Make the New Year Resolutions You’ll Keep

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Year, after year, after year the most common New Year’s resolution is to get fit, eat healthier, and lose weight. The chances are that 80% of those resolutions will fail before we even see the second month of the new year. There are numerous reasons for why we fail including money, time, motivation, etc. Well, I’m tired of failing, and I’m sure you are too.

This year my goal is to set resolutions that I can track and motivate myself to keep throughout 2018. I’m going to keep them by making sure they are realistic, trackable and making them what I truly want. I’m also going to stay away from the lose weight and eat healthy goals. I’m going to stick to a goal that I’ll look forward to working on no less than three times a week.

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What should I replace “lose weight” with?

I hated losing weight. I also hated gaining it back, but I did. So, I returned to the gym and Weight Watchers. This time I failed. It’s frustrating to the point of tears to have your entire life revolve around food and numbers. No wonder so many people just give up. This time, I’m concentrating on the activity.

Come 2018 I will strap on my roller skates and no matter where I do it; living room, skating rink or up and down my street, I’m skating for one hour every Wed, Fri, and Sun. I can easily meet this activity goal. I have skates, and I can do it anywhere that has a somewhat flat surface and no restrictions on skating.

Skating three times a week is a trackable goal. I can pen it into my day planner along with my Tues, Thu and Sat resolution to strength train using kettlebells, dumbbells, and YouTube videos. Again, inexpensive, easily trackable, and there’s ample time to do the activity making it an attainable goal. The best part is I don’t need a gym membership, and since it’s in my home, my jammies can double as workout gear.

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Why not make a resolution to do the things I enjoy?

We all think of the sensible things to do, but what about the fun stuff? This year I’m going to start a novel. Not finish it. I have work, college courses and family, so saying I’d complete it could be a stretch. What can be done is to pen in no less than 30 minutes a day for writing, but not writing less than a chapter a month. Still, by the end of 2018, I’ll have 12 chapters of the next great American novel completed. Oh, and NaNoWriMo, may just put me ahead of that plan.

Underachieving? Considering that I take online courses and write a one to four-page paper almost every week, followed by one or two “milestone” papers per class that can be upwards of six pages, plus the finals are around eight to twelve pages, it’s not underachieving. It will be quite a tight fit for me, but to make things easier, I am going to add it to my morning ritual of meditation, oracle reading, and journaling. So, I get up a little earlier. I’ll live.

The best part is I love writing. This project will be a joy to do, and I’m already excited and ready to start before 2018 even gets here. Look at that! I found a way to ensure I have a fun time this year.

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I want to travel, but I’m broke.

We all have that one thing we really want to do, but it is just out of our budget. Fret not, get creative and find a budget-friendly version. I love to travel. My stepchildren are grown up, and this year will be the first year my husband and I get to go alone. I’ve always wanted to travel. I’ve seen very little of this country and have never traveled outside the country. With a stepchild and myself in college travel plans are out of the picture.

You can. My travel resolution is to travel to locations within a day’s drive every even-numbered month. I have penciled into my calendar one day on the odd number months where my husband and I will review places we can go and research free and discounted activities. Then on the even numbered months, we’ll take our mini-trip.

There’s no reason to give up on big dreams. Just start small and build up when you can. I love looking for free museums, activities, and discounts online. It’s surprising how much you can do for so little. All you need to do is look up the city or area you are interested in, find tourism sites for the location and be amazed. Start planning, stop procrastinating.

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Why not do something for your soul?

Sounds crazy, and controversial. Oh my, am I suggesting a religious resolution? No, I mean it’s, up to you, but to me, the soul is more about the inner, spiritual you. Have you felt off kilter? Is your life balance as unbalanced as it comes? Ok, I know a good number of you need time away from that loving family of yours. Face it; they drive you crazy.

We can’t all afford a sabbatical, resort, or retreat but we can create one for us. Yes, if you have children this will take some planning and a babysitter or co-operative partner. If once a week is too much, make it once a month, but find time to center yourself in whatever way suits your soul. If all you can do is 15 minutes in the tub with some new age music, a glass of wine and a bath bomb; pen it in. Make sure your partner understands the importance of this time for you. Giving them an equal amount of time for themselves where you fend off the kids helps too. Try to squeeze the time in, do some yoga, or a spiritual book club. Don’t be afraid to get the kids involved in a family spiritual practice with you. It can be as simple as a weekly nature walk or doing yoga as a family.

A few years ago, my stressed-out husband and I started with the simple, soothing act of finding time to smoke hookah together. I know it doesn’t sound spiritual, but it’s soothing and stops the brain from thinking about mundane things. We’d turn the lights off and talk, seriously, we’d talk to each other. Even if it isn’t someone else’s version of soul healing, if it works for you, it’s your spiritual experience.

This year, my soul healing goal is to learn about chakras and chakra healing. I’ve been out of balance for a long time and needed to realign. Still, I’m not going to rush it. Every month for the first seven months I’m going to learn about one chakra starting from the crown chakra, and I’m going to work my way down. By spending 15 -30 minutes an evening researching with a warm cup of tea doing online research and reading books, I hope to learn how to unblock each chakra and maintain a healthy spiritual life.

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Your resolutions aren’t my resolutions

We all have different wants and needs. Our resolutions should be as diverse as we are. You may want to learn to play the bassoon or create a video game. These are all fantastic resolutions, and they are attainable if you go about them the right way.

To ensure your resolutions thrive in 2018 make them attainable. To do that you must first, make sure they are realistic and specific. Do you want to lose weight? Make your resolution the action you will take to lose weight Maybe you will take swing dance lessons twice a week or go for a nature walk four times a week.

Make it enjoyable, so you’re less likely to drop it. If you don’t like people or school, taking art classes at the museum may not be for you. Try selecting an art style or project you admire and find a YouTube video tutorial. It may take you more time to learn, but you’ll enjoy it and be more comfortable.

Find creative ways to fit it into your budget. Nothing kills a goal like not having the money to do what you want. Budgeting is great, but so is researching bargains, finding online alternatives, and utilizing local resources, including the locals themselves. Thanks to sites and apps such as you can learn to play an instrument online or for free or a much lower fee than the $20 — $30 a half-hour that most music stores charge. YouTube and Pinterest can lead you to numerous videos and resources for just about any skill you may want to learn from learning a new language to upholstering a car. Don’t think you can’t do something because you can’t afford it. There are so many ways to learn these days if you just put a little effort into finding them.

Finally, make sure you give yourself time and track your progress. Get a day planner or calendar, write your goal on your goal days and what you will do, specifically. Then check it off as you have done it. Simple and effective.

Let’s make 2018 the year we don’t drop our resolutions by February. Success is in our sight if we just follow a few basic guidelines. You deserve to improve yourself. A better you is a happier you. So, set your realistic, trackable goals, and figure out the best way you can attain it and put it in your planner. I have the utmost faith that we will all meet our goals this year if we resolve to plan smart.

Happy New Year to what will become the new you.

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