A new year is upon us again. If you’re one of the estimated 40% of the population who sets expectations on the next 365 days, now’s a good time to review your resolutions from last year and see how successful you were.
Didn’t accomplish your goals from last year (or can’t even remember what they were)?
Don’t be hard on yourself — you’re not alone. University of Scranton psychology professor John C. Norcross, Ph.D., who specializes in behavior change, found that an estimated 60% of people’s resolutions are abandoned by June each year.
This year, why not set up better, more accomplishable resolutions for yourself? Try making resolutions that are both attainable and will incrementally change your life.
This one should be easy to track, and to accomplish. Decide if “travel more” means more days or more locations to you (or both), and then figure out how to bolster your travel quota this year.
If you can’t take many days off from work, work in weekend or holiday trips. Set price alerts, use those accruing miles, explore your local region, just get out there and see what there is to see.
Use all your vacation days
Maybe traveling more isn’t on your radar, but that’s no excuse for letting those vacation days slip away (time is your most precious resource, remember).
Take a staycation, help out friends, plan that Pinterest-worthy party you’ve always wanted to host, make a dent in a house project. The sky’s the limit, just be sure to use that paid time off for your (and your sanity’s) sake.
Spend more mindfully
Setting a budget not your idea of an easy resolution? Lots of people struggle with budgeting.
If you’d still like to get a better handle on finances this year, then perhaps give mindful spending a chance. The idea is to spend your money on what makes you happy, then ruthlessly slash spending in other places that don’t matter to you as much.
For example, my husband and I value travel over shiny, new vehicles. Both of our vehicles are paid off and we plan to ride them into the ground, giving us extra money each month to sock away for future trips. So far this strategy — our cars are almost 10 years old — has freed up money to take a cruise to Alaska, an 11-day trip to Austria for our honeymoon, and Cozumel for our five-year anniversary.
Loosen up the spending reins on whatever makes you happy, and tighten up in categories that are less important to you.
Eat a serving of vegetables every day
One of the top resolutions made each year is to lose X amount of pounds by X date. And since more resolutions fail than succeed, many people aren’t losing the weight they had hoped to.
So instead of setting a traditional weight loss goal, make a small change to your daily intake, like eating at least one serving of vegetables every day. Making incremental changes to your eating habits is more likely to help you succeed than placing a lofty weight goal on yourself (which could end up weighing you down even more).
Make incremental changes this year and you’ll find yourself that much closer to the life you want.