Saturday, January 3, 2015

5 Ideas for Your New Year's Resolutions

Should you make New Year's resolutions? Yes, indeed, but make them with care. 
What can be a better time to start fresh than at the beginning of the year? What follows are my own 5 New Year's resolutions. By sharing them, I hope to convince you that you can make progress towards your 2015 resolutions if  you frame them in the right way.

1. My resolution for exercise this year is to walk everyday. I plan to walk for 30-60 minutes each day. Since I walk a lot normally, I believe I can do this. If walking is one of your resolutions and you cannot easily locate a place to walk, you would have to modify it. Perhaps you could go to the gym a few days a week. Just be proactive and sensible about exercising more often and give yourself a certain number, such as 4 times for 30 minutes each week. 

2. I plan to eat healthier in order to bring my  cholesterol levels down. My easy goal is to eat more vegetables at every meal. I know that about half of my plate should be filled with vegetables so I'll work toward that vision. If you have to cut down on fat, you could use olive oil instead of butter or eat meat-free meals two days a week. You can decide how to change your eating habits based on what is possible for you. 

3. So far I've mentioned exercise and healthy eating resolutions, now we move on to relationships. I want to be with more people who like me "just as I am." (Do you recall Bridget Jones, anyone?) I know that this means I need to be honest about myself and who I show to the world. Being honest is a brave stance. I admire people who are real in this way. My resolution is to stay true to myself (in words) every day. Tricky. How will I know when I'm being real? (I tend to please others and avoid talking about differences.) For this resolution, I will need reminders such as "Speak your truth!" posted on mirrors, calendars and in other key places. I believe that as I am more honest about my feelings and thoughts, I will connect on more authentic levels with others. Think through your own relationship resolutions so that you know your motives and obstacles, then tailor them into visible, accomplishable behaviors. 

4. Write every day. I've had this writing goal for a long while so I know I can do it. Now I need to be more specific about the   kind of writing I do every day. This year, I will write three pages related to a specific writing project - the memoir. I know it will be difficult to turn my free daily practice into a focused daily practice but it needs to be done. I'm procrastinating. I've made a writing plan so after my daily practice, I will write these three topic centered pages. Consider a project that you want to begin right away. Make a resolution that works in stages toward its completion. 

5. Have more fun! As my final resolution, I want to be more upbeat and change my approach to routines. To accomplish it, I need to identify what behaviors and activities encourage pleasure. I like to laugh. It's a good indicator that I'm having fun. I like to dance and sing, too. I can play more music in the house, at work and while walking. Oh no! With so much music added to my routine, dancing and singing will soon follow! Girls just wanna have fun! 

My five resolutions are offered to you as examples of how to create a thinking process to formulate your own New Year's resolutions. If you follow this method, I know that your resolutions will be meaningful, practical and last until New Year's resolution 2016!