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10 New Year's Resolutions to Make For a Productive 2018

2017 has come and gone in the blink of an eye.

Maybe you accomplished everything you wanted to over the last 12 months, and maybe you didn’t quite get around to all of it. In any case, now is the time to commit to a new set of goals that can help guide you to a productive and reinvigorated 2018.

As a Global Citizen, we know that you want to help change the world for the better in big and small ways. So we’ve compiled a list of a few New Year’s resolutions we think you should consider adopting for yourself if you want to do everything you can to join us in our mission.

Check out the list below, and let us know what your resolutions for the New Year will look like!

Read More: Make the Global Goals your New Year's Resolution

1/ Eat More Ethically

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Every year people rank eating healthier as one of their most important New Year’s Resolutions. But this year, strive to eat more ethically as well. This means making sure the foods you buy — from your produce to your coffee beans — are made using fair standards of labor. Checking for the Fairtrade label is a good way to start. Do your research before you go shopping, and if possible, shop at farmers’ markets where you can meet the actual people who produce your food.

If you can, also try to limit the amount of meat that you consume: the livestock industry is an incredible source of pollution, and in many cases the animals raised for slaughter are treated unethically. Buying meat every once in awhile is ok, but when you do, buy it as locally as you can, from a vendor who can tell you the conditions the animal was raised in.

By eating ethically you will be more connected to your community, and feel better about your consuming habits. More likely than not you will also be eating much, much healthier.

2/ Volunteer Your Time

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Being a Global Citizen means you understand the interconnectedness of people everywhere, and have a desire to improve the quality of life for everyone no matter where they are. So why not start in your own community?

Volunteering is one of the most rewarding activities you can commit to doing throughout the upcoming year. Whether it’s working for a local homeless shelter, spending time with the elderly, pitching in at your kid’s school, or finding some other creative way to give back, there are limitless opportunities to volunteer time in your community.

Read More: These Are the Best Things To Donate to Food Banks During This Holiday Season

3/ Educate Yourself on the World’s Most Pressing Issues

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“Read more” will inevitably pop up on millions of people’s New Year's resolution lists, and you should definitely make yourself one of them. For Global Citizens looking to stay informed on the most important global issues, consume as many books and articles as you can.

Committing to tackle any large challenge, such as eliminating global poverty, requires a thorough understanding of the issue at hand. A non-fiction overview can be a great place to start if you are truly interested in comprehending the problems we campaign on. You can check out a list of books we compiled here. And of course, follow Global Citizen for the latest news updates on all the issues surrounding extreme poverty.

4/ Go Vote — But Educate Yourself on the Issues and Candidates First

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This is a huge one, especially in the US in 2018, resolve to make informed voting choices at all levels possible. When election season rolls around make sure you have a solid understanding of the issues at hard and the leaders who want your support.

Voting is an opportunity to take action, but without researching your potential choices you won’t be able to voice your power effectively. Make sure you know when elections are happening in your community, and take time well before that date to thoroughly study what a vote in any given direction will mean for you and your neighbors. Read, discuss, read some more, and at the end of the day, make sure that you get out and vote!

5/ Learn to Have Productive Political Discussions

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We all have that one relative who inevitably ruins the holiday cheer by steering the conversation in a political direction. But in 2018, Global Citizens should resolve to actually talk through these tough issues in a productive manner. Understanding one others’ political opinions, especially when they are different than your own, is ultimately a positive experience no matter how difficult it might seem.

Social psychologist Robb Willer gave an amazing TED talk on how to break down polarization, and communicate more effectively with those who don’t share your political beliefs. You can check it out here.

6/ Donate Your Money More Effectively

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Charitable donations are a great way to help support various causes around the world or in your own backyard. With the amount of natural disasters and other crises occurring in 2017, there was an exceptional need for good people to step up and donate toward efforts supporting those affected.

In 2018, resolve to be as effective as possible when sending money to these organizations. Do your research on which places make the best use of the donations they recieve, and avoid giving money to organizations that have shady reputations. Organizations that can offer metrics detailing the impact of your donation, such as, will help you to gauge whether or not you should they are the right choice for you.

Read More: How to Make Sure Donated Goods Are Helping, Not Hurting, After a Crisis

7/ Explore New Cultures

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Being a Global Citizen means you not only believe the world’s population is interconnected, but you actively want to understand what that looks like. Resolve to make 2018 the year that you seek out new places, new people, and new cultures.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend thousands on international travel, however. There is diversity all over the place if you know where to look. Research events happening near you that might introduce you to something new, and go check it out. You’d be surprised at how many opportunities to explore are hiding in plain sight. If you are lucky enough to be able to go longer distances, consider spending less money on things, and save for a trip somewhere you’ve never been.

8/ Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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If it wasn’t clear already, we really, really need to get serious about fighting the effects of climate change. But it’s not enough to hope our leaders take action on this issue. Global Citizens should resolve to do it for themselves by lowering their carbon footprint in 2018.

There are tons of ways you can achieve this in your everyday life. Some of them include eating less meat, committing to take public transportation whenever possible, rigging your home to use renewable energy, and living like a minimalist. With the upcoming holiday season, you can use this handy guide to get a jumpstart on being more green in the upcoming year.

9/ Learn a New Language

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You might think that learning a new language is all about expanding the number of people and cultures that you can interact with. While potentially growing your friend group is definitely a huge part of it, there are so many other reasons why you should resolve to learn a new language in 2018.

Scientists have shown that bilingual people are generally better at processing language, and have an easier time with problem-solving and other analytical tasks. Additionally, in our ever-connected world, speaking a second language could make you a much more attractive employee to companies who operate around the globe. There is also some evidence that becoming bilingual boosts creativity; who wouldn’t want to be able to make people holiday presents instead of buying them?

10/ Take Action

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One of the most meaningful resolutions you can make in 2018 is to continue your work as a Global Citizen by taking action through our social impact platform. Last year, Global Citizens took over 3 million actions, resulting in $5.7 billion in commitments to end extreme poverty. In 2018 we want to set our goals even higher, and we want you to be a part of the process.

It’s never been simpler to use Global Citizen as a tool for activism. Visit our Take Action page, select an issue category like health, education, or food and hunger, and easily choose a campaign to support. You can check out the page here.

Never forget, every big change begins with a small individual action. In 2018, remember that you have the power to make our world a better place, should you choose to use it.

Take Action: Help Spread Love Over Bias

So there you have it. Ten resolutions perfect for Global Citizens dedicated to making changes in their lives and beyond. Incorporate one or more of these goals into your list for 2018, and feel good about taking action.