Resolutions You Can Actually Keep
Most of us make New Year’s resolutions, whether we actually write them down or just think about things we’d like to change or do differently in the coming year. Sadly, most of us don’t follow through and keep those resolutions we’ve made through the new year. In fact, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 46% of people who make resolutions actually have made good on their resolutions six months into the new year. You can imagine that number goes way down by the end of the year.
The number one reason most people fail in keeping their resolutions is because the goal set is too general. For instance, we might make it a goal to lose weight or to exercise more. Both are good intentions, but both are too general in nature. Better resolutions should be less like goals, and more like objectives of a goal, such as “lose 10 pounds by March 1st”, or “exercise 30 minutes every morning.”
Listed below are 10 New Year’s resolutions that are not only easy to keep, but can also make a positive impact on your life.
1. Trust Your Instincts
In some ways, this might be the easiest resolution to follow. Trusting your instincts doesn’t require you to change very much. Get back to doing what you were naturally inclined to do before you started doubting your feelings and started overthinking things. Trust your instincts more. Since this resolution is pretty broad, here are some examples of goals and objectives that might fall under this category:
- Goal: Make amends with family.
- Objective: Call a family member every other week.
- Goal: Start following your dreams.
- Objective: Put aside $100 (or other amount) every week to save toward implementing your dream.
2. Stop Procrastinating
Here’s a resolution that you may have made in previous years, but somehow just didn’t get around to accomplishing. OK, that’s a joke. But procrastination (the tendency to habitually and consistently delay tasks) is a problem that plagues about 20% of the population worldwide. Don’t wait….stop procrastinating NOW! Here are some objectives to help you with this goal:
- Set tasks to be completed daily.
- Get a planner and cross off daily tasks.
- If you finish all your tasks for a day, reward yourself with a special treat or something you enjoy.
3. Learn to Take Risks
Learn to pick and choose which risks are worth accepting to achieve your goals in life. Renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, who frequently made life-and-death evaluations of risk in his work, suggests applying a simple process to any risk: Instead of evaluating the likelihood of success, evaluate your willingness to accept the various possible outcomes. What’s the best thing that could happen if you take a particular risk? What’s the worst outcome? Once you’ve weighed those two scenarios, it’s time to look at the converse. What’s the best thing that could happen if you don’t take the risk, and what’s the worst possible result? If you see that the positives exceed the negatives and the benefits of action outweigh inaction, then it’s time to take the plunge.
4. Forgive Freely
If someone has done you wrong, forgive them and move on. The weight being carried emotionally is one you can do without. Since forgiveness isn’t as easy as just simply… forgiving, check out this article by Thriveworks: 7 Steps to True Forgiveness. Here they are in a nutshell:
5. Be More Generous
If you’re like most, you can be a little stingy when it comes to your money, and for good reason! Anyone who works hard doesn’t want to just give their money away, however, being generous doesn’t have to mean donating all your cash. Being generous can include donating your time, committing small acts of kindness, or can even be as simple as giving a little bit bigger tip at dinner. Here are some objectives to help you achieve this resolution.
- Always tip appropriately at a restaurant.
- Give monthly toward your local community events, philanthropies, churches, etc.
- Volunteer at local community events.
- Spend time with a lonely elderly person.
- Spend time at a local animal shelter.
6. Learn One New Thing
Reading a challenging book or studying a foreign language helps keep your brain engaged as you grow older. Make it a habit to learn at least one new thing a day.
7. Watch Less TV
Americans watch TV (or some other form of video entertainment) for more than five hours a day, every day. While your brain might be engaged during this time, your body isn’t. Limit your screen time everyday and discover how much free time you actually have. Use this free time to take on healthier habits like DIY projects, yard work, painting, photography, a sport, or learning new healthy recipes.
8. Try a New Adventure
Is there somewhere you’ve always wanted to go but never really had the time or money? Use this year to save up, and make some time to enjoy a new adventure. Maybe you’re not one to enjoy a destination vacation, but even trying something you’ve never done before is an achievement! Never gone fishing, hiking in the mountains, or to a concert? Try it! Here are some objectives to achieve this goal:
- Plan out a trip or activity.
- Save up the money for the trip in a separate account than your normal checking account so you don’t spend it prematurely.
- Book flights, hotels, rental cars, excursions, etc.
9. Get to Know Your Neighbors
Sadly, most of us can’t name more than one or two people we know in our neighborhood. The fact is, most of the people living around you are just like you, and getting to know them might open the door to new friendships. Take some time to get to know your neighbors this year!
10: Use Your Talents for a Good Cause
Volunteering can be one of the most rewarding resolutions you can make, and it’s one of the easiest resolutions to keep. There are literally hundreds of organizations in need of volunteers that are just waiting for you to lend a hand. Set your objectives specifically for this one, as in the organizations you’re going to help and the dates and times they’ll need you. Don’t forget to mark it in your calendar so you can’t forget!
One more resolution: Stay Comfortable in Your Home
Being comfortable in your home is as easy as calling Garrison and Garrison Heating and Air. For more than 50 years, we’ve provided home heating and comfort systems to the people of Madison County, and we’re still going strong.
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