Top five New Year’s resolutions

By: Lisa S. Icenogle

Dec 30, 2020 | Uncategorized

Photo of pine boughs with a sign in the middle that reads "Happy New Year."
It’s that time of the year again, time to make some New Year’s resolutions for yourself. It doesn’t matter whether you make one or five. What does matter is that in the end, you can accomplish your resolution(s).

There are a few key tips for doing this without going crazy. For starters, choose those things that you can actually accomplish. Sure, we would all like to make a million dollars in a year, but that is a pretty big number to reach for most people. However, you can resolve to save money, which in the long run may help you save toward that million!

You also want to choose a resolution(s) that you want and not something that your friends, your parents, your spouse, or whoever wants for you. These are called the “shoulds.” I should do this because… If you don’t deep down want something for yourself, you really aren’t going to try and achieve it. For example, your mom might think that you should resolve to get more sleep. But if you don’t think you need more sleep, you aren’t likely to head for dreamland earlier than you already do. Remember, your resolution(s) is for you and shouldn’t be based on what you think you should do because others or society say you should.

If you do decide to make more than one resolution, don’t feel like you need to accomplish all of them at once. Instead, take a measured approach and start with just one. Once you have the first one accomplished and have turned it into a habit, move on to the next resolution and so on.

Be sure to add a deadline, whether for individual chunks of a particular resolution or the entire resolution. A deadline provides a sense of urgency and a timeline for achieving your goal. Then when you meet that deadline, you have something to celebrate.

Be specific with your goals. This means that if you decide you want to save money, for example, then quantify it; I will put 10% of my check into a savings account each month.

As you move through the year, be sure to reward yourself along the way for accomplishing your resolutions, even portions of resolutions. If you have something to look forward to, like a reward for getting something accomplished, that will help you succeed in the long run.

So, without further ado, here are the top five resolutions.

  1. Exercise more. In a recent survey conducted by YouGov, 50% of the respondents said they wanted to exercise more in the coming year. Exercise is a great idea but be sure you set a goal you can reach. It is not likely that you can be at the gym or work out every day of the week. But you can go for a walk three days a week and hit the gym two days a week. If you don’t exercise now, work into it. You will see the benefits of exercise in more energy, sharper focus, and just feeling better in general. Here are some exercise apps to check out.
  1. Save money. In that same survey, 49% of respondents wanted to save money. You can achieve this in small ways, like eating at a fast-food restaurant only once a week instead of twice a week or by cutting down on the number of specialty coffees you drink per week. Bigger ways include spending 10% less each week than what you currently spend or taking 10% out of your paycheck and putting money into a savings account. Looking for other ideas? Check out this handy article from Develop Good Habits on money-saving apps, websites, and more.
  1. Eat more healthy foods. This is something that most everyone needs to do, eat better and more nutritiously. Eating more healthy foods can actually be pretty easy if you don’t try to ban all unhealthy food from your diet. For instance, limit yourself to one soft drink a day instead of drinking two. If you never eat vegetables or fruit, then commit to eating several servings a week and work your way up to once a day, then twice, and so on. And eating more healthy foods doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate with a yummy piece of cake on your birthday or other special occasions. The online site Healthline put together this handy list of nutrition apps.
  1. Lose weight. Most people are excited about losing weight at the beginning of a new year. After all, many of us have binged on holiday fare for the last several weeks and gained a few unwanted pounds, so losing weight sounds like a great idea. But make sure that you don’t set a goal you can’t reach, like losing 30 pounds in a month. Instead, break it down into doable steps like two pounds in two weeks or maybe even five pounds in two weeks. Perhaps it will help you to start a food diary. Just write down everything — yes, everything — you eat for two weeks. Look over the list. What do you see that you really don’t need? A candy bar here, a frothy cappuccino there, a bag of chips and so on. Cut out the junk. Then focus on the other things you consume. Two servings of mac and cheese? Cut it down to one serving. A big bowlful of ice cream? Cut it down to a small bowlful of ice cream. As you eliminate and cut down, you will see the pounds start to go away. Need a little extra help? Check out this article on the 16 best apps for weight loss.
  1. Spend less time on social media and your iPhone/Android. Now, this could be a tough one for you, but again, take it in steps. Don’t ban yourself from all social media for 20 hours a day every day; that would be hard for most people. But you could ban yourself from social media or being on your phone while eating dinner, visiting with a friend, an hour before you go to bed, one day out of the month, etc. And be sure to get rid of all that social media clutter. Think carefully about your social media feeds and what you allow in. Definitely restrict or ban anyone whose messages put you down. To help you spend less time on your phone, check out the best apps from 2020 to help you do just that.

Finally, here are a few that you might not have thought of but are doable and might be fun to take on.

  1. Drink more water.
  2. Move more and sit less.
  3. Volunteer.
  4. Be kind to others.
  5. Try something new.
  6. Make a new friend or two.
  7. Make coffee at home and save some money.
  8. Eliminate one bad habit.
  9. Floss every day.
  10. Give thanks, and enjoy the new year!
Media contact: Lisa S. Icenogle

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