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.
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
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
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
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
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.