“The New Year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.-” Melody Beattie
With every passing year, comes hopes and dreams for a better coming year. One sits down and puts thought into New Year’s Resolutions, predominately to better themselves and/or their current situation. Oftentimes, these resolutions only last for two weeks and very rarely a month. The reason most people fail at achieving their New Years Goals is because people set unrealistic and oftentimes unachievable goals. Unknowingly most people set themselves up for failure without even knowing it. Once individuals fail at one goal, they become discouraged and then they may give up on the remainder resolutions. I have been guilty of this as have millions of other people. It’s in our nature to set unrealistic goal. We may not mean to do it, but we don’t take into consideration outside factors that may get in the way of us achieving our New Years Resolutions. Such factors include changes to ones job and/or family. They could be related to finances or a move. There are millions of factors that one cannot even begin to account for that could affect the outcome of ones’ New Year’s Resolutions, but it’s important for one to remember that this is normal. Things happen. Such is life. One cannot give up when they hit a bump in the road. They must persevere and push on. With that being said, I have included some of the most commonly broken New Year’s Resolutions. I bet the majority of these are on your list. Heck, some of them are on mine, too. But here’s the good news, I’ll offer some insight on how to stay on track in achieving these.
1) Get Fit & Lose Weight: This is probably on everyone’s list each year. Time and time again, I gave seen people fail on this within the first month. Someone once said that it takes at least 21 days for someone to break a habit. Don’t be included in that. When one first starts eating healthy and working out, results are not seen right away. It takes time for your body to reboot and detox, therefore; don’t get discouraged when you don’t see results as quickly as you wanted too. Those results are sure to come with time. If you join a gym, make sure to designate a workout buddy. This helps hold each other accountable and ensures that you are getting to the gym on the days where you really just want to lie in bed an extra hour.
“Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.”-George Washington Carver
Don’t make excuses. Make positive changes.
2) Quit Smoking: If the health benefits aren’t reason enough, do it for the mere fact that you get your life back. You may be the only one that has to excuse themselves for a smoke break because your family members, friends, co-workers, etc. don’t smoke. I personally do not like being around smokers, so you may have people intentionally not wanting to be around you. Upon smoking, individuals see a change in their breathing. They do not get winded as much and are able to breath easier. Not appealing enough? How about the smell? Smoking stinks. Want to smell better? Stop smoking. Get your health back, get back those pearly whites, get back those healthy lunges and smell prettier 🙂
3) Learn Something New: Want to learn something new? Just do it? What’s holding you back? We only have one life to live- if you want to learn karate or learn to sew, then do it. Life is too short to not try new things.
4) Diet- Eat Healthier: I know first hand that this is easier said than done. As a wife, mom, business woman in the corporate world, blogger/author, artist, fitness junkie and single mom by night, grabbing junk food is not only more convenient but saves me time when time is limited. I’ve had to make time to make meals the night before my work day in order to make sure I eat healthy. I’m always on the go, so ensuring I am prepared and organized is imperative to ensure success in this category. Also, it’s OK to have one cheat day a week. Don’t forget that we’re only humans, and oreos are the bomb 😉
5) Save Money- Get out of Debt: Stop pointless spending. Prepare meals at home instead of eating out, buy clothes at gently used clothing stores (especially for kids) and stop buying things you don’t need. When you stop spending money on the pointless things, the saving begins. With the money you’re saving, apply that money to credit cards or student loans in order to lower the balance and help you get out of debt sooner.
6) Spend more Time with Family: Family should always come first. When everything else fails, one can usually always turn and get support from their family, so why are we not putting them first? I struggle with this because of how busy I am, but since becoming a mom for the first time 9 months ago, I understand the importance of family time. Time with my family is limited and most of my family is from out of town so it’s important that when they’re visiting, they have all of my attention.
7) Travel to New Places: Now this is a hard one for my to do personally because of my crazy busy life, but it’s important to MAKE the time for. Visiting new places can be exciting and adventurous and for those who work day in and day out, getting away from the norm could be a good thing. Go for a long drive on a weekend off. Unplug the smart phone map or car GPS and get lost. You can always resort back to the smart phone map or car GPS upon realize that you are indeed lost.
8) Be Less Stressed: This in itself is hard, because it’s so diverse. One must break this down and try to interpret what the underlying stress is. Whether it’s work related stress, family stress, financial stress, etc., breaking it down and focusing on that underlying reason will help minimize the stress. By focusing on stress as a whole without breaking it down sets one up for failure. Oftentimes, I have found the stress I experience to be either work related or family/friends related. By diving into the main issue, I have been able to overcome and conquer the stress much easier than those who do not focus on the main issue.
9) Drink Less: This one always makes me cringe. If you have to include this on your New Year’s Resolution list, you may be better off visiting the local AA chapter (no offense). I understand one may occasionally drink, but if there is enough of a concern to put this on your resolutions for the year, you may have a problem. On the flip side, if you’re an occasional drinker and you have this on your list as means to watch your calorie intake, I suggest using a calorie tracker. It’ll tell you what drinks have the fewer calories.
10) Volunteer-Help Others: This can be either volunteering for local animal shelters, food drives or donating time or money to help the community and anything in between. We must not take for granted how fortunate we are compared to others. There are others out there worrying about how they’re going to put food on the tables when others are struggling to determine what size filet mignon they are to order from the menu. Take time to help the unfortunate. There is so much love to be spread.
11) Spend Less Time on Social Media: Unless this is your main source of income, it’ll do anybody good to spend less time on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Oftentimes, when we’re with the ones that mean the most, we’re checking our Facebook account and/or other social media account. Some people act as if it’s their life line and are addicted to it, so ensuring that this does not become WHO we are, we must distance ourselves and limit ourselves on social media each day. My advice would be to ensure you are not on it an hour leading up to bed time. Studies have shown that watching TV and playing on your smart phone (ie. Utilizing your social media sites) have been linked to restlessness and poor sleep. Want to catch some great ZZZ’s tonight? Stay off Social Media.
12) Sleep More: Being a new mom, I know first-hand how important sleep is because I don’t get much of it because of my 9 month old and his terrible sleeping habits. I know those who don’t sleep much may not be because of a child, but I know others my age still party hard. Their priorities aren’t exactly what they should be so they’re up drinking and/or partying late and in turn do not get adequate sleep. Others may work second or third shift, so their sleep patterns are out of sorts anyways, but it’s important to fit sleep in when one can. 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep has some great health benefits, and good sleep can even help one lose weight. Here is more information on that bit I added: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/lack-of-sleep-weight-gain
13) Out with the Negative: Oftentimes, we may be surrounded by negative people or those people who constantly seek the attention from those around them. Their catalysts for negativity and one must avoid them at all costs. These kind of people can put others in bad moods and it can spread like wild fire. Un-friending such people both in real-life and on social media can ensure that negativity and drama are absent from our lives. No one has time to deal with people like that.
As mentioned, I’m sure you may have one or two of these common resolutions on your New Year’s Resolution list, but I ensure you that they don’t have to fall in the commonly broken New Year’s Resolutions. In fact, I kept several of my New Year’s Resolutions last year, and I plan on doing the same again this year. If one is determined to make changes and take the necessary steps to get there, one will be successful. Happy 2015.