Creating New Year Resolutions You Can Keep

How many of us kick-off the New Year with a resolution list that looks like this?
I’m going to lose 10 pounds.
I’m going to the gym every day.
I’m going to control my temper.
I’m going to cook healthy meals for my family every night.
I’m going to learn Chinese.

Result?  Epic failure.

Creating inflexible resolutions that require tremendous change in your lifestyle are doomed and can quickly lead you to feeling like a failure in the gloomy days of winter. Instead, create resolutions that are broad, flexible and attainable. You’ll face winter with a sense of confidence and empowerment as you realize that you are on the road to success.

Start by examining the following elements in your life and then create a resolution around it making sure to be broad, flexible and attainable! We’re giving you some ideas for each.

Physical Well Being

  • Schedule all your necessary health screenings for the year and don’t forget the ones you’ve been putting off (like colonoscopies!).
  • Examine your diet and make small changes like switching to lower fat milk, cutting out caffeine except for your morning cup of tea or coffee, or eating healthy fish for dinner once a week.
  • Instead of working out for weight loss, think about moving for your health. Buy a pedometer and increase the amount of steps you take every day.

Intellectual Well Being

  • If you’re an avid fiction reader, choose a non-fiction book for a change. If you love magazines, buy a copy of The New Yorker for a fast intellectual rush.
  • Get together with a friend and tackle a doable new craft or hobby. Start simple. The process of learning anything stimulates your sense of intellectual well being.
  • If you like movies, watch a documentary with friends or family.  Find one that’s a bit controversial and then enjoy a spirited conversation afterwards.

Emotional Well Being

  • Instead of trying to create huge changes in your emotional behavior, identify the stressors or situations that set you off so you can avoid those situations or create a plan to better deal with them.
  • Set your personal and professional boundaries and learn to simply say, “No”. Resolve to say “No” when appropriate without guilt or second thoughts.
  • Set aside a day of the week or time of day to recharge your emotional batteries.

Spiritual Well Being

  • Resolve to take the occasional minutes you have free in your life to be “in the moment”.
  • Give to others in a way that allows you to give freely. If time is short or you have financial concerns, think about the power of a random act of kindness.
  • Practice or learn about meditation.

Social Well Being

  • Cut your Facebook time in half and use the time for personal contact with real friends.
  • If your social calendar is overwhelming, schedule one weekend or weekend day a month for a little down time.
  • Schedule a regular get-together with your buddies and add it to your calendar in ink, not in pencil!

Occupational Well Being

  • If you aren’t happy in your job, take a small step by learning about a new career and then volunteering in that field or taking a class.
  • Update your resume. It will remind you how terrific you are!
  • Occupational well being doesn’t always mean paid work. Finding volunteer opportunities you enjoy can add skill sets to your resume!

Next year is just around the corner. The staff at in-Health wishes you a new year full of accomplished resolutions!

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