Ready to turn over our new leaves for next year?
we looked up the top New Year’s resolutions:
Top New Year’s Resolutions
- Spend more time with family and friends
- Get fit
- Lose weight
- Eat right
- Quit smoking or drinking
- Get out of debt
- Get organized
- Learn something new
- Enjoy life more
How do we ensure that we make our best intentions become reality? We did a little research and reflection to come up with these tips to help you succeed.
Spend more time with family and friends
Recent polls conducted by General Nutrition Centers, Quicken, and others shows that more than 50% of Americans vow to appreciate loved ones and spend more time with family and friends this year. How?
Prioritize. Much of what we do we can simply put lower on our list.
Be inclusive. No reason the weekly trip to the grocery store or post office can’t be a family affair. Just relax and know you’re spending valuable time and getting your errands done.
This seems to never leave our list. But new research is showing that moderate exercise in small doses is as effective as all at once. Some easy ways to do this:
Park far away. Walk briskly to your destination. If you are carrying a little one, consider that bonus strength training (it counts!). Always take the stairs. You’ll likely find that faster than elevators or escalators anyway.
Use your slack time. Do 20 situps upon waking, do lunges across the kitchen while waiting for water to boil, do 5 miinutes of jumping jacks while watching TV. Just FIT it in. You’ll get results
Lose weight/Eat right
Start with the tips for getting fit, and once you start making positive lifestyle changes it is easier to add more. Other ways to do this:
Set reasonable goals. Mini goals are best. Start with something achievable, like eating healthy breakfast daily. Commit to 15 minutes cumulative exercise per day.
Eat right. Personal trainers will tell you that weight loss after 40 is 80% diet, 20% exercise. Our best strategies: Use small plates and salad forks to reduce your portion sizes. Fill up on water-dense fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, melons, tomatoes before you eat carb-heavy foods.
Quit smoking or drinking
Our best advice: don’t go it alone. Find another person to help you and keep you on track.
Smoking: If you have resolved to make this the year that you will quit smoking, over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy provides easy access to proven quit-smoking aids. Even if you’ve tried to quit before and failed, don’t let it get you down. On average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good.
Drinking: While many people use the New Year as an incentive to finally stop drinking, most are not equipped to make such a drastic lifestyle change all at once. Many heavy drinkers fail to quit cold turkey but do much better when they taper gradually, or even learn to moderate their drinking. If you have decided that you want to stop drinking, there is a world of help and support available.
Get out of debt
Take small steps here, too. It’s documented that most millionaires in America share a common thread….they don’t spend their money. Saving is their first priority. If you can’t cover your current bills, take on a second job or ask your boss for a raise. Some other things to avoid:
– Stay out of the mall. Temptations abound. go for a walk with family and friends instead.
– Cut up those credit cards.
– Pack your lunch, eat dinner at home.
– Pay your debts first every month.
Visit your local discount store to buy some inexpensive boxes and bins. Sort your clutter on it’s way into the house:
– Visit the trash can before you open your real mail. Leave the junk there.
– Sort the kid’s stuff on it’s way out of your car. Pitch the unnecessary, file the treasures in one of your boxes and post the important on the fridge or bulletin board.
Learn something new
The bookstore and the internet offer tons of inexpensive learning alternatives. Be sure to give yourself a goal that includes your learning objective (i.e. learn 100 Spanish words) and a completion date.
Enjoy life more
This one we think is easy. Relax. Let the small stuff slide. In the grand scheme of life, who cares if we get a door ding or the dog messes in the house. If a driver cuts in front of you without a signal, consider the fact that it’s most likely they didn’t even know you were there. Be happy you just avoided an accident.
Take a deep breath and enjoy the gifts you have today. Have a wonderful New Year.