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Do-Able New Year's Resolutions

 
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How would you like for your life to look one year from today? Would it look different than it does now? Most folks enjoy positive change and a fresh start, but it can be difficult to implement those things without a plan. The New Year provides the perfect opportunity to resolve to start anew, and it doesn’t have to be joyless or a drudgery. We offer a few “do-able” ideas from a personal perspective to help you approach your 2016 resolutions.

new-year-resolutions-6.jpgWhat areas of your life could use a little sprucing? Write it down.
Don’t edit or judge yourself. Just write it down. Sometimes setting intentions for the New Year comes easily. Other times, it can be daunting to select resolutions that will enact change in our lives! Over the past few weeks, I’ve been jotting down ideas about areas in my life that could use some reformation. The list of specifics is lengthy, but I’ve pared it down to a few of the most important themes. For me, those areas are family (relationships), health, work, finances, and (guess what) fun!

new-year-resolutions-1.jpgSelect a “word of the year.”
For the past four years, I’ve selected one word that encompasses a theme I’d like to work toward over the next 365 days.  A word can be used as a reminder or a promise. One year my word was “balance.” Another year the word was “brave.” This year, my word is “nourish.” My personal “word of the year” helps shape how I tackle creating change in the areas of my life that mean the most to me: family, health, work, finances, and fun.

Think of ways your personal “word of the year” applies to the areas of your life that matter most. For family, I’m going to apply the idea of “nourishment” by working on my parenting skills. My husband and I signed up for a parenting class in January, hoping the information we learn will help nourish our relationship with our daughters. For health, the goal of “nourishment” comes easily. I plan to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables in our meals as well as walk 30 minutes a day at least five times each week. You get the idea! See how your chosen word applies to your life. If the word doesn’t work, stretch it or select another that makes sense for your life or feels more impactful.

new-year-resolutions-4.JPGJar of Joy.
If selecting a “word of the year” doesn’t feel like a good fit for you, another do-able and pleasurable way to approach the New Year is with a Jar of Joy or “jar of good memories.” This idea was a huge hit on Pinterest a few years ago and is a great way to encourage yourself to have an “attitude of gratitude” all year long. Simply take a Mason jar or canister with a lid and fill it with strips of blank paper. Write down moments you’d like to remember, things for which you’re thankful, inspiring moments, and words of advice that you've found helpful. You don’t need to use only the slips of paper in your jar. Memories and words of gratitude can be quickly jotted down on gum wrappers, Post-it notes, and receipts. Just make sure your notes end up in your special jar. At the end of 2016, you’ll have a jar full of joy and good memories to reflect upon. This easy practice creates a habit of seeing your life with eyes of gratitude.

new-year-resolutions-3.jpgSet pleasurable resolutions.
I’ve found in my own life that if I infuse my goals with pleasure, I’m far more likely to do it. It doesn’t just have to be a funny (and delicious) goal like, “Put Nutella on more things.” Why not try adding green tea to your post-lunch slump instead of a soda? Or, treat yourself to a bath (with bubbles!) once a week? Maybe plan to indulge in dessert on a designated day once a week, so that it’ll be something to look forward to?

Here are a few more do-able resolution ideas to consider:
-    Schedule personal time
-    Stop hitting the snooze button
-    Hit the trail once a month (and explore new ones)
-    Try growing something new (vegetables, herbs, flowers)
-    Take the stairs instead of the elevator
-    Be a tourist for a day in your own town… Repeat.
-    Visit someone who could use some company (an elderly neighbor, a new mother, etc.)
-    Make your lunch instead of buying it
-    Take advantage of free events at your local library, art museum, etc.
-    Stretch for the first 5 minutes every time you sit down to watch TV
-    Turn off your screens (phone, tablet, TV) 30 minutes before bedtime
-    Schedule face-to-face time with friends at least once a month
-    Eat outside when weather the permits

Whatever changes you plan to make in the New Year and however you decide to invest the next 365 days, we hope 2016 your best year yet.