Besides watching the ball drop in Times Square and blowing noise makers at midnight, part of celebrating a new year involves making (the sometimes dreaded) New Year’s Resolutions list. This list comes with everyone’s desire to have a fresh start. With the holidays being over, we’ve had enough time to reflect on the past year to discover just exactly what we want to change in ourselves for the next year in order to lead happier and more satisfied lives.
Typically, just days after the clock strikes midnight on the new year, most people give up on their resolutions altogether. Instead, this year is going to be different! Here are the top nine New Year’s Resolutions on almost everybody’s lists, as well as ways to not give up on them within the first two weeks.
1. Eat Healthy Foods
After the holidays, it’s almost proven that everyone puts on a few extra pounds. After being constantly exposed to chocolate, baked goods and tasty treats, it’s only natural for you to indulge in them during the past few weeks at family events and social gatherings. I don’t blame you, who can say no to chocolate? But, now that 2016 has begun, it is only right to start off the year by promising ourselves to stay away from all fatty foods and only stick to colourful meals. That means saying yes to broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, kale and basically any vegetable combination that will have you thinking that you’re eating a mini garden on your plate. We tend to break this goal after the first few days, but we just have to try different foods that are both delicious and healthy. Check out this helpful website to help you identify a healthy substitute for all the fatty foods you may be craving.
2. Exercise and Get Fit
We all have fitness goals, whether we want to lose weight, get toned or gain fat in certain areas of our body. Suddenly, non-athletic people exercise 2-4 hours a day, only eat protein, use heavy gym equipment that they don’t know how to operate too well and basically forget that they are a beginner, only to workout like an olympian. It’s these types of unrealistic fitness expectations that are so hard to achieve, make us give up before we even start. It’s good to see that you’re dedicated but it’s better to take it one step at a time and not tire yourself too much on the first few days because you’ll lose interest in working out.
3. Be More Relaxed
We’re always told not to stress ourselves too much, but it’s an uncontrollable thing that is bound to happen with every little bump in the road. So, in 2016 let’s try to find realistic and healthy coping mechanisms to help us deal with these inevitable obstacles and reduce our stress levels, where possible. Next time you feel stressed about school, work or relationship issues, try exercising to get things off your mind, sleeping it off, allowing yourself a night out with your girlfriends or doing some retail therapy. Experiment different strategies and stick to one that works best for you. According to Healthy Food Star, there are a bunch of foods that can also help you de-stress, some of them being oranges, mangoes, pistachios, and last but not least, chocolate! To view the list of foods that reduce stress levels, check out their website.
4. Spend More Time with Family
The holidays remind us of the importance of keeping positive relationships with our family members, even the ones that make our yearly naughty list. Although the holidays put us in a friendly, family loving mood, once everyone is back to reality, we tend to forget our early year promises to ourselves. Just because you get back to school or your workplace, doesn’t mean you should forget about your family. Try to call and meet with them more often and maintain the strong bond you have with them throughout the year, and not just during the holidays when you’re made dizzy by the smell of your grandma’s special dishes.
5. Quit Old Habits
This one always makes our new year’s resolution list. Whether you have an uncontrollable desire for eating or drinking too much, cracking your knuckles, chewing on your nails, popping your pimples or smoking, this is the first broken resolution every year. They are called old habits for a reason, you just can’t shake them off that easily. But, 2016 is going to be the year you finally stick to your resolution and quit whatever bad habit you may have. Observe your own behavioural patterns and find out when you feel the urge to engage in this bad habit of yours, and try to avoid those trigger situations. Everyone has a way to quit their habits eventually, and the mechanisms that they use to overcome these habits may very well transform into some of their best habits. Some people may choose exercise as a coping mechanism, others may chose an artistic outlet to express the trigger emotions that tempt them into starting their habits again. Life is meant to be explored, and you’ve only got one, so take the time to explore the best mechanisms that suit your needs.
6. Be The Change
After spending a few weeks surrounded by your loved ones, their loud laughter, and wishing them good health, happiness and success, you may have become more appreciative of your family and your current point in life. So much so, that you may wish to act on the priviledge that you have for the good of others, so that you can share your happiness with those in need. You want to make a difference in the lives of others, but the problem is that you don’t know how to do that. You have big dreams for the world: stop climate change, poverty, crime and so much more. But, you can not do all of this on your own. Instead, you have to find what it is that your community is battling with, and find a way to intervene and help the people in your world. Sure, you may not be a world known hero, but you can still help many more people than you would if you had tried to achieve your initially unrealistic goal of saving everyone in the world. Remember, step-by-step actions are bound to lead to greater success and don’t be afraid to ask your peers to join you in this long but rewarding journey of heroic citizenship.
7. Save That Money
Let’s face it: the holidays can be hard on all of us, particularly for those of us who have set a budget aside for all things related to this season of giving. After buying gifts for our family members and friends, and being tricked by all the sales going on in our favourite shops, there’s not much money left for us to spare. In fact, we almost always end up going way over our personal budget. Sometimes, we enjoy ourselves so much that we get completely blindsided by this post-holiday effect. Now, it is time to save money for next year’s holiday break. Let’s promise ourselves not to do any more shopping for the rest of the year. The best way to do this is to simply stay away from all malls and shopping centres. Keep your mind so active and busy that you don’t even have the time to visit the nearest mall to you.
8. Read More
It’s never too late to self-learn. Remember how you were interested in reading more about philosophy, English literature, or anything else you’ve last been curious about? Well, what better way to start off 2016 on an educational journey? Since our childhood, we’ve always counted on our parents and teachers to provide us with the important information about the world. Whether it was science, math, or languages, we only made it our concern to absorb this information. Now in the adult world, the greatest challenge is to pursue our own interests and act on our own curiosity for the mere sake of learning something new everyday! You don’t need to be rewarded with a good grade, award or any other material incentive to open up a book. Try to read a few pages of your favourite novel every day, you may eventually find yourself becoming a bookworm (again!). If you don’t have a favourite novel, try the recommended sections of the library or your nearest bookstore. You never know what you may find and learn to love.
9. Meet New People
You can never go wrong with meeting new people. If you want to be a social butterfly this year, your first step is to get out of your comfort zone. Don’t go to the same places to meet up with your friends, instead take some fun fitness classes, join and non-profit organization to fight a good cause, or simply talk to person beside you the next time you’re taking public transportation. You can meet new people every day in so many different places, but it’s up to you to make the first move and engage in a good conversation with them. This might be hard if you tend to get shy around people you’re not familiar with, but you have to make the effort. If it’s too hard on your own, get one of your current girlfriends to tag along on this friend hunting spree. Don’t be afraid of rejection because the unapproachable people are probably not the type of people you want to be friends with anyway. If you don’t overthink it, you’ll be making new friends in no time!