New Year's Resolutions
Do you want to eat better, exercise more, stop smoking or lose weight? Perfect. Now's the time to aim for those New Year's resolutions. It's a brand new year, a brand new decade and it's the time where many people want to create a fresh start. Around 40% of Americans set resolutions, however, only about 45% of them will successfully stay on track by the six-month mark. However, the New Year isn't just an accelerator for sweeping changes. It is also the time to reflect on the past year's behavior and make optimistic lifestyle modifications.
Your resolutions should stay realistic so that you have a greater chance that you will succeed in keeping them throughout the year. It's also ok to try new activities and stop doing the things you don't gel with. Know who you are, what you want to be and who you're definitely not.
The beginning of a new year is a chance for a fresh start, which is why so many people set extreme resolutions. While this activity can sometimes make you bite off more than you can chew, they can also present perfect opportunities to overcome struggles and grow as a person.
So what are the most common resolutions?
The beginning of a year is when you can reflect and aspire to new beginnings. Losing weight and getting fit is the most commonplace of aresolutions. After all, you've spent the holiday season devouring cookies, candies and chowing down at holiday parties. So it's only natural that a vow to lose weight and get fit follows. Because of this, each January, fitness clubs offer deals and promotions. Weight loss programs do the same thing. Unfortunately, around 60% of gym memberships turn to dust.
Many people vow to quit smoking for their resolution. And why not? After all, cigarettes yellow your teeth, smell up clothing and even irritate your non-smoking friends. Only around 15% of people who try to quit stay cigarette-free six months later. However, there are many products that can assist you – patches, gum, and "e-cigarettes" can all help. In any case, you'll need to be disciplined to succeed in kicking the habit.
Learning something new is a common resolution. Perhaps you've been meaning to study a new language? Or you'd love to play an instrument? Maybe you want to take a cooking class? You can do it! Just make the time to teach yourself these new skills.
This time of year many people swear to themselves that they are going to start eating healthy. We promise ourselves that we will swap out pizza and hamburgers for skinless chicken and salads (with nonfat dressing of course). It all seems possible in January. However, most people go too far and deprive themselves with restricting diets they can't possibly stick to. Everything in moderation is the best plan for success. It will go far to help you stay on target.
Saving money and getting out of debt is a common promise people make to themselves for the new year. After overspending on presents in December, you might decide to try to halt your expenses drastically. However, managing these debts can be a difficult task. How can you get started? Make budget-friendly rules such as only allowing yourself to eat one dinner out a week, bring your lunch to work, or shop around for an insurance plan or credit cards with lower interest rates. As well squirrel away some money for a rainy day. You won't regret it!
Your family is your best champion, and of course, you want to spend time with them. After all, blood is thicker than water. The beginning of the year is the perfect time to reconnect with your relatives or friends who you haven't seen in a while.
The new year is also the best time of year to travel and explore new places. Local destinations you can travel to include riding a hot-air balloon in Temecula, a fun-filled ocean cruise to Mexico, or wine tasting in Napa.
Being less stressed is a great New Year's Eve resolution. After all, it's easy to get overwhelmed during the holidays. Less stress makes you both healthier and happier, so light up soothing candles, take more bubble baths and make time for a massage or facial. It'll help you find your zen.
Helping others is one of the best ways to start the new year. You'll support someone else and feel good about yourself too. Problems in the world are inescapable and lending a hand is the perfect solution. Assist in building a house, care for a homeless animal, give food to the hungry, or volunteer at a homeless shelter. These are all ways to make a better world.
After partying on New Year's Eve, it's not surprising you might want to drink less. Lessening your alcohol content is, of course, good for you – you'll be more healthy, spend less and save your reputation!
Gather up your willpower – it's not as hard as you might think! Here's how you can keep your
New Year's resolutions throughout the year.
Keep resolutions uncomplicated. You don't need to aim for an overhaul of your entire life, because that will only lead to disappointment and guilt. The best way to succeed is to focus on one or two of your most important goals for the year. For example, you might say that you will lose 10 pounds or run in a mini-marathon. Choosing an achievable goal gives you the opportunity to plan exactly how you are going to attain it over the course of the year.
What resolution should you choose? Concentrate on what will create the highest impact on your well-being and happiness. For example, giving up smoking will obviously improve your health and as you stick to it, you will be happy with your own progress!
Stay practical in your goals. If you aim too high and ignore reality you are bound to fail. For instance, you may be trying to lose too much weight or save an unreasonable amount of money. Remember, the new year is not the only time in the year for you to improve your life. There will be more opportunities to start on your next phase, so set goals that are staggered and realistic. After all, unhealthy behaviors do not happen overnight. So replacing bad behaviors with healthy ones can take time. Don't let yourself get overwhelmed. Work towards changing one thing at a time.
Break your goals down to easy-to-manage sections. This is the essential ingredient for victory because the more you plan now, the more you are likely to get what you are aiming for. Build up the willpower to fall back on. Set small goals to make your dreams happen. As well, you should make resolutions that you believe you can keep. For instance, if your goal is to exercise more, schedule four days a week at the gym instead of seven. If you want to eat healthier, replace dessert with fruit or yogurt, instead of punishing yourself with an ultra-strict diet.
Planning a time-frame for your resolution is vital to keep you motivated. It is how you can measure your success, and then assess your short-term progress towards your ultimate long-term goal. If you keep a calendar or diary you can plan your activities for coming weeks or months, and then figure out what your next steps should be.
Keep track of goals that have been achieved by making notes. You will then create a physical reminder of your overall target. Then go further and record the details of what your resolutions are in a notebook, along with your motivations. Keep a scrapbook with photos of you at a healthier weight, pictures of items you are saving for, or even a horrific credit card statement! Reminding yourself of your initial motivation will keep you disciplined.
Don't forget to treat yourself. When you are making your resolution, a vital aspect should be the rewards and treats you give yourself when you reach those all-important milestones. But remember to not put your goal in danger!
Allow yourself to have support. So maybe you've temporarily fallen off the wagon? Your network can help. Choose people you care about who are trustworthy and helpful. They will assist you when the going gets tough and know the perfect things to say during tumultuous times. Talk about your goals by sharing your experiences with family and friends. Consider joining a support group, like a workout class at your gym or a group of coworkers who are quitting smoking. Having someone to share your struggles and successes with makes your journey to a healthier lifestyle easier and less intimidating. If you are unable to meet your goals on your own, think about seeking professional help. Psychologists understand the connection between the mind and body. They can offer strategies as to how to adjust your goals so you can follow through, as well as help you change unhealthy habits and address any emotional issues you may have.
Stay positive and don't give up! Slip-ups can and do happen, and it's not an excuse to stop. Instead, when it happens, draw on your reserves of self-care and motivation. Take proud in your past accomplishments and don't berate yourself. Perfection will not happen and minor missteps are completely normal and okay. Everyone has ups and downs; resolve to recover from your mistakes and get back on track. Forgive yourself and say “I'm starting over and I can succeed!”
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Remember, you are in charge and your actions are under your control – so stay on track. You can achieve your resolutions and improve your life. Get started on your next journey, and good luck!