January. The annual reminder that there are things we want to change about our habits, attitudes and self. We’re talking about resolutions. The time of year when gyms are packed any everyone tells themselves “THIS TIME will be different.” Unfortunately, resolutions are usually so vague, you’re all but guaranteed to fail. Here is a list of some of them most commonly broken new year’s resolutions around.
LOSE WEIGHT AND GET FIT
Probably the number one resolution on 90% of people’s list is to lose weight. Or get healthier. The problem is that simply joining a gym and going a few times won’t get you into those jeans you wore in college. But everyone seems to think that’s all it takes. Which creates another problem. So many people join a gym in January and February, which crowds the place, which makes it difficult to find a machine or equipment to use, which discourages you and before you know it, it’s June and you haven’t used your membership since March. Don’t be vague. Losing weight, if you’re overweight is certainly a good thing. But don’t just resolve to “lose weight.” Instead make a goal to walk or run 10 miles a week. Something tangible you can strive for. That way, when you hit that goal, you can revise it to 15 miles or whatever, and you’re actually seeing progress.
This one is tough. Roughly only 13% of people who try to quit, are actually successful. So unfortunately the odds are stacked against you.
LEARN SOMETHING NEW
Again, this is pretty vague. Anyone can go on YouTube and “learn” something new. We suppose that technically if you didn’t know that the elephant is the largest living land animal, then you just learned something new and can cross that off your list. But that’s a pretty low bar to set.
Instead, resolve to learn a skill. Or a language. Again, something you can actually SEE progress towards on a fairly regular basis.
EAT HEALTHIER AND DIET
This goes hand in hand with the “lose weight” resolution. If your diet consists of Big Macs and milkshakes, and this year you eat a piece of broccoli for the first time EVER, then congratulations. Cross it off your list and have a celebratory double quarter pounder with cheese and a small diet coke. A big problem is that diets don’t work. At least not when you think of it as something with a finish line. It requires a whole mental, and usually lifestyle change as well. You have to WANT to. REALLY truly deep in your bones want it. Because if you don’t, by the end of the year, you’ll be making the exact same resolution.
GET OUT OF DEBT AND SAVE MONEY
This is a good one and definitely easier to see progress on than something more vague like eating healthier. Simply saying it isn’t good enough though. You need a plan of action. Budget. Follow the plan. Make sacrifices. It’ll suck that’s for sure. Because you’re not used to it. But the awesome thing about being debt free and being able to save money at the end of a month can feel like a literal weight being lifted from you.
SPEND MORE TIME WITH FAMILY
This is always a good one. Problem is you can’t have the time unless you take it. Work and other responsibilities don’t magically disappear at the start of a new year. Like just about all the resolutions, it will require sacrifices. And time sacrifices that means less “you time” is pretty tall order, no matter how sincere you are.
TRAVEL TO NEW PLACES
Fantastic. But why haven’t you done it before? Money. Time. Chances are there’s something you need to sacrifice or change to make this happen. But define what exactly this means and how you can accomplish it and you’ll be on the right path.
BE LESS STRESSED
Again, stuff like this doesn’t just disappear at the beginning of the new year. Actually, there’s probably more of it now. Catching up on emails at work after taking a week off. Dealing with clients who have new ideas or demands for the new year. This, like eating healthier is a mental thing. And it ain’t easy.
This is another time sacrifice. It’s certainly a noble goal. But that means you’re going to have to carve time out of your schedule and things you want to do, to go help others. And there’s probably a reason why you haven’t done this before now.
Yeah, the morning, or afternoon in some cases of January 1 most of us probably feel like this one is a necessity. But will that feeling last another 364 days? If you’re feeling like someone is playing a drum solo in your head on January 1, chances are the issue runs a bit deeper than a cursory and vague “I need to do less of this.”