New Year's Resolution and How to Keep Them

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A new year is upon us and with it, a chance to renew our resolve to live well, be healthy and strive for deeper, more meaningful connections. Here's a look at some popular New Year's resolutions, with tips for making them stick.


Spend more time with family and friends

Spending time with loved ones is great for your health and well-being, so it's not surprising that many people resolve to put more effort into nurturing their connections with family and friends. Set aside time each week to either call or meet up with a friend or family member. Take turns hosting dinner, or just get together for a walk. Friends far away? Set up a weekly Skype chat instead.

Get in shape

Spend any amount of time on Instagram and you won't be able to avoid the avalanche of products and schemes promising quick weight loss. And while the thought of shrinking a dress size or five by Christmas morning is a gift in itself, there really aren't any shortcuts when it comes to dropping pounds. While we've long heard the message that the key to weight loss lies in diet and exercise, the latest research suggests that, while exercise is important for overall health and keeping weight off, it isn't actually that useful for weight loss. The bottom line: If you want to lose weight, focus on cutting calories.

Spend less, save more

If your bank account is looking a little anemic after the holiday gifts have all been purchased, you may be one of the many people who resolve to get their financial house in order in 2018. Ginger Dean, blogger at Girls Just Wanna Have Funds, recommends setting a budget and then looking for ways to cut costs. Buy and sell clothes at consignment stores, consider refurbished electronics, buy produce when it's on sale, and bundle your car, home, and life insurance. "Paying separately for auto, life, and home insurance can get expensive. Ask your insurance agent if you will receive a discount for bundling policies. Before renewing an insurance policy, shop around and see if you can find the cheapest car insurance rate quotes out there," wrote Dean in Forbes.

Travel more

According to Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, most people don't succeed at their New Year's resolutions, but there are strategies you can use to improve your odds of success. "Many of the most successful techniques involve making a plan and helping yourself stick to it," said Wiseman in an interview with The Guardian.

If you want to travel more in 2018, be specific about where you want to go, when you want to go there, and what you'd like to do when you get there. Then start researching to find out what it's going to cost, what you'll need to bring, and how much time you'll want to spend. From there, you can create a budget, start a travel fund, and let your friends and family know that you're planning a fabulous trip. Letting others in on your plans will help keep you accountable.

Enjoy life to the fullest

Don’t be held back by what happened yesterday, the day before, the week before, the year before, or even decades ago. Life is short, so live in the present moment.

Stop trying to please other people or to be someone else. It’s better to be an original version of yourself rather than be an exact duplicate of someone else. Don’t think about the things you can’t change (namely what has happened and other people’s thoughts) or unhappy things, because these are disempowering. Instead focus on the things you can action on. That’s the most constructive thing you can do in any situation.

Values are the essence of what makes you, you.