The 3 Best New Year’s Resolutions

Ho ho ho!  ‘Tis the season!  Time to start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions!  Every year we promise ourselves that NEXT year will be OUR year.  Our year to lose weight, to eat right, to quit smoking, to generally make our life perfect in every way.

I’m a regular gym-goer.  In January it is REALLY hard to find a free treadmill or step-trainer because of the hordes of New-Year-New-You folks.  Then by March it’s business-as-usual because so many have quit showing up.

So how do you see your New Year’s resolution through?

The first step is to start small.  You are NOT going to completely change your life with one resolution.  Think “step-in-the-right-direction” rather than “complete-revamp.”  Choose something you know you CAN do.  This will build confidence and set the stage for another small step in the future.

Here are my best 3 recommendations for New Year’s resolutions this year.

1.  Better Relationship With Yourself

Some of the most common New Year’s resolutions involve health-related goals.  These are AWESOME!  Make sure they are concrete and doable, though, if they are too big it’s easy to give up.  For instance, if you’re a pack-a-day smoker, quitting altogether (while an AWESOME goal) might be too big.  How about cutting down to a half-pack at New Year’s, a quarter-pack by February 1st and quitting altogether by March 1st is definitely doable.

How about nutrition goals?  I definitely recommend positive goals rather than negative ones.  ADD something rather than GIVING UP something.  For instance, drink water instead of soda.  Add a mixed green salad daily (or maybe even twice a week if you NEVER eat anything green).  Pack lunch more often instead of eating fast food.  And DEFINITELY eat breakfast every day.  Don’t try to add all these goals at once!  Pick one, then when you’re used to it, add another.  Before you know it your body will thank you for all this great nutrition you’re giving it!

The last health-related common resolution is to exercise more.  Again, this is AWESOME!  But you have to make it stick!  That means you need to take baby steps.  Get a pedometer and start the 10,000 steps program.  Take a T’ai Chi intro class or ballroom-dancing class.  Find something you LOVE doing, something that’s fun and you’ll be much more likely to stick with it.  (I talked about that in this post from last month.)

You’ll notice I haven’t talked much about weight loss, which is probably THE most common New Year’s resolution.  I look at weight loss as a great byproduct of eating better and moving more, not necessarily a great resolution to make all by itself.

2.  Better Relationships With Others

Another great category of resolution is those that have to do with how you treat other people.  How’s your relationship with your spouse?  Could it be better?  Maybe resolving to set aside one weekend per month for Date Night would help.  Even something as simple as resolving to call every lunchtime for a quick hello and I-Love-You can brighten your (and your spouse’s) entire afternoon.

Maybe you feel a little disconnected from your kids.  What could you do to spend more time with them?  Note I didn’t say “more MONEY.”  Spending time with your kids, reading to little ones or playing ball or Tag with bigger ones creates great memories and brings you closer to them.

How about your parents, brothers, sisters, friends?  Is there someone you haven’t seen in awhile?  Making a point to schedule time for weekly phone calls with family and friends will keep you connected.

Remember to make your goal concrete and doable.

3.  Better Relationship With God

If you believe in God, reconnecting with your faith can be a great New Year’s resolution.  If you don’t go to church or temple regularly, resolving to attend services can be a good start.  Maybe you could join a Bible study group or other group at your place of worship.  Volunteering to work with a group that needs you (like the youth group or a local homeless shelter) is a great way to give back to those who are less fortunate.

Remember that the point of New Year’s resolutions is to make your life better.  Now’s the time to start planning for 2014.  Pick one or two resolutions that matter to you and get started!  And don’t forget to let me know what I can do to help 🙂

QUESTION:  What New Year’s resolution are you planning to make this year?

 

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6 thoughts on “The 3 Best New Year’s Resolutions

  1. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, because, as the song goes, ‘nothing changes on New Year’s Day’. I treat every day the same, going about my usual routine and making small changes if needed……less stress.

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