New Year’s resolutions are made with the best of intentions, but as most of us know, that can-do attitude can falter early. Here are some helpful hints on how to stay focused when trying to keep these popular resolutions:
Spend More Quality Time with Family and Friends
Some simple ways to help you get a bit more “you” back into your relationships can include:
- Be thoughtful – Remember special days like birthdays and anniversaries or just get better at “sayin’ hi” with an ecard, paper card or handwritten note. Try setting up a desktop calendar to help you remember these days and even preschedule your ecards up to a year in advance.
- Tone trumps text – Yes, texting is easier and does serve its purpose, but hearing the tone of someone’s voice is always more personal. You may even want to set up a specific time and call it a “phone date”, so that you can talk and not be interrupted.
- Make a date – Use an online reminder service to schedule a date with your friends once a month—a regular “girls night out” or “meet-up anywhere” strategy keeps bonds strong.
Resolving to lose weight is an important, but difficult goal for many. Stay on track and motivated by incorporating these tips into your routine:
- Set realistic goals – the key here is to start slow and make a plan. You didn’t gain the unwanted weight in a day or a week, so don’t expect to lose it that quickly. Make a specific plan vs. just saying “I want to lose weight.” For example, you may want to lose 5 pounds by the end of January.
- Say cheese – Take a photo of yourself in the beginning and then repeat every 4 weeks. That way it’s not all about the scale, but about how you actually look!
- Keep a food journal – Writing down your eating habits allows you to see where there’s room for improvement and where you’re succeeding. It is your proof of effort.
- Pantry overhaul – Post holidays is the perfect time to clean out the “junk food” hiding in your cupboards and fridge. Replace it with fresh veggies and fruits and ditch the soda for low-sugar fruit juices and water.
So, whether this resolution is in conjunction with losing weight or just about exercising more, here are a few more helpful hints:
- Move! – Increasing your activity level will burn more calories and boost your energy. Consult your doctor or a trainer to determine the best routine for you. A mix of stretching, cardio and strength training will deliver good results. And, remember if you can’t get to a gym, simple things like taking short walks or using the stairs more will help move your body towards your goal.
- Set a goal – This is just like losing weight. Don’t just say “I need to exercise more”, but set a goal like signing up to run a 5K race in the spring!
- Lean on your friends – If you have a buddy or neighbor with the same goals, use them as a support system. Having someone to exercise with will help keep you on track and honest in actually getting the physical work done.
It has been said that every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. What are your resolutions and how do you plan to accomplish them?