The Dreaded New Years Resolution

I hope everyone had a safe and happy NYE celebration! Now that 2013 has officially begun, what is your New Year’s Resolution?

I always used to make resolutions I would forget about as soon as March rolled around. Since I turned 20 I’ve been making a conscious effort to make resolutions that are legitimate things I’ve wanted to change about my lifestyle for the better. For instance, last year my resolution was to take a daily multi-vitamin plus a hair, skin + nails supplement. To this day, I have kept that resolution.

This year I’m torn between two resolutions I should really make: 1. Faithfully do yoga or some sort of physical activity for at least 20mins 3 days per week, and 2. Decrease my frequency of online shopping and make the effort to go into the store to purchase. That last one is a huge challenge for me; the majority of my online shopping is on sites that don’t have retail stores (Zappos anyone?) or stores that are based in the UK. It’s less of a resolution and more of a way to keep my shopping addiction in check. Typing that, I can already tell the first one is going to be the one for 2013 ;)

If you’re unsure of what to make your resolutions about, see my breakdown of worthwhile and waste-of-time resolutions below. If you’re the type that writes off New Year resolutions…why are you reading this post?

Resolutions that are Worth Making:

Lifestyle Changes

Legitimate changes that you will stick to because of health, environment, social good—something with an incentive for you or for a cause you believe in.

  • ∞  I will take public transportation twice a week to decrease my gas expenses and consumption
  • ∞  I will eliminate all fast food, or fried food, from my diet
  • ∞  I will donate the money I would have used for a daily Starbucks run to a charity of choice (may be best to save up over the course of a week or a month to make an impressionable donation)
  • BBBBB• If you’re not in the position to give away money (yes, college readers I’m talking to you) then simply use the money from one Starbucks trip to buy a bag of coffee/box of tea and save the money from your daily Starbucks addiction for something more worthy of your money: a bus trip to visit your friend? A graduation dress? A manicure?
  • ∞  I will make sure to wash off all makeup before bed EVERY NIGHT to decrease my acne from sleeping with makeup on and getting clogged pores
  • ∞  I will make a conscious effort to recycle all plastic, glass, and metal waste I produce

 

Resolutions to Stop Kidding Yourself Over:

Dietary Changes

If you still refer to changes in your food consumption as “going on a diet” then it’s not a resolution. It’s a short-term temporary change that you won’t commit to. Once you stop putting a label on the changes you’re making to your diet you will have less of an ability to brush them off. For instance, people often say “Oh, I was bad: I broke my diet this weekend.” If you’re making a legitimate change to your eating habits then its becoming part of your normal routine, not a temporary fix to shave off a few pounds. Fun fact: ____% of people who “go on a diet,” gain all the weight right back after their diet ends. The solution: make your “diet” a permanent lifestyle change. That’s the best way to keep those lost pounds off, and to make a permanent healthy change (NOTE: consult your physician for an optimum diet change, if you’re unsure).

Habit Changes

It takes 6-8 weeks for an action to become a habit. If you honestly think telling yourself that  “I’m going to work out more this year” is going to get your butt off the couch, think again. If you honestly do want to start working out more, find what you’re comfortable with first. Working out doesn’t mean you have to join a gym—I work out in my living room! You just need to find what you’re comfortable with: running, strength training, yoga, Pilates, dance classes, cycling, whatever it may be test the waters to find your perfect fit, no gym membership fees required. Once you find your niche start out doing it 2-3 days a week to make sure you like it enough to stick with it. From there, just have fun with it!

Vague Statements

Saying “I’m going to swear less” or “I’m going to work out more” is a nice thought, but unless you give yourself a bit more structure to the statement, you’re going to forget about it and no change will be made. Instead, try “I’m going to swear less. To ensure this happens, I’m going to keep a ‘swear jar’ and every time I say a profanity, I contribute a minimum of ____ cents/dollars.” If you give yourself a monetary punishment/reward system you might feel more inclined to stop that bad habit, especially if it comes to a point of “I can’t buy my morning coffee—I swore too much this weekend,” Ha!

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