New Year’s Resolutions are tricky. It’s great to want to make a positive change in your life, but if you bombard yourself with expectations at the beginning of the year, it’ll probably be nearly impossible to follow through on all of them. That goes for any time of year I suppose. If you have all these resolutions and have trouble realizing them, it might make you more likely to abandon them all and give up. And that is not what we want.
Maybe it’s time for a new way of thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. What about 12 resolutions, but instead of starting them all on January 1st, you start a new resolution each month (and try to keep up with the old ones as you add the new)? On January first, start with one new intention – it doesn’t have to be hard; maybe it’s even better to start with your easiest goal to give yourself some confidence for the harder ones ahead. (See below the lists for my own resolutions plan.)
Here’s a list of ideas to get started (some of these I already do so I don’t need to resolve to do them this year; this is just an idea bank):
Food & Fitness Resolutions
- Ditch diet soda (and artificial sweeteners in general).
- Eat less. (Makes you live longer.)
- Go to a yoga class 2-3 times a week.
- Get out for a 20 minute walk every day. Take a friend or family member.
- No eating or snacking after dinner.
- Eat breakfast daily.
- Cut back on caffeine (1 cup a day!).
- Eat less grains and sugars.
- Eat more organic and local food.
- Eat more salads.
- Only have dessert once a week (but make it good).
- Do 5 sun salutations each morning when you wake up.
Mental & Social Resolutions
- Read more – a book a week? (Or at least 30 minutes a day, if the book is too long to read in a week.)
- Hang out with friends twice a week.
- Laugh often.
- Go to the movies, a concert, or another kind of show – 3-4 times a month.
- Stay hungry. Stay foolish. (What does this mean to you?)
- Join a credit union. (Going “local” for finances.)
- Track your spending and then find a way to save $100 each month (that’s just $25 a week, less than $5 a day).
- Meditate for 5 minutes a day (option to increase time on a weekly or bi-weekly basis).
- Go out on a date once a week with the husband. (Get dressed up!)
- Give away old or unused clothes. (Or any other items you’re not using.)
- Donate time to charity.
- Organize one area or room of your home each week.
My plan is to pick one from each list each month and stick with it. For the first month I’m going to do Food Resolution #1 (ditch the diet soda and artificial sweeteners) and Mental Resolution #1 (read a book a week). I already broke Food Resolution #1 by having diet soda yesterday and no-sugar-added ice cream (I think it had Splenda) at a dinner party, but I’m counting today as my start because I didn’t come up with my lists until today.
My book for the week is called Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States by Bill Bryson (who also wrote A Walk in the Woods) (my dad got me the book for Christmas). The title may sound boring, but it is in fact packed with juicy tidbits about the evolution of American English as well as a much needed refresher on US History (I have forgotten most of what I learned in APUS). Did you know that the word dime (as in 10 cents) was originally supposed to be pronounced “deem”? It came from the French word disme, which meant “a tenth”.
I will leave you with this delicious salad that I bought at a little deli near my apartment for lunch today (about $6):
It has a mesclun-ish base, grilled chicken, roasted veggies (zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant), mushrooms, diced beets, and sauteed fajita veggies. The dressing was supposedly low-fat ranch, but who knows really.