New Year's Resolutions!

The Top 3 Resolutions & How To Keep 'em

New Year’s Resolutions. Even if they aren’t publicly broadcasted over social media, most of us have them. In fact, a whopping 40% of Americans make a resolution around this time of year (for comparison, only 30% watch the Super Bowl). But, how many of us actually end up staying true to our word? According to Forbes, the answer is only 8% of us. In a society geared toward extremist tendencies with an affinity for instant results, it’s not difficult to see why we have so much trouble sticking to our goals.

Below, I’ve taken up 3 of the most common New Year’s Resolutions with traditional advice on how to keep them, versus what really works. Do you have a resolution? Weigh in below!

1. Lose Weight and Get Fit

Traditional Advice: Enroll in a gym membership or hire a personal trainer and go on a serious diet.

What really works: The New Year should be a time we look forward to and embrace. It shouldn't be something we approach with dread and fear of failure. So, instead of aiming so high (and spending so much money) that you end up psyching yourself out within the first month of the New Year, try a different approach.

Working out with a partner is proven to be one of the best motivators for exercise. If you have a roommate or live with a family member, enlist them to join you for just 30 minutes, 3-4 times a week. Whether that time is spent in the gym with exercise equipment, in your living room with a DVD, or around the block for a jog doesn't really matter. It's just about getting into a healthy and positive routine. Plus, with a partner, you can hold one another accountable and enjoy the perks of social time together. If you don't have anyone to exercise with, just figure out what it is you love to do and do it. Don't worry about what all the fitness magazines tell you. 

As for eating healthfully, let go of the restrictive aspect of dieting and focus, instead, on the fulfilling aspect of being alive. We need nourishment to survive. So focus on what you want to fill yourself with. For instance, instead of telling yourself you're going to stay under 1200 measly calories and avoid carbs like the plague, aim to eat a vegetable at every meal and two servings of fruit a day. You'll be shocked at how much a change in mindset can alter the food choices you make as well.

2. Save Money

Traditional Advice: Don’t spend any! Obliterate any and all unnecessary costs.

What really works: Instead of focusing on not spending money, try focusing on spending it wisely. Carve out the time to sit down, look at your spending habits honestly, identify your triggers and craft a budget. Just like working out, have a friend or significant other get in on the plan with you! Positive reinforcement is huge when it comes to sticking with our goals. When the urge to spend arises, ask yourself if you would rather spend the money on item X (new pair of shoes, a round of $10 drinks) or put the cash aside toward whatever it is you’re saving for (a vacation 6 months from now, the security to leave your job, a new apartment, etc.).

For a few oldies but goodies, check out my posts on how budgeting is just like exercise, and how money CAN buy happiness.

3. Drink Less

Traditional Advice: Don't go out!

What really works: Find your passion! When we find what it is that we love to do, drinking and wasting money on going out takes a natural back-seat to things. For those engaged in the 9-5 grind, few times are as full of ease, inspiration and energy like a glorious, hangover-free Saturday morning is. Whether that free time is spent hiking, painting, going to the local farmer’s market or working on your blog from bed (ahem) is really beside the point. It is simply a matter of granting yourself the time you deserve to enjoy life on your own terms and grow as an individual. The more of this free, easy time that you allow yourself, the more fulfilled you will become. You’ll also weed out the people in your life who add no value while making more room for the ones who do.  So instead of concentrating on not drinking, concentrate on the person you want to become and the life you want to lead. Then, participate in the activities and lifestyle choices that align with your vision. C’mon. You got dis.

 

What are your New Year's Resolutions? Agree or Disagree with above? Feel free to comment below!