Updated: Jul 2, 2019
New Year’s is coming up like a speeding train and you’re standing there right on the tracks. What are you going to do? Is it going to be like all the years where you’ve made those resolutions only to
fail at them? Don’t you hate failure and do you feel foolish not sticking to these resolutions? The answer to all of these is probably “yes.”
What do they say about the road to hell? It is, of course, paved with good intentions and whether or not you believe in heaven or hell, it still holds that good intentions simply aren't enough to get you to where you want to be.
How many years have you been making New Year's resolutions now? Too many, I’ll bet. And how many of those resolutions center around the following:
Money and debt
School or learning something new
Ok, how many of those were on your list? Do you know that ALL of them are among the most broken New Year's resolutions? Why is that? The main reason is that you didn't really set any achievable, measurable goals in any of them. You set yourself up for failure from the start.
Good intentions are fine, but often we find that our motivation lags and we decide that we just can’t do it, so we give up. But the secret here is to approach these resolutions on a totally different way; a way you’d approach a business problem or challenge. What do you do? Break them down like this:
Weight – How much weight is reasonable for you to lose in what length of time? Experts say about 1.5lbs. a week may be a good
goal, but not for everyone. How about setting it a bit more realistically and setting it at 2 lbs. a month? Now, how will you do it? If you’re planning on a supplement or a diet plan you have to buy, you may find it too expensive and you stop. Look carefully at your diet and pick out the hidden calories that can be cut back.
Exercise more – Exercise is a simple goal to achieve, again, if you carve it out into bits that are possible. Watch TV news in the morning? Take a small set of hand weights and do some sets. What about a regular, daily walk around the block or even up and down the stairs in your home or apartment complex? Yes, that’s exercise. Exercise does not have to hurt and it doesn’t have to be strenuous. Walk whenever you can and don’t take the car so much. Exercise also fights anxiety, depression, stress and aids the immune system.
Quit smoking – This is the hardest one because nicotine is more physically addictive than heroin, according to experts and there is
a nature chemical in our nervous system that loves nicotine. And, in addition, nicotine in cigarettes reduces anxiety. Work with a therapist, join a smoking cessation group, try a patch or even consider vaping. Your choice here.
Eat a healthier diet – Prepared or fast foods are the culprits here, so go online, get some simple recipes you like and make your grocery list. Newspapers, whether online or at the corner store, all carry meal plans for new and interesting recipes. Try them and be sure to make something for work or school.
Reduce your stress – I have a relaxation breathing video on my YouTube channel (http://bitly.com/1gXYA3j) that will get you started. Use this technique several times a day to keep stress from building up. The breathing can even help your immune system and keep you healthier.
Save more money and get out of debt. Is there a community counseling service in your town? I mean a free one that's run by a
social service agency? Work with them on a plan plotted out for you. Start with any change you have in your pockets. Every little bit of money can add up. Put all your change at the end of the day into a jug in a closet and add to it each day.
Cut down on alcohol. When do you drink? One drink to relax is fine, but more may mean you’re getting into trouble. Change from alcoholic beverages to iced tea or plain water whenever you can. In time, you’ll notice you have lost your tolerance for alcohol and that’s a good thing; you are winning. Put the extra money you save into your savings or that jug.
Get more involved with family. Schedule family time by sitting, as a family and deciding what is possible each week. Maybe a movie or game night?
Go back to school or learn something new. Free courses, by major universities, are on the internet. You can take the course without
exams or earn a certificate in something like computer programming. The programs are called MOOC (massive open online courses). Here’s a great place to start searching:http://www.openculture.com/free_certificate_courses. Take a free and easy computer programming or coding course, or something that may help with your job, a career or just plain fun. Indulge your curiosity about a subject. Brain stimulation keeps us creative and feeling happier.
Travel. How far do you have to "travel" to find something different? I'll bet there's something very close to where you live. Plan on some day trips where you may visit historic sites or museums or whatever interests you. Adventure awaits in your own backyard.
Make these resolutions different from the one you set last year and be sure your approach is different, too. Don't set yourself up for disappointment in the New Year's resolutions department this year of 2018. Make this a year where you can feel proud of how well you did with your resolutions.