New Year’s resolutions are a tricky thing. Lots of people love them, many avoid them at all costs, and most of us that do make them, break them within a shockingly short period of time. In fact, a recent study suggests that less than half are able to stick it out a full month!
Rather than let that turn you away from New Year’s resolutions, let’s look for the opportunities to make them stick. The most common New Year’s resolutions revolve around weight loss, financial goals, and jobs. So, with these three categories in mind, here are some specific tips to keep your New Year’s resolutions this go around!
New Year’s resolution 1: weight loss
It’s no surprise weight loss is the top New Year’s resolution each year. My holidays have been an unstoppable eating frenzy that started with Thanksgiving and will end around January 3rd. By this point, most of us are carrying a few extra pounds, or at least carry a lot of guilt about our unhealthy holiday food choices. The tricky part is breaking the cycle of poor eating habits, once you commit to getting healthier and losing weight. It doesn’t have to be difficult though if you are willing to:
- Be accountable – get a Fitbit, start a food diary, or sign up for a weight loss program. Forcing yourself to check in, write it down or otherwise be accountable is the most proven way to achieve your goal.
- Find a fitness goal – Just like being accountable with your habits, a fitness goal is a far more successful way to lose weight than just pretending you will exercise more. Try a nice, reasonable goal and see what happens. Sign up for a 5k, conquer your fear of heights, or decide to touch your toes again. By focusing on a goal and not just your weight, you will find more motivation to stick with it.
- Eat better – So you spent an hour in the gym? That’s wonderful! But it’s only one hour of your day. The rest of the time is where we tend to overeat or make poor eating choices. Try to see how many veggies you can add to each meal and see if it doesn’t automatically reduce the amount of processed foods and sugar you consume.
New Year’s resolution 2: financial goals
Just like food and drink hangovers, many of us look at our bank accounts in January with a “what-have-we done” expression. Of course, we vow to never eat out again and quit buying $3 coffees from Starbucks. We may or may not stick to those promises though, unless we also do this:
- Get specific – It’s pointless to say you will save “more”money. How much will you save? What debt do you want to pay off? How much of a raise do you expect? Write it all down and be as specific as possible for everything.
- Get a budget – Now that you have honestly assessed your goals, time to get a budget in place. This is a fabulous guide to get one started. And these are apps to help you stick to it. Certainly, spending less and saving more is essential. So, don’t forget your coupons too.
New Year’s resolution 3: job change
With all the time off from work that comes around the holidays, many of us start to question if we ever want to return. No wonder a job change makes for one of the top 3 New Year’s resolutions. Some employees just want a pay raise, while others are looking for a whole new career. Lots of people fall into an entirely different category where the job is okay, but has lost it’s initial luster. In any case, or if you are somewhere else completely with your career goals, this is all you need:
Personally, I find that New Year’s resolutions are easy to make and even easier to break. However, I also enjoy the constant desire to improve my own personal situation, which is why I still enjoy a good New Year’s resolution or two. I’ve already signed up at the gym and started a financial plan for 2015. How about you – any goals set this year? If so, I absolutely wish you the best of luck in getting there!