It’s time to ring in 2020. You know what that means, creating New Year’s resolutions.
What is it about the New Year that makes everyone suddenly so goal-oriented?
If you choose to make a New Year’s resolution this year, keep in mind that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail. Maybe one of your New Year’s Resolutions should be to achieve just one resolution.
So how can you achieve your resolution?
Don’t aim too high, or have unrealistic expectations.
Striving to lose 50 pounds in 2 months, or read every Stephen King novel before his next movie comes out are quite commendable targets, but are not realistic.
Set achievable goals. Read that again. Set achievable goals.
Here are some New Year’s Resolution ideas to get you inspired for the upcoming year.
Get In Shape
Do you make this resolution every year? How long do you stick with it?
Whether you are dieting or exercising, or both, to keep it going, it has to be doable for you, not a lofty ideal. Start with something manageable. Take a walk around the neighborhood after work or after dinner.
If you don’t like going to the gym, then don’t make that your resolution. There are plenty of other ways to get in shape that do not require a gym membership.
Don’t force yourself to do something that will only make you miserable. Find a different exercise activity that you like. Try taking up tennis, swimming, or join a fun exercise class.
Exercise classes exist for almost any type of interest including cycling, kickboxing, dancing, yoga and much more. And did you know a ton of them are virtual?
You can set up your tablet and start practicing in your own living room. Once you are comfortable there are plenty to choose from at your local rec center or YMCA for people of all ages and ability levels.
The same rules apply to dieting.
If you don’t like cabbage, don’t go on the cabbage soup diet just because someone told you it works. Do some research. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. No, there is no “eat all you want Dorito diet.” That would be nice though.
Find a plan that is right for you, and you can stick with.
Need a little technological boost? Try these fitness gadgets to help you stick to your resolutions.
Clear Your Mind
Our lives are stressful. Always on the go and being constantly accessible through social media and other technology can take a toll on our minds. Our brains never get to rest and become cluttered with unnecessary thoughts and worries.
Taking the time to clear your mind can help you in so many ways.
Meditation is a great way to do this. Many successful people say they meditate to help get a handle on their hectic lives. Oprah Winfrey, Anna Huffington, Russel Simons and Jerry Seinfeld are just a few who practice meditation.
Meditation is simple, it only takes a few minutes and the benefits are extensive.
It has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, can lead to improved self-image and positivity, lengthens your attention span, may help with memory loss, can help improve your sleep and can help lower your blood pressure.
Simple Meditation Steps
Set a timer for 2 minutes.
If sitting is uncomfortable for you, you can lie down, just make yourself comfy.
- Close your eyes.
- Breathe naturally. Don’t suddenly begin breathing heavily or slowly because you are trying to relax, just breathe normal.
- Pay close attention to your breath and your body. Notice how your chest and belly change when you breathe. Note how your rib cage expands when you inhale and it deflates when you exhale. Focus on your breath but don’t change it or control it.
- It’s natural for your mind to wander. If it does, that’s OK, just acknowledge it and then return the focus to your breath.
Try to maintain meditation practice for two to three minutes to as you start. It will be difficult in the beginning. You will find yourself restless and uncomfortable, but stick with it.
After you’ve done it a few times, it will become easier and then try increasing it to 3 or 4 minutes. You will see great improvements with even just a small amount of meditation.
Less than 5 minutes of meditation time will do the trick.
Clear Your Home
If you’re tired of never being able to find anything in your home, it’s time to get organized.
The key to organization is to eliminate the stuff you do not need.
Tackle your spaces one at a time. For instance, start with just a desk area, or maybe a garage.
Don’t try to tackle the whole house at one time.
Sort all the items in that space into 3 piles: keep, throw away and give away.
If you haven’t used something or worn something in over a year, you should consider getting rid of it.
Once you have your items sorted, look at what you are keeping, group them into logical categories and keep them together.
For example, when organizing an unruly linen closet, create bins or spots on shelves designated for items that go together. Have one area just for sheets, one for bath towels, one for hand towels, etc. Keep your extra toiletries together.
Finding the right storage containers to fit in your space will help you out with this task tremendously.
Things you use the most should be the most easily accessible.
Don’t designate a place for something you use often that is too difficult to get to. It will just cause you to throw it somewhere where it doesn’t belong. You don’t want to have to dig through stacks of extra toilet paper to get to the washcloths that you use every day.
Fun Uncommon Resolutions
If all of these resolutions seem too daunting for you and you would rather set resolutions that are more fun, but still make you a better person, give some of these a try.
Any step in a positive direction is a good one.
- Learn something new. Try out a new skill or a new hobby, maybe even sign up for an adult education class. Or sign up to coach a kids sports team.
- Make a new friend. Go for it! We can never have too many friends.
- Do you feel like you are in a food rut? Try one new food each month. Expand your horizons and your palate. See what is out there, maybe you will find new favorite food.
- Power down one day a month. See if you can turn off the cell phone, texts, tweets and go offline one day per month. You may be surprised by how much you can accomplish. Check out the book Digital Minimalism for some inspiration.
- Go somewhere new each month. Check out the store that just opened up downtown. Get your vanilla latte at the local coffee shop instead of Starbucks. Take a stroll in a park that you’ve never been to, but pass every morning on your way to the office. Add a little adventure and variety to your life!
- Say hello to a stranger every day. Surely, you pass by at least one person you don’t know every day. Say “Hi,” see how it makes you feel to acknowledge and brighten up someone else’s day.
- Get (and keep alive) some indoor plants. Keeping indoor plants can help reduce stress and lower your blood pressure. Bringing in a little bit of outdoor greenery can also help perk you up on these cold, dark wintery days.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you work or live in a building where you take the elevator every day to the second or third floor, try hoofing it up the stairs. It’s a great aerobic workout and it doesn’t take nearly as much time as going to the gym.
- Volunteer more. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is not just a day off from work. It is also the MLK National Day of Service. Take advantage of the day off and go volunteer and give back to your local community. You might even like it and start doing it on a monthly basis.
- Start a daily journal. Writing down your thoughts and ideas is a great way to reflect and grow as a person. Keep a pen and notebook on your bedside table and spend 5 minutes a day writing down whatever comes to mind.
- Drink more water. Most Americans don't drink enough water. Carry around a water bottle and opt for water instead of Diet Pepsi at restaurants.
- Read more books. When's the last time you picked up (and finished a book)? Check out your local library or download an app like Audible to listen to books on the go.
- Learn a new language. Flex your brain muscles and learn a new language. There are a ton of fun new ways to learn a language like Duolingo or Rosetta Stone.
- Be thankful. If you don't think anything is going right in your life, it might be helpful to count your blessings. This is a great daily or weekly exercise to add to your daily journaling routine.
- Travel more. Stop procrastinating on your bucket list items. Use the new year to book a few plane tickets and see the world!
- Make more money. Let's be honest, everyone could use a little bit more more. Take on a new side hustle or ask for a raise at work.
- Save more money. If you're going to make more money, you should save more money, too! Add a little cushion to your retirement savings and get closer to your financial dreams.
- Get more sleep. Are you neglecting your sleep schedule? Make it a goal to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
- Watch less TV. If you're staying up too late binge-watching the latest Netflix dramas, you can kill two birds with one stone by turning off the TV and getting to bed earlier!
- Connect with your friends. Don't let your friendships fizzle out because of your busy life. Make it a point to text or goal a friend at least once a week to stay connected.
- Cook more meals at home. If you're one of those people who goes out to eat for every meal, it's time to start cooking more meals at home. Cooking at home can save you money and its often much healthier than fast food.
Let’s Get Crackin’
It’s almost the New Year. Don’t spend your day sitting around reading online articles.
Get up and get moving, you’ve got a lot to do!