If you’re like 82% of the US population, the time for making New Year’s resolutions is upon you. Unfortunately, most Americans will abandon their resolutions after a few weeks. They key is setting realistic and achievable goals and then setting a specific schedule to reach them. Take a look at these top 10 New Year’s resolutions and some tips for keeping yours:
Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions People Make
Some of the most common resolutions
- Maintain a healthy diet. Halloween is followed by Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving is closely followed by Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. What do they all have in common? A lot of big meals and sweets. It’s only natural that after the scale tips a bit, people make goals to eat healthier in the new year.
- Lose weight. Many people are looking to get that perfect body or run their first marathon. So, in January, gyms across the nation will fill to capacity with exercisers running the wrong way around the track or trying to figure out how the newest weight equipment works. By February, people get lazy and gym attendance dips a lot. To avoid falling out of habit, grab a workout buddy and schedule regular workout times. Be sure to hold each other accountable for getting in that workout.
- Quit smoking. Smoking comes with a long list of unpleasant side effects: yellow teeth, cancer, and the smell gets into everything. Quitting this habit will take a lot of time and effort. Statistics show that only about 15 percent of those who attempt to quit will actually hold strong months later. If you are serious about quitting, you can be part of that 15 percent.
- Enjoy life to the fullest. This goal comes in many different forms. For some, it might mean cutting out stress in their lives. For others, it might mean becoming more outgoing and taking every opportunity that comes their way. However it is achieved, enjoying life will be a big priority for Americans as they set their New Year’s resolutions.
- Get out of debt and save more. After spending all that money on Christmas presents, big meals for visiting family, and that family winter vacation, many consumers will pull the emergency brake on spending for 2017. For saving serious money in the next year, financial advisers suggest you make a specific budget that accounts for the occasional wants, not just the needs.
- Spend more time with family and friends. Key moments in our lives teach us that people are far more important than things. Will you spend more time with family and friends this year?
- Get organized. Clutter builds up. If you’ve moved recently, you probably found a lot more clutter than you thought you had. With all of this clutter, and even important items, collecting everywhere, it can be difficult to find needed items in a timely manner. But with good organization, your house and your mind will be clean and feel stress free.
- Learn something new. Whether you want to impress your friends or simply feel that amazing sense of accomplishment, you’re not alone in wanting to learn something new this year. You might think about learning Italian or how to play the guitar or how to juggle 5 bowling pins at the same time. Whatever the case, stick to it! You’ll thank yourself later.
- Travel more. The world is made up of 149 million square kilometers of land and 361 square kilometers of water. You’ve probably visited only a minute fraction of that amount. Just think about what amazing sites are waiting for you across the globe. This year, don’t be afraid to add an exotic destination to your agenda.
- Read more. The benefits of reading every day are endless, and I’m not talking about reading your Facebook news feed. When was the last time you finished a full-length book cover to cover? Add some new books to your list and be sure to get in the habit of reading every day in order to stimulate your mind, expand your vocabulary, improve your memory, and reduce stress.
How Can I Keep My New Year’s Resolutions?
Thinking of a resolution (or, if you’re like many of us, a long list of resolutions) is the easy part. Actually keeping the resolution is where things get much more difficult. We’ve got a few tips for that, however.
1. Make a Specific Daily Plan
Most resolutions fall by the wayside because they are not specific enough. For example, if you set a goal to “get in shape,” that can easily be overlooked by next week. That’s why it’s best to specify a plan of how exactly you’ll work toward your measurable goal. Here is what a plan could look like:
Goal: Get in shape (Lose 20 lbs.)
- Exercise for at least 45 minutes 6 times a week
- Monday: Run on the treadmill
- Tuesday: Lift weights
- Wednesday: Play tennis
- Thursday: Ride my bike
- Friday: Day off
- Saturday: Sit-ups and Pushups
- Sunday: Swim
A daily plan can go a long way to helping you reach your goals. Daily and frequent reminders of the ultimate goal give individuals a much better chance of actually achieving it.
If the plan needs adjusting after a while, don’t be afraid to do so, but just make sure to at least start with one.
2. Write Down Your Goal and Keep It in Sight
We are all constantly bombarded with things to distract us from our main goals. Write down your goal (and plan) and keep it somewhere you’ll always see it. Here are some suggestions for where to keep the goal to ensure it isn’t forgotten:
- Cell phone background
- Desktop/Tablet background
- Dashboard in your car
- Bathroom mirror
Find a place that works for you, and you’ll have a constant reminder of your New Year’s resolution.
3. Share Goals with a Loved One
I’m not talking about just telling a friend or family member about your goal, but actually sharing the same goal. There is strength in numbers. Sharing a common goal with someone close to you can provide a nice support.
If the goal is to eat a healthier diet, find a friend or family member that wants the same thing and conquer it together. On days when the goal seems too hard to conquer, your goal partner can lift you up and help you through it. You can also remain accountable to them—you could even work out a deal where if one of you doesn’t keep your goal one day, that person has to pay the other or make them dinner. Keep it fun and creative!
Happy New Year to US Veterans
No matter what is on our list of resolutions, let’s keep in mind those who have sacrificed their time and their lives for our privilege to achieve our goals and dreams.
To all veterans and military service members, we at Low VA Rates would like to say Happy New Year!