The beginning of a new year brings new hope and a promise of better things to come! However, we all know it doesn’t just happen by accident or blind luck (if it does, it is rarely long lasting) – we have to pave our own path and secure a future worthy of our expectations and goals. And… there is no time like the present!
Here are some suggestions for New Year’s resolutions that are actually realistic and achievable (i.e. ones that you might actually be able to follow through on consistently!). Make an effort to introduce some, if not all, of these into your daily routine and see if you notice a difference throughout the year!
If you can think of any more “realistic and achievable” resolutions feel free to start a conversation and make a post below!
EAT IN MORE: Limit your meals out to just once a week! Most restaurants fail to provide a complete (and often accurate) list of nutritional facts for the foods they serve. This makes it tough to track your calories, fat and carbohydrates per meal and increases the likelihood of eating unhealthy foods. This in turn will affect your physical and emotional well being! Plan out your weekly grocery trip and buy foods that are more healthy (lean meats, fruits and vegetables). Splash out on a good healthy eating cook book and cook in for the rest of the week. The more invested you are in preparing and eating the food, the more you will appreciate it – not to mention the money you will save!
CUT UP THE CARDS: Overspending is a national epidemic! Millions of people across the country are in debt over their head. Cut up all but one of your credit cards (the one with the lowest rate) and use it only in emergencies. Only spend money you have. If you don’t have it then you can’t spend it. If you are in debt, put a plan together to pay it off, consolidate your debt if possible or speak with a credit counselor and get help. Don’t make it worse by continuing the trend in 2012!
EXERCISE SMART: Although well-intentioned, far too many people buy a gym membership at the beginning of a new year that they never use. If you’re motivated enough, most gym’s offer classes and services at all hours of the day that can work just fine. However, for most people (those who want to be fitter and healthier but just don’t like working out all that much!) the novelty of getting up at 4:30 in the morning and working out before work wears off pretty quick. If you have a crazy schedule, consider some alternatives – walk to work (or walk to the bus then walk to work!), take the stairs instead of the elevator, ride your bike instead of driving places, take a power walk over lunch instead of sitting at the computer. Get creative!
UNPLUG: Get disconnected from your electronics. As much as apple products, gaming systems and phones are fun – they are a distraction from almost everything else. Commit to an e-free period of time every day and rediscover your family and friends and other hobbies like reading, hiking or volunteering! I dare you!
GIVE YOURSELF A PAT ON THE BACK: Find something nice to say about yourself each day! We all have a tendency to focus on those things we did wrong or need to improve upon and tend to dismiss those things we have done right or well. Although, in small doses, this is a healthy response to fulfill a basic need towards self improvement we could also use a little ego boost too! Be kind to yourself this year and give yourself a pat on the back when you deserve it!
STAY OUT OF OTHER PEOPLE’S BUSINESS: Make an effort to stop the gossip. Choose to not only stop talking about others behind their back but not to listen to others doing it too! Most people tend to gossip about others to either “fit in”, or feel better about themselves. Both are counterproductive. “Fitting in” with a group that gossips will inevitably lead to you being gossiped (if that is such a word) about at some stage in the future and the only way you will ever feel better about yourself is by respecting yourself first. Take a stand to not get involved in other people’s business. You may find that you feel good about being the bigger person and that others respect you more for doing so!
DAILY CHALLENGE: Challenge yourself each and every day to do something that gets you out of your comfort zone! One of the greatest strengths we can possess is our ability to roll with the punches, be flexible and open to new possibilities and experiences. This is how we learn! Fear can dominate our daily lives and stop us from growing and achieving our full potential. Challenge yourself – you know what those things are!
TIME MANAGEMENT: Buy a calendar and use it! Add an extra 15 minutes on to your estimated travel time and make and plan on arriving early – yes early…