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The Do’s And Don’ts Of New Year’s Resolutions
Faster than a speeding bullet, the New Year is rushing towards us! Almost everyone makes some type of resolution, even though many people like to call them other names; goals, plans, ambitions, pledges, promises, or a vow to change, most people make some type of plan that will change their lives in some way that they hope will benefit them.
Let’s take a look at the top do’s and don’ts of those New Year’s resolutions that so many people make but few people follow through with.
1. Don’t – Make Your Resolutions on January 1st
Trying to make out your list of resolutions on the 1st of January, while you are nursing a nasty hangover, sick to your stomach from overeating a bunch of crap over the past two weeks, and wondering how you are going to pay for those Christmas bills next month is not the optimal time to make those plans to change your life. Chances are excellent that you will write out one or two things and then just toss the list in the trash the next morning.
2. Do – Make Your Resolutions Today
If you want some success with changing your life for the better, the time to start is NOW. Yep, we mean TODAY. If you write out your resolutions today and start planning for how you actually accomplish your resolutions, you will have a much better chance of being successful. If one of your resolutions is to start hitting the gym, make plans to do just that.
Buy some new shoes and an outfit, maybe even a new gym bag for a little motivation, put together everything you will need and if you plan on starting your routine, let’s say, on the 2nd of January, then on the 1st, put that bag in your car. You might even want to sign up for a class that begins the first week of January or make plans with a friend, or even hire a personal trainer, anything that helps to keep you committed is better than just a sentence on a piece of paper.
3. Don’t – Boast at the Office Party
Maybe you have been thinking about starting your own business or just changing jobs. Maybe you have thought about applying for the same promotion your boss is applying for because you think you are better qualified. The time to NOT talk about this is while you are drinking at the office holiday party. Boasting about how you are going to tell your boss to shove that job where the sun doesn’t shine because you are starting your own business after the New Year or telling everyone who will listen about how incompetent your boss is and that YOU are obviously the better choice for that lucrative new job. If you do this, your savings account better be pretty fat, because chances are good that you are going to need it after January 1st.
4. Do – Keep a Low Profile
It’s a much better idea to keep plans for your job on paper, rather than talking about them openly. Make your plans well and do as much as possible before you turn in your walking papers. Many people will be looking for jobs after the holidays as the seasonal workers get laid off or let go. So before you tell your boss what an incompetent piece of fruitcake he is, have all your duck in a row and big fat bank account, or line of credit, to get you started.
5. Don’t – Decide to Get Married New Year’s Eve
If you are tired of your parents or grandparents, friends, or other family members pressuring you to get married, or asking you when you are going to get married, perhaps the worst thing you could do is decide that you are going to have a quickie marriage ceremony on New Year’s eve (give or take a few days) and start your New Year off on a married foot. This might sound ridiculous, but if you ever go to Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve, check out the lines of people waiting to get married at those little speedy marriage chapels! Perhaps another piece of advice people should pass around, along with the “don’t drink and drive”, is “don’t drink and marry”!
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6. Do – Plan a Wedding on New Years
If you do think you have found the perfect partner, then spend the next year planning your wedding. There is no problem with getting married on or around New Years, just don’t do it after you a few glasses of champagne with someone you have known for a few hours.
7. Don’t – Decide to lose 25 Pounds (or more) in the Coming Year
These types of resolutions usually fail. Simply saying that you are going to lose X number of pounds is not enough to actually accomplish it. Sure, you might start off for a week, maybe even two, cutting back on calories, but if you are still drinking sodas, eating junk foods or processed foods, you won’t stick with it.
8. Do – Start With the 80/20 Rule
This is generally much easier for most people to follow. Eat healthy 80 percent of the time and the other 20 percent will keep you from feeling deprived. For most people this means eating a mostly plant based diet, with plenty of raw or lightly steamed veggies, and very little sugar, no junk foods, and no processed foods Monday through Friday.
ON the weekends, feel free to eat more normally. Don’t pig out, but if you want a piece of pizza on Saturday night, go ahead. Later, you will find that you prefer how you feel Monday through Friday, and come the weekend, chances are excellent that you will switch to healthy eating full time. This will help you lose weight without even trying.
9. Don’t – Be Overly Focused and Forget to Enjoy Life
Some people have terrific concentration powers and can apply a great deal of energy into accomplishing their resolutions, but they are spending so much time and effort into being “perfect” (“I’ve got to hit the gym after work, then head to the organic store for food for tomorrow, cook a healthy meal, meditate for 20 minutes, detox in the bath, then write in my food journal before bed.”) that they don’t make time for fun.
Don’t make so many resolutions or focus on them so diligently that there is no time to relax, socialize, and have fun.
10. Do – Take Baby Steps
OK, so you wanted to work out this year and really get in shape but you found out that, your first week at the gym, you couldn’t jog for more than 5 minutes without sounding like you were having an asthma attack, you could only bench press 40 pounds, and do about 5 crunches before you just collapsed with exhaustion. Read more how to get fit even if you haven’t exercised in years.
Don’t get discouraged! When you haven’t exercised, or practiced healthy eating, or anything else you have in mind, for a while, it takes time to get back into the swing of things. Don’t be embarrassed and don’t do that negative self-talk (“I’m such a fat failure, I’m only 30 and I’m so out of shape, I’m absolutely disgusting”) Baby steps will get you where you want to be. OK, if you hope to run a marathon in the late spring, start by walking as fast as you can for 30 minutes each day for one week. Next week, make it 40 minutes.
When you can walk for about an hour, try adding 1 minute of running every 10 minutes of your walking time. So walk for 10 minutes, then run for 1 minute, walk for 10 minutes, and then run for 1 minute. Two weeks later, change that for 2 minutes of walking, then 3 minutes. You will be surprised at how quickly your body becomes accustomed to things when you take the baby steps that are necessary to reach your goal.
Always remember that if you backslide, if you go back into bad eating habits or you skip your exercise program twice in a week, that doesn’t mean you should give up. Everyone stumbles, and lifelong habits take time. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Go back to your planned routine as soon as possible and keep going! You can do almost anything when you want it enough.