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The swell of New Year’s resolutions just before the end of the year is sometimes attributed to the poor choices we make around the holidays. Indulging in a few extra helpings of turkey and chomping on a few too many cookies at 2 a.m., for example.
Unfortunately, most of us need New Year’s resolutions to keep our resolutions because research shows more than half of us will give them up at some point during the year. Often, we give up because our resolutions are too far out of reach. Instead, our resolutions should be to simply start something new and let it grow naturally.
If you need some ideas, have no fear! Below, we outline a few simple resolutions, along with some words of wisdom that may get you feeling inspired. Don’t worry, they aren’t all about eating healthy or getting more exercise!
Get Serious About Your Health — With Small Steps
Okay, this one is about your health. We are getting it out of the way early, but it is important. When it comes to diet and exercise, people may give up because they try too much on day one. Unless you are already on a daily diet and exercise program, working out too hard and extreme dieting can overwhelm the body or cause injury. When this happens, you not only miss out on achieving your goals, but also may be worse off than before.
Resolve To Diet and Exercise The Right Way: Make small changes to your lifestyle. Eat smaller portions, indulge in fewer sugary snacks, and get 10 to 15 minutes of cardio a day in whatever free time you can find. You’re less likely to give up if you start with small, manageable changes. Every two weeks do a little bit more. Then go big next year.
As Doctor Oz writes, “Just 100 fewer calories a day can make a difference. Every long-term dieting program has found one uniform insight — eat 100 calories less today than you would have eaten. That’s half a soda less; one doughnut less. Small steps done well are what make it happen.”
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Use Fewer Screens and Create Something Special
Our lives are too dominated by screens. They are in our pockets, inside our cars, at our desks and all around our homes. Screens provide a great escape with brief moments of entertainment, but they might not be giving us much satisfaction. On the other hand, if you learn to sew, crochet, paint, sculpt or create your own jewelry, you have the perfect opportunity to develop a worthwhile hobby that is relatively inexpensive, and you can learn while comfortably in your home. As a bonus, you can give your handmade creations as gifts, which will be greatly appreciated by strangers, friends or family.
Resolve to Develop a New Hobby: Pick a hobby that is inexpensive to start and not overly complicated. Find an instruction book or online video (an acceptable use of your screens) and practice for at least 30 minutes a day. Get the basics down, then work your way to more complex projects toward the end of the year. As you progress, spend more time each day practicing and challenging yourself to do more.
As Bob Ross of The Joy of Painting said about creating something yourself, “I can’t think of anything more rewarding than being able to express yourself to others through painting. Exercising the imagination, experimenting with talents, being creative; these things, to me, are truly the windows to your soul.”
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Start Home Renovations, But Skip the Contractor
Some people suggest that doing it yourself is a dying art form. Our lives are busy, and it may be easier to hire a contractor to complete the repairs or projects we want to see finished. Except, the skills you learn by completing your own home renovations will carry with you forever, especially in a pinch when a contractor isn’t nearby. Also, you can use your expertise to help others, which is a kindness and a chance to score brownie points. Plus you’ll get a lot more joy seeing projects come together when they are finished using your own hard work.
Resolve to Be More Handy: Before calling a contractor, ask yourself how you can complete the project yourself. Go online and find some instructions, watch a few videos, then head to your local hardware store with a list of parts and some information about your project. With a little advice and a few safety precautions, you will easily complete your first project. Some things may require a contractor in the end, but there are plenty of other tasks that you will find are easier than you thought they would be.
As home improvement expert and television personality Bob Vila writes, “[…] learn how to do things, whether it’s around carpentry or masonry, or just in terms of fiddling around with design. To be an experimenter and to be a student. I mean, I’m 61 years old and I’m still always looking at new solutions, new problems, new areas, new things. It’s, I think, the best way to be.”
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There are a lot of other New Year’s resolution ideas, but we think these three could apply to most anyone. Resolutions are not always easy, but finding an activity that you might enjoy, using a little patience and making small steps forward might ensure that you aren’t someone who gives up their resolutions so easily.
What resolutions are you making for 2017, and how do you plan to follow through? Let us know in the comments below!