Every December, millions of people craft lists of New Year’s resolutions for the coming year. And every January, February or month too soon thereafter, millions of people give up their resolutions until the next year. It’s a cycle of frustration that can eventually all but eliminate the likelihood of ever achieving one’s resolutions.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. No doubt you’ve already completed your 2018 resolution list, but since we’re only a few weeks in, why not start fresh with resolutions you can actually keep? It starts with worrying less about general goals (exercise more, eat better, etc.) that are too often prone to failure, and focusing instead on specific, foundational goals you can achieve and build upon day after day, month after month, year after year. Here are five simple suggestions you’ll be amazed you didn’t think about until now:
1. The Power of Hello: Too many people pass right by one another without saying hello and giving a warm smile – even co-workers, spouses and elevator sharers are guilty. Say hi to a stranger, a loved one (or both) and feel better about yourself every single day of the year.
2. The Written Word: Technology is stealing our health, our good habits and our ability to think outside of a screen. Replace at least 15 minutes of screen time a day with a good book, an engaging magazine article, or even some self-reflection in a journal. You’ll be delighted at the change you feel in yourself.
3. Deep Breaths: We live in a world of Post-It notes, schedules, deadlines and sleep deprivation. We rush from one task to the next, all the while gasping for air (in the literal and figurative sense). Sometimes all we need is a good old-fashioned deep breath or two to fill our lungs with air, our minds with purpose and our lives with a moment of peace and calm.
4. Reach Out and Touch Someone Even with text messaging, FaceTime and other modes of instant contact, there’s someone you haven’t touched base with in far too long – and it’s hurting both of you. Resolve to make contact with someone you’ve been missing on a regular basis this year. It’s worth the effort, and you’ll probably realize immediately that you should have started doing it a long, long time ago.
5. Action Required: Goals are great, but you can’t achieve them without an action plan. Resolving to lose weight, get more sleep or exercise more frequently are all doomed propositions if you don’t follow up with a specific plan of action. So follow up each goal with specific action steps that will help you accomplish it.
Don’t spend the last 11 months of 2018 feeling guilty about the resolutions you failed to keep (again). Resolve to achieve these and other steps to create a healthier, happier you that’s in a great position to achieve anything and everything moving forward!
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