Everyone looks to the New Year as the perfect opportunity to make some big changes. Unfortunately, we often tend to give up on those resolutions within the first month of the new year.
Resolutions often fail for two reasons; they’re too big and too vague. We want to lose weight or save more money, but we don’t come up with a plan that makes it happen or perhaps the plan isn't maintainable. When we don’t see immediate results, we give up.
Our suggestions are a bit different. They’re aimed at helping you live your best life, and we think you’ll quickly see it’s easier to stick with a resolution that makes your life better.
Eat a Vegetable with Each Meal
Most people simply don’t eat enough vegetables, and this can prevent them from losing weight or increasing your health overall. Vegetables are filling and they have fewer calories than other foods, so they’re always a good choice. If goals like “getting healthy” and/or “losing weight” are on your to-do list, setting a resolution of eating vegetables at each meal is specific enough to help you meet those goals.
Yes, this includes breakfast! Put some spinach in a smoothie, add some peppers to your omelette, or top your bagel with some slices of cucumber.
Say No (or Yes)
Do you feel like you’re constantly on the go? Always stressed out about everything you have to do? It’s time to learn to say no. Make a commitment to valuing yourself by letting others know you’re not always available. If taking on a new project or volunteer position is going to bring you stress, don’t do it.
At the same time, some people need a little nudge when it comes to saying yes. If you’re feeling lonely or in winter "hibernation" mode, take people up on their invitations. If you want to get a promotion at work, agree to some extra work, even if it’s a bit outside of your comfort zone. Things like this will help you grow.
“Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” is a book that teaches children to be kind to others, but it can help adults as well. If you’re not familiar with it, the basic concept is that everyone carries an invisible bucket that holds their feelings. When bad things happen, your bucket empties. You can’t fill up your bucket by dipping into other people’s buckets. Instead, you have to do nice things for other people. This fills their bucket and yours.
Make a commitment to help other people. This could be something big like taking a regular volunteer shift at the local food bank or soup kitchen, but small things count too. Hold the door for the person behind you. Compliment someone on their shoes. Even donating to worthy causes can make you feel happier.
Try Something New Regularly
Life gets boring when you’re always doing the same old things. It’s time to commit to changing things up! Interpret this advice however you want. For instance, you might commit to trying a new recipe once a week. Whenever you see a new fruit or vegetable at the grocery store, give it a try. Look for new activities to try around town. It’s fun to be a bit more adventurous.
Find an Exercise You Like (and Do It)
Exercise is important for health, but too many people are focused on exercise for weight loss, and when they don’t see results — or they reach their goal — they stop. Exercise should be something you do for both health and fun.
Look for things you enjoy doing so you’ll stick with it. Some people enjoy the camaraderie of group exercise classes. Some like the fun of a dance or zumba class. Some like the challenge of a CrossFit class. Others just like having some quiet time on the treadmill to watch a show on Netflix or read a book. It doesn’t matter what you like, just that you like something enough so you look forward to doing it regularly.
Turn the Screens Off
We’re more connected than ever, but many studies have shown that it isn’t always for the best. It’s easy to check social media sites every few minutes to see if there’s something new, and this leads to major procrastination. You might not be getting enough sleep because you’re always watching “one more episode” of your favourite show on Netflix. Almost all of us can benefit from limiting our screen time. Set limits for yourself and stick to them. If you struggle to avoid the temptation, certain apps or browser plug-ins can limit use for you.
We think that all of our resolutions are great goals for many people, but you know what you need the most. As the year ends, take some time to think about what you want in life and create some specific goals to make that happen.