I want to lose weight.
I want to make more money.
I want to spend more time with my loved ones.
When I was a kid, people seemed to take their New Year’s resolutions very seriously. Everyone around me had a goal in mind for the year ahead and swore they’d follow through this time. But nowadays, it seems most people are resigned to the fact that a New Year’s resolution is a joke - a mission doomed to fail from the start.
In light of this, I want to give you an alternative.
Two words: lifestyle changes.
That’s what this year and every year should be about.
Hear me out. Making significant adjustments to daily habits may feel daunting, but I’d argue that being mindful about what you do and say is much less intimidating than committing to impossible goals without a set, realistic plan in place - one that you’ll eventually give up on within two weeks.
In fact, most people abandon their New Year’s resolutions by January 12th. That’s less than two weeks into the New Year, leaving 353 days to start again.
Sure, it takes time to reform habits, but permanent change to better your life is ultimately worth the time and effort.
Remember what we were always told as kids. “Slow and steady wins the race.”
No matter what your goal is this year, it’s important to start small enough that you can truly commit long-term. Baby steps will take you further over time than a short-lived sprint that ends in gassing out early.
So what’s your goal?
Do you want to lose weight and gain health?
- Start walking for 30 minutes every day.
- Replace a non-water beverage with water each day.
- Eat one more serving of fruits and vegetables daily.
- Take vitamins each morning to boost your system.
It’s simple - diet and exercise, what you put in and put out of your body.
Do you want to make more money and spend less?
- Choose to eat in for one more meal each week.
- Purchase a store brand alternative instead of the name brand product.
- Set aside things you don’t want anymore and sell them online.
- Develop your professional skills with free or low-cost resources available online and in your community.
It’s simple - cut what you spend and increase what you earn.
Do you want to spend more time with your loved ones?
- Set a family dinner each week for cooking, eating, talking, and spending quality time together.
- Shut off the TV for 30 minutes or an hour - only one program - to Facetime your mom, son, or friend who lives far away.
- Have multiple people you’re missing? Plan a gathering or outing with several friends or family members.
- Reach out to the friend you’ve been neglecting. What’s an hour of your day for coffee or lunch when you need to eat anyways?
It’s simple - carve out time from one priority and move it towards another.
You can get even more strategic by “killing two birds with one stone.” If you go for a walk with a friend every Tuesday and Thursday evening, you’ve hit both your exercise and social goals while introducing the important element of accountability. You get the idea.
Perhaps I’m making this sound easier than it is, but that’s the point. Reaching your goals is simpler than you think.
No matter what your goal is, I’m certain you can think of small, manageable adjustments that you can COMMIT to on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
It’s all about being smart - making SMART goals.
This time next year, I hope you look in the mirror and see a better version of yourself in every way possible - physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. If you commit yourself to to these small, but effective changes - and get back on the horse when you fall - I’m certain you’ll be closer to your goals than ever before.
Happy New Year!