always coffee. (We live in the Seattle area after all, the unofficial capital of coffee.) But as researcher and professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, Richard Ryan explains, “research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature.”
So this year, get outside. Spend your morning on the patio with a good book. Enjoy your lunch on the porch. Host dinner under the stars. Make it a priority to get outside and enjoy your outdoor space.
2. Grow Something
Gardening can come with some pretty amazing perks, like fresh flowers and yummy tomatoes. But did you know that gardening can also help you boost your self-esteem, beet the common cold, lose weight and more? In a recent Reader’s Digest article, Charlotte Hilton Andersen shares the 10 most surprising benefits of gardening, including how it can:
- Improve the environment by providing a vital space that helps lessen waste and reduces greenhouse gasses.
- Increases your hand coordination and strength by encouraging you to use your fine motor skills.
- Sharpens your brain by decreasing the chance of Alzheimer’s disease.
Of course, if you want to garden just to make your space beautiful, that’s great too. We fully support that decision. But, it’s always nice to know there’s more than one perk to getting outside and helping things grow.
There’s something about cultivating the earth that just makes you feel at one with nature. This doesn’t mean you have to become a master gardener or have a practiced green thumb. Start with something easy – like an herb garden. It will brighten up your patio and your plate.
3. Host a Marshmallow Roasting Party
Shouldn’t this be the year you laugh more and worry less? Because now is always a good time to embrace your inner kid and there’s no better way to do so than roasting marshmallows. This year, take your dinner party to the next level with the sweet goodness of s’mores. Throw caution to the wind. Let your hands get a bit sticky. And, savor the evening when you say, ‘just one more s’more.’
4. Light it Up
Want to encourage outdoor time? Make it so ‘outdoor time’ is regulated by daylight. Light up your outdoor space and you’ll transform it into a 24-7 sanctuary. Use string lights to give it a sultry vibe. Add LED lanterns to harness the power of the sun. And, place candles on tabletops to make your space twinkle.
5. Unplug and Lounge Often
Technology can keep us connected to the ones we love — no matter where they are in the world. It can also keep us on the clock 24/7, which can lead to a crazy and hectic lifestyle. We all need an opportunity to decompress. This year, focus on taking some time to unplug and lounge. Give yourself the downtime you need to rest and refuel.
By outfitting your patio with an ultra-relaxing chair, you can create a space you look forward to enjoying. Choose something with deep, plush cushions that invites you to stay a little longer. Perhaps you want to give yourself a footrest and a small side table to hold a drink. It’s these little details that can sometimes make all the difference.
6. Play More
While we’re clearly big fans of lounging, games can also make your patio a fun place for all. Having a few, easy outdoor games on hand can quickly turn any small gathering into a memorable party. Discover several of our favorite outdoor games.
7. Make Your Patio Pet-Friendly
Around here, we love our four-legged family members. Which is why we believe in making out outdoor space pet-friendly. This means creating a space that’s safe for you and your pets. It also means making sure there’s dedicated seating for everyone. Get our top tips for designing a dog-friendly patio.