With the coming of the New Year comes the hope that this year will (finally) be different. As the old credo goes, fate will only take you so far and the rest is up to you. It is time to take control of your future. What does this mean? It means sticking to those workout plans you have taped to your bedroom wall. It means being able to know exactly what is inside your closet. It means keeping your New Year’s resolution.
Since kindergarten, we have been asked to write resolutions for the New Year. Since kindergarten, I think that it is safe to say that we have all managed to fail on at least one of our New Year’s resolutions annually. If you haven’t, then I guess you are one small step in the right direction for mankind.
The key to keeping a resolution is setting realistic guidelines. Start small, end big. Here are some of the more common resolutions, and easy ways to follow through on them.
Lose Weight/Get in Better Shape:
I think we all, at one point or another, have attempted to stick to a stringent workout regime. You know, wake up at 4 am for a 10-mile jog, followed by an hour of yoga and then end the day with a rigorous pilates class while only eating organic fruits and vegetables. In a perfect world, yes we could all do this with ease and maybe solve world hunger at the same time. In the real world, not so much. But if you do a little each day, it adds up. Try doing a 20-30 minute run everyday, followed by sit ups and push ups. Keep up a balanced diet and remember to take everything in moderation. If you do this every day, it will be easier to eventually work up to a more rigorous workout.
I understand we all need to work to make a living, but with all the hours spent at the office, your work should be somewhat enjoyable. If you don’t like something, change it, and if you can’t change it, change the way look at it. Try to find satisfaction within the office that you already work in, advancement opportunities or maybe different job openings. If neither seems appealing, then look outside your office realm and start learning about other careers. Set up informational interviews to learn about other career possibilities so that you can make a well informed career changing choice. If you take all the little steps first, the end result will be here faster than you think.
Love is a basic human instinct and a constant search throughout our lives. There is no step by step advice for this one because oftentimes it just happens out of the blue. The best advice is to stop looking and be open to it…as corny as that sounds.
Organize Your Living Space:
It is all about containers. The only way to stay organized is for everything to have a proper place and the floor does not count. Invest in some containers such as decorated boxes (small or large), drawers and shelving units. Doing a little at a time will also go a long way, i.e. when you’re done with something, resolve to put it back in it’s proper place.
Learn Something New:
Technically, you do learn something new everyday so remember to pay attention to the world around you. For those looking to learn a specific subject, start off slow. Look into classes that meet at convenient times of the day and maybe once or twice a week. What usually breaks people in this pledge is the time commitment: make sure to allot time for yourself during the week.
Something we try to do everyday, but oftentimes, the I-have-to-have-that-otherwise-I-will-die kind of moment slips us up. The key is to set a realistic budget; don’t limit yourself to $5 a week when you usually spend $500. Sit down and write out a list of what you usually spend money on. This will give you a better idea of what you can cut out. The first one to go is usually the to-go coffee in the morning. Buying yourself a coffee maker and travel mug may be expensive at first, but as a one time purchase, will pay off in the end. Other things to consider are packing your lunch, cooking at home more, taking subways instead of cabs and shopping less.
People underestimate the little things they can do to help others who are less fortunate. While our busy lives often restrict our volunteer hours, there are less time-consuming ways to do it, such as making donations. Whether it is money, food, clothing, toiletries, or even your old cell phone, it all adds up. Maybe when you go grocery shopping, pick up some extra cans of food and bottles of shampoo and conditioner and drop them off at local shelters. Instead of throwing away your old cell phone, donate it to a shelter that gives the phones to women who have been abused in case of emergencies. Look up local organizations and see what kinds of donations they take; you may have exactly what they are looking for.
It’s a habit that is best broken with avoidance and cold turkey. Having one cigarette a day does not count as quitting: you either quit or you don’t. Easier said than done, but surround yourself with people who are supportive of your resolution. That way you can have some extra help monitoring your cravings. Don’t be afraid to use patches or gum to curb your cravings; you’ll need all the help you can get!