Sure, you have good intentions—heck, great intentions—when you form New Year's resolutions. But your ambitions need a little more than an end goal if we really want to succeed. You may want to lose 20 pounds this year or stop drinking so much coffee, but how exactly do you plan on doing that? Licensed clinical therapist and certified personal trainer Matt Lawson explains that in order to reach your goals, you must create resolutions that you can commit to, that you have the means to commit to, and that you’re able to develop effective strategies to achieve. It’s a new year, and as he puts it, “in order to get better results you have to try a new way.” You don’t have to toss your resolutions out the window, just tweak them a bit. Here are ten resolutions you won’t break before February 1.
Instead of saying you’ll eat healthier this year (that's vague), define just how you'll do that. One place to start: stop eating out and ordering in so often. Tell yourself you’ll cook five meals at home per week and you'll be well on your way to a healthier self.
Though small doses of coffee do come with health benefits, it’s no secret that you can overdo it (and a lot of us do). Rather than saying you’re going to quit cold turkey—never works!—give yourself a little leeway and commit to a once daily swap to something that’s gentler on your body, like tea.
It’s easy to buy lunch every day, but the problem with that is two-fold: wasted money and a bigger waistline. If losing weight and saving more money are on your list this year, stick to eating out one day per week and take time on Sundays to prep your lunches for the week ahead. “You have to commit to consistent, persistent behavior toward the goal,” says Lawson. Soon enough it will become a habit!The Weird Problem With Ordering Food Online >>>
4) I will strength train three days a week
Did you just get a new gym membership or splurge on a new fitness wardrobe? Nothing wrong with that. But having the proper tools at your disposal and saying you’ll get in shape won’t get you a great body. You also need to choose a manageable number of days you can get to the gym every week, and stick to it. And be realistic. If you can’t get to the gym seven days a week, don’t say you will. However, don’t settle for once a week either.
5) I will turn off my cell phone for one hour every night
“I will get a better handle on stress this year” is a great resolution. Stress is a major contributor to unhealthy lifestyle habits such as poor eating and sleep deprivation. But you can't exactly wish away a pile of student loan bills or a boss from hell. What you can control is how you let stress impact your life, so try this. If your phone is buzzing at all hours of the day from emails and texts, preventing you from relaxing, shut it off for an hour every night. Easy enough, right?
Being single has its perks, but it’s also fairly easy to fall out of the game. (If you've started trading happy hours for solo Netflix marathons, you're out of the game.) Commit to a set number of new dates per month. Doing so will keep you in the swing of things without feeling overwhelmed. It will also prevent you from waking up one morning with the inevitable realization: “Wow, I’m single as f*ck.”
7) I will set price alerts for cheap flights on my phone
A new year brings new adventures, or so you hope. Traveling is high on your to-do list, but it’s easier said than done. A great way to jumpstart your New Year’s travel plans is to download an app like Kayak, and set price alerts for all the places you want to go. When a flight drops to that magic price, book it! How can you pass up a good deal? Once the flight is booked, you’re that much closer to getting where you want to be.
Want to become a better chef this year? Well, practice makes perfect. But saying you’re going to cook more is overwhelming and non-committal. Saying you’ll experiment with one new recipe per week is almost fail-proof. Baby steps. By next year you could be a pro. Think about it.
If you’re among those who are looking to be more environmentally conscious or less wasteful this year, bravo. Think about how many coffee cups you throw out every day, or how many plastic water bottles you guzzle then toss. Buy a refillable water bottle or a travel coffee mug and take it with you everywhere. You'll instantly scale back your carbon footprint. Also, don’t forget most coffee shops give you a discount if you bring in your own cup. I think you just became a better person with more money.
This goes for almost any raggedy item in your closet. Rather than saying “I can’t wear my weathered college sweatshirt in public anymore,” go out and buy a new one that you’re excited about. If your goal is to look better this year, break-up with your old sneakers or stained slacks and treat yourself to a new pair.