Five New Year’s Resolutions You Might Keep

       When January 1st rolls around, most of us look for fresh starts. This year we’ll lose weight, quit smoking or drinking too much, get along with family members and….the list goes on.

Check in with folks about January 20th and most have either given up on their resolutions already, or have forgotten what they were.

Change doesn’t come easily. But what if we made some resolutions for 2015 that were things we really want to do, not just things we think we should do? What if we made a list of resolutions that we could actually look forward to trying? It might still take a bit of discipline, but it could be fun.

Here are five categories most of us can identify with. Let’s make it simple—something we can accomplish without gritting out teeth. Before we know it, we’ll have incorporated good habits into our daily schedules and stand proud as we say, “I kept my New Year’s Resolution.”

Choose one or two items from each checklist or write your own. Give yourself permission to change your goal as the year progresses. Keep the goals simple and measurable. Celebrate at the end of each month if you’ve accomplished them.

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Exercise

Spend fifteen minutes outside each day

Take the stairs and not the elevator

Monitor your daily step count. Set a goal and track your progress

Ride your bike x times per week

Take the dog for a walk x times per week

Make a home exercise workout and do it while watching a tv show

Giving

Volunteer once a week in your community

Donate money regularly to a legitimate cause

Send cards, letters or e-mails to loved ones

Spend time with friends

Pay it forward anonymously to those in need

Visit a shut-in or other lonely person

Clear out clutter and little-used items to local clearing houses

Relationships

Take time for coffee or lunch dates

Listen to a friend’s problems

Do a kind deed for an acquaintance

Give a compliment to someone at least once a day

Overlook annoying habits

Refrain from gossip or criticism

Phone or visit an elderly friend or relative

Diet

Drink x number of glasses of water per day

Eat half portion desserts

Add more whole grains or fresh fruit to your diet

Sign up for healthy fruit or veggie deliveries

Learn to make healthy smoothie drinks

Observe meatless Monday

Try one new grain recipe

Reduce Stress

Give yourself the gift of quiet each day

Listen to music

Limit television time

Plan a vacation to a place you’ve always wanted to go

Declutter your living space

Take a class—music, dance, art, cooking

List the things you love and include them in your daily life

If you’re a paper and pencil person, you might enjoy tracking the progress for the items you select. When you are ready for a new challenge, feel free to move on to new goals. Setting simple, doable goals and achieving them is a satisfying experience. You’ll find the resolutions aren’t so hard to keep when you enjoy doing them.