Around this time, people are talking about what they want to accomplish in the upcoming year. Some commonalities are diet and exercise, money, and organization. We all have the best intentions and feel mostly dedicated and committed to our “goals”. But how deep does that commitment go? What steps have you taken to prepare yourself for the next 12 months? What support do you have and what measures have you put in place to help you achieve success? The answer is usually not a lot. We often think by saying these things out loud or even telling a few people what we aim to accomplish will somehow perpetuate the motion of success. Three or four months in, we find ourselves slipping from the “plans” we have put in place and often fall short of our one year commitment. Here are some traditional resolutions and tips and tricks for staying on track with them all year long.
- Exercise goals
We can have the best intentions with exercising and even enjoy it when we get in to it. Often times life will get hectic and we will fall off the track and miss a week or go on vacation and not prepare for time away from the gym. Having a realistic plan will help you stay on target all year long. Your workouts shouldn’t be anything you can’t do in any setting. You should choose which days of the week you are willing to commit to as well as a time of day that works best for you. There are great apps on the market and many are free. You can use these for tracking your exercise/calories/steps or even download an app that gives you a new workout every time that you can do anywhere! Check out http://www.mapmyfitness.com/us/
This is a tough one! With special events, warm weather drinks, and having kids it can be hard to follow a program. This goal takes multiple facets of planning to be successful. Not only do you have to be diligent with creating shopping lists and meal plans, you need to have healthy snacks available and a list of go-to restaurants where you know you can order a meal that is in line with your plan. If you choose to leverage a program to help with your goals, Weight Watchers (https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/) is affordable and easy to follow or if you like to track your calories in our own way, MyFitnessPal (https://www.myfitnesspal.com/) is a great place to start and can even track your exercise too. There are wonderful meal delivery services available such as Blue Apron (https://www.blueapron.com/) or Hello Fresh (https://www.hellofresh.com/) which can take the guess work out of what to eat. Remember that “dieting” does not mean you have to do some drastic cleanse or starve yourself. Make realistic and reasonable goals for yourself and start slow. Rome wasn’t built in a night.
- Get organized
This is probably my favorite. Such a daunting task! The upside is, there are so many ways to tackle this goal. Did someone say yard sale?? The first step is to de-clutter! You know that collection of porcelain cats you have been hoarding since the 7th grade? Yeah, it’s time for them to go. Or what about the 150 wine glasses you have picked up at every vineyard you have ever been to? You’re never going to serve 150 people wine. Get rid of them! If you are done having kids and you still have that bouncy seat in your garage?? DONATE IT. Once you have been ruthless with your items, it leaves you in a more manageable place to sort through what you want to keep. If you are trying to make a little money back, consider listing on Craigslist (www.craigslist.com).
The next thing I would do is make a trip to your local Target (https://www.target.com/) or craft store such as Michaels (http://www.michaels.com/) and buy some decorative baskets. These can be used in closets to organize medications and other toiletries as well as sheets, towels, sprays, and lotions. Plastic storage tubs are great for kids toys or even cheap laundry baskets to hold plastic toys that you can put directly into the bathtub and sterilize right in the container. You can buy inexpensive bookcases to get things off the ground and fill the shelves with bins and baskets. As you organize, you will most likely come across other items that you find you can get rid of. Another great option is to donate household and clothing items to a local charity and many will even pick them up right from your doorstep like Purple Heart (http://www.purpleheartpickup.org/). If you are really not all about tackling this on your own and have some extra cash laying around, hire yourself a professional organizer to do it for you! (http://www.organizebysuzan.com/).
- Cut out the negativity
This may not be one that was on your radar but it might very well be the most important. People come and go in our lives and sometimes a there to teach you things or to help you grow. However, there are some people who cross your path that might end up weighing you down or hurt your self-esteem and positivity. You can definitely learn from these folks but keeping them around will be toxic. Your support system should be comprised of people who advocate for you, who are there to listen, who make time for you. If you question the value someone brings to your life, it may be time to let them go. Slowly cut back communication and gradually fade them out of your life or straight up tell them that you need to part ways. Here is an article that gives you a step by step on things to consider when making these changes: http://www.thelawofattraction.com/removing-toxic-people-life/.
- Quit Bad Habits
Are you drinking too much in the evenings? Maybe you are still smoking and really want to quit? For every bad habit, you need to find something to replace it. Making changes in increments can be helpful also. Maybe only have a drink on the weekends or maybe only smoke 5 cigarettes a day. Then as the weeks go on, drop this down more. Instead of these bad habits, find new ones to replace them with. Instead of an alcoholic drink, choose a delicious non-alcoholic beverage you enjoy instead and think of it as a treat! Instead of a cigarette, chew a piece of gum or eat a hard candy. This strategy can be used for any habit you may have but remember, we are most successful when we replace a habit with another one! https://jamesclear.com/how-to-break-a-bad-habit
- Save money/ Manage Debt
We all want to be debt-free. Unfortunately, this task may take more than one year! Depending on your finances, you can definitely take steps to make a dent in your deficit. The Microsoft Office tool Excel is a great place to build your own spreadsheet for tracking all your bills and expenses as well as your monthly income. When it comes to budgeting and staying accountable and on track, there are a ton of awesome apps that you can use and even get your partner on board also. Check out this article for suggestions: https://www.dailyworth.com/posts/4-best-money-management-apps-couples. Be sure to take a look at what might be considered “frivolous spending” such as a house cleaning company, lawncare company, frequent spa and salon purchases, and how much you are spending on groceries.