The new year is often seen as a time to start fresh. Many of us make resolutions. Some are elaborate and take a lot of work, making them seem overwhelming and difficult to stick with. But making resolutions doesn’t have to be hard if you set realistic goals. Here are several simple resolutions that can make a big difference. And once you achieve some goal-setting success, you may just kick-start your commitment to loftier goals!
1. Ditch the diet. According to Ipsos Reid, 32% of Canadians made a New Year’s resolution geared towards improving their health or fitness in 2015. While it’s certainly the most popular resolution, it’s also the one most likely to fail. So start small with your commitments to health and fitness. Instead of joining a gym or promising to lose 40 pounds in six months, focus on your overall health — eat more fruits and vegetables; drink more water; and walk more steps each day. Pedometers, fitness apps, or wearable devices like FitBit are a great way to start.
2. Invest in you. When was the last time you visited your doctor, dentist, and optometrist for a checkup? Pick up the phone and schedule your appointments today to stay on top of your health (note to my husband: this includes you too!).
3. It’s all about “me.” Between work, family commitments, and errands, schedule some much-needed “me” time into your hectic life. Whether that means one hour every evening where you turn off electronics and relish some quiet time or spend a Sunday afternoon away from the family, take some time for yourself, and dare I say — your sanity.
4. Channel your inner Jamie Oliver. Make a commitment to make more homemade meals. Not only will you be more likely to eat healthier, you’ll save money! I like to set aside a few hours on the weekend to prepare a few dinners and freeze them for the week. Then, when we get home from work on weeknights, all we need to do is heat them up.
5. Enjoy yourself. We’ve all got a list of things we love to do, but don’t get around to doing, like; reading, entertaining, learning a new hobby, and spending more time with the kids. Choose one thing you really enjoy and make some time for it each week.
6. Kill ‘em with kindness. Have you ever walked away from someone and thought, “I should have told her that colour looks great on her.” Whether it’s your personal or work life, don’t be afraid to say something nice, smile, tell someone they did a great job, or compliment them. It can lift your spirits (and theirs)!
7. Save smartly. Another common resolution is taking charge of your finances. Put aside a manageable percentage of your income each month as savings. If you haven’t dipped into your new savings fund, then plan to take on larger goals next year.
8. Brown bag it. If you don’t already bring your lunch to work, try packing a nutritious lunch once a week. Then gradually work up to two to three days per week. You’ll save money and contribute towards your new, healthier lifestyle.
9. Tackle the “I’ve been meaning to” pile. You know that long to-do list you’ve been meaning to get to, like filling out school forms, backing up your smartphone, organizing your photos, cleaning out the garage, buying a birthday gift and responding to personal emails? Resolve to stay on top of your life. Your Aunt Eileen will thank you for responding to her email!
10. Out with the old. Get rid of the ick by throwing out expired food from your pantry and fridge. Look through your closets and if you haven’t worn clothing or shoes in more than one year, or you’re waiting to fit into that size four again, you may need to reconsider. Donate your unused items to a charity instead and take comfort knowing your items will be put to good use.
11. Pay it forward. Make it a priority to give back to your community. Whether it’s time, money, clothing, toys, or furniture, there’s always a way you can help people in need, even if it’s just once a year.
12. Discover something new at home. You don’t have to wait until your cousins come to town to play tour guide. Get out and discover the city you live in. From attractions, parks, historical buildings, and restaurants, your beautiful Canadian town/city likely has a lot to offer.
13. Get more zzz’s. Smartphones, tablets, and TVs — the glowing lights and text alerts can make it hard to get enough sleep at night. Aim for 8 hours a night, but if you’re only getting 6, start by adding an extra 15 minutes and work your way up.
14. Wear more hues glorious hues. How often do we find ourselves stuck in a black and grey rut when it comes to clothing? Resolve to don brighter colours. It doesn’t have to scream magenta, but it’s amazing what a little colour can do for your mood.
15. Step up your morning game. Stop pressing the snooze button and set your alarm 10-15 minutes earlier to get a jump start on your day. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and get caught up on the news. Feeling less rushed will set the pace for your day. And you may have a few more minutes to decide which bright colour of clothing to wear!
16. Schedule an insurance checkup. When’s the last time you looked at your insurance policy? Does it still reflect your family’s needs? Lifestyle changes like the purchase of a second vehicle, renovations to your home, or a new teen driver in your household can impact your premiums. So make sure you review your policy regularly with your agent. He/she can help you choose the right coverage and deductible(s) and help you find ways to save on your rates and ensure you’re properly protected.
Now that you have some realistic resolutions to choose from, here are a few quick tips to help keep you on track:
- Write your resolutions down and post them in a place where you’ll see them.
- Share them with a family member or friend (and vice versa) so you can help keep each other on track.
- Celebrate small victories.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t stuck to all or some of your resolutions. Re-assess and see what’s doable.
The point of making resolutions is to set attainable goals and feel good about what you’ve accomplished – not to punish yourself. So here’s to ringing in the new year in good health and happiness, and to achieving realistic resolutions!
Did you make any resolutions for 2016? Would you like to share any success stories? Let us know in the comments.