Back to Basics in the New Year


The new year is quickly approaching and with it comes resolutions. Many people go big with their new year’s resolutions. There are no merits for going small, after all. Go big or pretty much don’t go, then do it all again the following year. Rather than reiterating the same tale this year, how about taking a step back and not being so ambitious? Or maybe better put, because having no ambition is frowned upon, restore and reinvigorate with the basics.

Back to Basics

There is something refreshing about the simple things or the activities that we used to do before we became who we became. Did you ever pick and eat a bunch of Pickleweed when you were young? It doesn’t look like something you should put in your mouth but it is salty and crunchy, like a pickle. Surely you used to go outside to play in the rain or snow without fear of it ruining your hair. Remember climbing trees?

Now, I am not suggesting you go out and do any of the above but think about the jovial, easy feelings that you were filled with when life was simpler. Are there any activities that give you that same feeling? If so, try to do those things more often in the coming year.

Our lives sometimes suffer due to long hours on the job and other stressors. Do some activities that you used to like such as walking in the park, on the beach or through the woods. Take a drive around a scenic area. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Maybe the youth of a college neighborhood or out in the country — whatever environment inspires or relaxes you. Or maybe a night in with a loved one, spent cooking something new and watching a favorite series.

As relates to our technology-driven society, perhaps you can call your mother instead of texting her, go outside and take a bike ride rather than hopping on the treadmill (though that might not be feasible for some climates) or writing a letter to send through snail mail.

Instead of…

  • Reading and re-posting fake news on social media, go to a museum and see some real history, art or animals.
  • Downloading books, go to your local library. Many libraries offer free magazines, activities for the kids and other enriching experiences.
  • Watching something on your smart devices, play a game of charades or hide and seek.
  • Looking it up on YouTube, take an adult class at a community college. They offer an array of new things to learn, you have the hands-on experience and a teacher to help you.
  • Adding to the traffic and emissions, take advantage of your agency’s public transportation subsidy. You can relax on the metro or read your free magazine from the library.

Whatever the activity, take it back to basics. Consider slowing down and adding some simplicity into your life in 2018.


Nicole Napuunoa is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

Leave a Comment


Leave a Reply

Amy DeWolf

Thanks for reminding us of this, Nicole! It’s definitely important to remember how the basics/more simple things can make us happy in both our personal and work lives. I also LOVE the local library and always encourage folks to go 🙂

Nicole Napuunoa

Thank you for commenting. Yes, I am always surprised that adults no longer make use of their libraries. They offer great amenities beyond books.


Not to mention that if you DO want to download books, your library can help you with that too – from downloadable audiobooks to traditional books!

Catherine Andrews

This post is resonating with me a lot! In previous years I’ve had long laundry lists of goals and resolutions, but only have one or two I really want to focus on in 2018. It’s nice to give yourself permission to go “small.”

Lynn K

Fantastic article! I am so tired of everything being all surrounded by technology…so I am getting a new pug puppy to put me in my place and remind me every day what is most important in life…not my job, my phone, email, texts, but personal interaction and doing things with the people and puppies I love!