2010 is here and with it comes the promise of new beginnings. At least that is what we like to tell ourselves as we put away the old calendar and bring out the new one.
Have you made resolutions for the coming year? Do they accurately reflect what you believe you can accomplish or were you talked into a pricey gym membership that you will drop in February?
The only reason why you make resolutions is to improve yourself in one or more ways. But most resolutions are made in haste or made without considering what it will take for you to stay the course and reach your goals. To that end, we are offering seven resolutions you can accomplish for 2010 including a few where you won’t have to break a sweat!
To A New You
1. Save Money. You can save money on a regular basis in order to pay for your summer vacation, have money available for a down payment for a new car, send the kids off to college, or reach some other goal. The easiest way to save money is by not seeing it in the first place through deductions to your paycheck with direct deposits to your 401(k) or other account.
In addition, you can save money for next Christmas or some other important event by linking up your checking account with a savings account and having money deposited weekly to it. Even the smallest amount set aside on a regular basis can make a huge difference for you.
2. Quit Smoking. Bad habits die hard and smoking is one of the worst habits imaginable. You probably will not be able to do this alone, so plan on seeing your doctor, tell a close friend that your are quitting, and do not give up even if you fall off the band wagon.
Smoking makes you look better, feel better, and smell better. Besides, you want to live a bit longer, right? Accountability is the key; join a “12 Step” type program if that works best for you.
3. Read More. Thanks to the rise of the internet along with email, people are writing and reading more. Still, our conversations have become more shallow as we use the shortest possible words, embrace slang, and advance other bad habits our high school English Composition teachers warned us about.
Resolve to read at least one book monthly from The New York Times bestseller to the classics. Join a reading group if you enjoy sharing a good story with friends.
4. Eat Right. Snack season is over! Sure, the Super Bowl is still weeks away, but isn’t it time you give your body what it deserves? And it deserves nothing less than balanced, wholesome eating to keep you fit, feeling strong, and healthy.
No, I am not advocating a diet plan, rather for you to come up with some sort of food plan that keeps you from feeling hungry while working with not against your body.
5. Exercise Regularly. Along with a healthy diet, an exercise regimen can work wonders. You do not need to join a gym, nor to you have to take up aerobics. Though these are both good things to do, you can benefit in small ways and large.
Instead of taking the elevator up three stories, why not walk up three flights of stairs? Park further away when you visit the mall, join a mall walkers club, walk around the neighborhood, and consider purchasing a bicycle, stationary bike, jump rope, or other device to help you get moving. Mix it up too: a variety of exercise methods can keep you interested and engaged.
6. Attack Debt. 2009 was a financial disaster for so many families with homes lost to foreclosure, credit card lines maxed out, and money in short supply. Whether you have your debt under control or it is controlling you, there are some things you can do to master it.
Consider reducing your available credit lines, closing unused accounts, increasing your monthly payments, canceling unneeded subscriptions, purchasing generic, selling an extra car, deferring a purchase, and picking up side income in a bid to win the debt battle. You can do it!
7. Reward Yourself. No matter what sort of resolution(s) you have in mind, one of the keys to successfully reaching your goals is to periodically reward yourself. In other words, resolve to be kind to YOU.
If you lose weight, then buy that new dress you have been eying. If you have paid off a credit card, then buy yourself a (small) gift with CASH. If you have quit smoking, invest in a new hair style. Find some way to give yourself a pat on the back and a much needed boost before you press on to your next goal.
Happy new year and may your resolutions ring bright all throughout 2010!
Photo Credit: Mateusz Stachowski