"So, What's Your New Year's Resolution?"
It seems that right about mid-December, this becomes the small-talk starter question. The practice of making a resolution at the new year dates back over 4,000 years to the Babylonians, and has been tormenting us ever since (or so it feels like)!
Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Exercise more
2. Lose weight
3. Get organized
4. Learn a new skill or hobby
5. Live life to the fullest
6. Save more money/ spend less money
7. Quit smoking
8. Spend more time with family & friends
9. Travel more
10. Read more
While these are all worthy goals for any individual, statistics indicate the less than 10% of Americans actually keep and complete their NYRs. Perhaps this is the year to choose a resolution that really means something to you.
Commit one act of kindness/generosity each day/week. Perhaps you tend to run on auto pilot in your daily routine. Decide to notice those around you and tune in to ways to help, even if it’s as simple as writing a thank-you note, picking up a piece of garbage, or holding the elevator.
Try one new/unusual food each week/month. From fun, exotic fruit to ethnic dining, decide to break out of your comfort zone and explore new flavors.
Resolve one financial worry. Perhaps you’ve been putting off writing your will, or re-budgeting to take full advantage of your 401k match or contribute to your kid’s 529. Whatever weighs on your mind, commit to getting it sorted out! Choose something that, once resolved, will let you sleep easier.
Decide to love your body. This one can take many forms. You can decide to love yourself just the way you are, or you can love yourself by treating your body better with healthier foods or gym time. Rather than deciding to “lose weight” or “exercise more,” resolve to just love you more, and decide that you and your body are worth it.
Make a friend. There’s a lot of discussion about how hard it can be to make real friends as an adult. Resolve to put yourself in social situations that make it easier to mingle and get to know others. Set out to find a book club, sewing or craft group, or women’s group. Maybe you have a co-worker you think would be fun to be friends with, but you’ve been scared to put yourself out there. Do it!
Commit to maintaining a current beneficial habit. Have you noticed you don’t have as much time for reading as you’d like? Do you struggle to find time for your friendships that brings you joy? Rather than choosing to start something new, re-commit to something that you already do that you know is good for you, whether it be physical, mental or social.
If you so choose to make a New Year’s Resolution, for the best chance of success, make it measurable, specific, and celebrate progress over perfection. Two steps forward, one step back is still moving forward! Small, gradual steps towards a goal tend to stick longer than big overnight changes. Lastly, share your goal with others for accountability.
And, of course, have a happy and blessed New Year!