The New Year is here, and that means it’s time for each of us to review the year that passed and begin to cobble together a list of self-betterments for 2017. Every year nearly 50 percent of people make a New Year’s resolution, but most people struggle to keep them. In fact most people give up after only two weeks, and only 8 percent of people actually achieve their New Year commitments. This doesn’t mean that 2017 has to fall into the same old rut of failure, because there are many easy ways to not only set yourself up for success but to actually surpass your original New Year’s goals.
The helpful advice available for the most common resolutions is unlimited, which is why we’ve taken the time to synthesize some of the best bits for you. This is the one-stop-shop for the top 5 New Year’s Resolutions, including great advice on how to stick to them.
1. Get in Shape
Considering over 25 percent of people who make a New Year’s Resolution aim to get in shape, it also shouldn’t be surprising that it’s also the least achieved. Losing weight and getting fit is a long term, and all-encompassing goal. It can be a complete lifestyle adjustment for some, and therefore extremely hard to stick to. So what can you do to make this easier on yourself?
Consider each aspect of getting in shape: diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, then break each aspect down into tiny goals such as eating more greens each day, exercising 3 times a week, or quitting junk food. Once you succeed in reaching each goal, put the next one in place and don’t try to accomplish too much at once. This way you are able to see small successes and get a confidence booster each time you reach them.
2. Reduce or Eliminate Alcohol Consumption
Looking back over the holidays can definitely inspire someone to eliminate alcohol from their diet. Cutting back can also tie into other New Year’s resolutions of getting in shape and being better with your money. After all drinking is often expensive and always contains empty calories with absolutely no nutritional value.
Quitting (or reducing) is much easier said than done these days, since nearly every social function is associated with a drink. Because it’s often seen as rude to refuse an offer, it’s important to talk openly to your friends and family about your decision to quit or reduce your alcohol consumption. By spreading information about your decision, people can both understand and respect your resolution, and hopefully no longer pressure you to drink. Its also a good idea to start planning more alcohol free activities in order to co-opt potentially tempting booze-fueled parties. If you are the one planning it, you can better regulate alcohol consumption.
It is very important to set achievable targets. Stop drinking for one month, then reevaluate your successes, the difficult situations, and the final result. One month might be enough, or perhaps it was a transformational experience which you’ll wish to continue.
3. Be Better with Money
January can be a scary wake up call after overspending and completely blowing the christmas budget. There is never a better time than January 1st to make a solid resolution to be better with your money. Thankfully, there is a ton of free financial advice available for those looking to make a change.
First, take all your current finances into account in order to get a clear picture of where you stand in relation to debts, bills and savings. Once you know your full situation, you can start to build a reasonable plan of action to deal with debt and savings. Second, cut up or hide your credit cards – no need to accumulate more debt while also trying to pay it down. Thirdly, don’t be afraid to start using applications like Mint, which can help track and manage your spending habits.
4. Stop Procrastinating
Out of all the New Year’s resolutions out there, preventing procrastination could be considered the ultimate base of all other resolutions! New Year’s resolutions all tie back to your your relationship with procrastination.
What can you do to avoid procrastination? Use technology to help, there is a huge variety of apps and programs available for free which can help you manage your time online. Also, use the 2 minute rule. This means consider the task you are avoiding and if it will take you 2 minutes or less. If it qualifies, just do it and cross it off your list. You’ll be surprised how many things you can accomplish by following this simple rule.
5. Reduce Social Media Consumption
We are spending more time than ever on social media. According to some reports American’s check their social media accounts over 17 times a day, with people in other parts of the world up to 40 times per day. Considering the amount of time spent on social media, it’s not surprising that many people are looking to apply themselves more productively in the New Year.
The good news is that there are loads of easy steps you can take in order to break the addictive habits. Try turning your phone off when driving or at work. After all it shouldn’t be the object of your attention span during these times anyway. You can also download programs which specifically limit (or completely restrict) your time on specific sites which you pre-assign. Reducing your social media consumption is well documented to make you feel better about yourself, increase your overall well being, and let you build better connections to others.