If, in retrospect, past New Year’s resolutions seem more like wishful thinking than carefully considered intentions, maybe it’s time to reevaluate how we imagine our new, shiny selves for 2016. It’s difficult to dispose of the more typical resolutions because in a perfect world, we would all:
- Eat clean,
- Get in shape,
- Spend less money,
- Sleep more,
- Spend more time with family & friends,
- Be less stressed, and
- Lose weight.
But let’s face it. If it didn’t work last year, it probably won’t this year. And that’s okay because the trick to ensuring your New Year’s resolutions stick is to treat them as compelling and viable opportunities to do something differently that suit your personality, interests, and routine. There’s nothing wrong with starting small and committing to a change weekly, monthly, or even yearly. Resolutions should be manageable and uplifting because positive experiences are what trigger lifestyle changes. Here are some suggestions to help you get started:
- When meeting with family and friends, turn your phone off and leave it turned off.
- Cook one recipe from scratch each week.
- Be daring and take home one exotic produce from the grocery store each month.
- Pick four dates a year to sort through your closet and give things away.
- Think of your favourite activities as a kid and relive them! Activities like skating, playing the piano, sledding, mini-golf, and bowling are just as fun for adults too.
- Find a cause you really care about – animal shelters, food banks, the environment, new Canadians – and find a way to contribute. (And keep in mind: helping once is better than not helping at all.)
- Try a fitness format that you don’t know much about/scared you in the past. Tabata? What’s Tabata! Find out in 2016!
- Spend less time with the dreaded frenemy. Some “friends” are just negative and critical. It’s okay to detach yourself from them.
- Capitalize on what you like about yourself. It’s easy to pick apart our own flaws but what does that really do for your mental health? Focusing on the positives is more productive and uplifting.
- Review your bank statement at the end of each month. You don’t necessarily have to make any changes but awareness of where all your money goes each month can help curb unhealthy spending habits.