12 Resolutions You CAN Stick To

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12 New Year's Resolutions you can stick to.

Ahhh, the new year. Every year, I have similar goals/thoughts/resolutions, call them what you want, they basically are ideas that I dream of doing but rarely ever follow through on. But I’ve been on this earth long enough to know what I will and will not do when I create those resolutions, and here are 12 resolutions you can stick to.

  1. I’m going to eat healthy. No Diet Coke, no sweets, no cream and sugar in my coffee, no junk food. That idea lasts about four days and then Friday comes along and we go out for pizza and I have three slices and bread sticks with ranch and a refill on my Diet Coke. And I give up. Instead: I’m going to add a vegetable to every meal. This means fresh veggies at lunchtime and a salad at dinner, or a salad for lunch and a bowl of frozen peas with a little salt for dinner. Breakfast is hit or miss, I’ll add spinach to a smoothie or tomatoes and spinach to my scrambled eggs. This is something you CAN DO. And when that pizza night comes along, order a salad, and eat that salad first, and then have 1 slice of pizza and one bread stick and you’ll be surprised you might not want any more.
  2. I’m not going to eat sugar or sweets. This is one of my vices. I love sweet treats. A cookie with a hot coffee in the morning makes me extra happy. A dessert after lunch and dinner and maybe one or more during the day is something I love. Instead: I’m going to have 1 sweet a day and eat fruit after every meal. I heard once on Dr. Oz that if you are a sugar addict, you should have fruit after every meal. Now I thought it was completely bogus, I mean how can a banana take the place of a frosted sugar cookie? But I tried it. And it worked. My craving was still there, but shortly after I had the fruit, it diminished. And if you are craving sweet after your breakfast, try unsweetened apple sauce.
  3. I’m going to work out an hour every day. Because really, an hour isn’t that long and it doesn’t always go by quick when I’m doing my lame living room DVD workout, but I know it’s good for me and I should do it. And I do. For about a day. And then my son wakes up at 5am instead of 7am and I can’t workout with him bothering me. Or my husband, who is usually gone by 6am when I do my workout, slept in because he has a late meeting and doesn’t need to leave until 6:30am. Instead: I’m going to work out three days a week. This is tricky because sometimes 3, 1 hour workouts is completely do-able at that time in my life, and other times, I can only do a quick 30 minute workout 3 times a week. Just remember something is better than nothing and eventually you may need to tweak your goals according to your lifestyle.
  4. I’m going to spend less time on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Snap Chat/Pinterest. When the majority of your job relies on social media for it’s success, this can be a challenge. I also know social media is my husband’s unwinding time. When he comes home from work, instead of reading the newspaper, he reads the sports stories on his phone. Instead: I’m going to set realistic social media goals. This is tricky, but some examples are: put your phone down at dinner and after dinner. Don’t pick it up again until after the kids go to bed. Stay off your phone until your morning workout is done. Don’t grab your phone until after the kids have left for school or after you’ve sat down and made them breakfast. Make tiny changes and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to follow them.
  5. I’m going to lose 20 lbs. I think this has been on every single resolution list I make. And every single year, I fall off the wagon. Instead: I’m going to make healthy choices. What does this mean? This means following a few small things I mentioned above – adding more vegetables to your diet, having 1 sweet a day, staying active at least 3 days a week. Do this for 3 months and weigh yourself. If you’re doing it right, you’ll probably lose weight. And at that time you can set specific weight goals. Aim for 1-2 lbs a week and pick milestone dates. By Mother’s Day you  want to lose 5 lbs. By July 4th 5 more pounds. Those weights are manageable and realistic.
  6. I’m going to save more money. This is always a great idea but in general the resolution is too broad. You need to be specific about your financial goals. Instead: I’m going to pay off a credit card. Or, I’m going to save $25 a month and put it into an account for Christmas gifts. I’m going to eat out once a month instead of 3 times a month. I’m going to pack my lunch twice a week. You’ll be surprised how quickly these easy resolutions add up. If you feel like you are completely under water, you need to begin looking at the big picture. Start by contacting all of your utility companies and asking if they can offer a budget plan (electric, gas, water, sewer) or if you can get a better rate or package plan (cell phone, internet, TV, etc) and consider eliminating luxuries from your life (gym memberships, online subscriptions, switch from cable/satellite TV to Netflix/Hulu) If you feel completely at a loss, obtain the help of a Debt & Consumer Credit Counselor to help you manage your money better.
  7. I’ll spend more time with my family. This can be a challenge depending on which family you are talking about. Your immediate family is the easiest to spend more time with, but it can be a challenge if you are thinking of your extended family. Instead: We’re going to have family game night on Tuesdays. These resolutions need to be specific. They don’t have to be fancy. Grab your calendar and WRITE IT DOWN. Perhaps you just want to visit the library once a month, or have a TV free night once a week. Maybe you want to have a rotating Sunday dinner with several extended family members. Whatever you decide to do, put it on the calendar so it’s there for everyone to see, or make the date simple, such as every 3rd Sunday.
  8. I’m going to get organized. This statement reminds me of the countless hours I spend on line attempting to find the ideal meal planner to fit my family’s needs. But this resolution is too broad for you to achieve! While meal planning might be one part of your life you want to manage better, there could be several areas of your life you feel are unorganized and you need to grab a handle on. Instead: I’m going to focus on family meal planning. While meal planning is my example, perhaps you’d like to create a list of small items you wish you were more organized with. Whether it’s your child’s sports schedules, your kitchen cupboards or your closet, choose specific items you want to organize better. Try to tackle one item a month. And put it on the Calendar! So you have a reminder it needs to get done.
  9. I’m going to travel to a new place. While this sounds like a great idea, it’s a challenge if you’re trying to spend more time with your family and stick to a budget. Instead: I’m going to visit new places in my neighborhood. This is a fun way to involve the family in quality time, too! Grab a local paper, or find a website that shows all of the community events. You’d be surprised of all the things going on in your area. There could be a winter farmer’s market, maybe a top notch sledding hill, or seasonal outdoor ice rink you never new existed. There are often festivals and events during the year that are affordable or free to attend. Maybe there’s a downtown store you’ve never been to, make a point one afternoon to stop and see what it has to offer and invite a friend or neighbor. It’s not quite as fun as sitting on a beach in Mexico, but you’ll still get out to do things while sticking to a budget and not missing out on quality family time.
  10. I am going to help others. This is an amazing resolution as I’m a true believer of what goes around comes around. The holidays are not the only time to help by donating toys and adopting families. People need help all year long. Instead: I’m going to volunteer this year. What’s the difference? The difference is time. Volunteers are always hard to come by because a person has to give up their time. If you are really ready to commit, consider being a Big Brother Big Sister or Girl or Boy Scout Leader. If you’re unsure and just want to try something new, grab that local newspaper or find your community website and you will find volunteer opportunities – Perhaps there’s a charity 5K race and they need help filling cups of water on the route, maybe there’s a blood drive that needs people to help serve goodies to donors or the local animal shelter is in need of volunteers to walk dogs during the winter months. There are tons of opportunities. Pick something. Commit to it and put it on your calendar.
  11. I’m going to reduce stress and take time for myself. While this may seem easy, it’s probably one of the hardest things to do. And one of the things I always put on my list of resolutions and barely follow through with. Instead: I’m going to read more books. Or perhaps you’d rather take a yoga class, get a pedicure once a month, get more sleep, see a movie once a month, say no to activities if you’re spreading yourself too thin. Try to pinpoint what is the most stressful for you and find the most enjoyable things. Remove one stressful item and add in something you enjoy.
  12. I’m going to be happier. While we all run into times in our lives when we feel we cannot get a break, overall it’s important to find the positive in life and be happy. Instead: I’ll find the little things that make me happy. I would use the J word here {{journal}} because I feel like it’s the “right thing” to do. But grab your smartphone and start a new note. Title the note HAPPY and jot down things that make you happy. Maybe it’s a funny you tube video, or the person who started the pay it forward at the coffee shop the morning you were running late. Or the gas you snagged for 10 cents cheaper per gallon. One thing I like to do is to Surprise Strangers. I set a goal to write 2 thank you notes a month. Often they go to strangers – the lady at the grocery store who went above and beyond to find a certain ingredient I was looking for or the woman on the phone who helped me swap dates for festival tickets. If you aren’t one for snail mail, send an email. You’ll be surprised how well this little gesture is appreciated and will make you and another person feel.

Of all the resolutions you make, I encourage you to write all of them down, and then assign them to a time frame or month. Start eating healthy in January. Clean your closet in February. Set weight loss goals at the end of March. Pay off credit card by August. And if you need some helpful hints, you can download our free printable of 12 Resolutions You Can Stick To.

No matter what you put on your list of resolutions, know that hard work, time and patience are what you need to have in order to be successful. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t achieve all of your resolutions. And certainly take the time to modify your list as the year progress.

And if you need some more New Year inspiration, check out:

12 New Year's Resolutions you can stick to.

 

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