On Dec. 31, people around the world always ring in the New Year with midnight kisses, colorful fireworks and New Year's resolutions. Not surprisingly, there are a number of universal resolutions that millions of people commit to year after year.
The most popular resolutions among Americans are losing weight, followed by things like saving more money, finding love, quitting smoking and a myriad of others. When we first commit to them, resolutions sound so promising and life-altering, but how many of us actually follow through on the resolutions we make each year? That's what I thought…
Before compiling your list of resolutions, stop and ask yourself if your proposed resolutions are 1) attainable, and 2) worthwhile.
Before compiling your list of resolutions, stop and ask yourself if your proposed resolutions are 1) attainable, and 2) worthwhile. To help you along in your endeavors, here are five resolutions you probably shouldn't make.
1. To lose [insert unreasonable number of pounds]
Millions of people commit to losing weight in the New Year only to fall off the wagon by Feb. 1. What gives? Well, focusing on losing pounds instead of embracing healthier life habits prevents individuals from maintaining long-term weight loss resolutions.
Instead of saying you want to lose weight in the New Year, focus on becoming wiser about your personal health. Take to reading books or blogs about nutrition or exercise, hitting the gym a couple days a week, and making small but meaningful changes in your everyday diet. In doing so, you'll be on your way to maintaining good health as opposed to temporarily dropping a few pounds.
2. To find love
Have you ever heard the saying "Love comes when you least expect it"? I know; it's an incredibly cheesy saying, but it actually has some significance. If you're out hunting for a new romance or companion, chances are you'll lower your standards or expectations for the sake of finding something quickly.
Instead of focusing on finding love or a new lover, focus on self-improvement and self-happiness.
Instead of focusing on finding love or a new lover, focus on self-improvement and self-happiness. Pursue things that really interest you like cooking classes, athletic meetups, pub crawls and other intriguing social activities. In doing things that interest you, you'll likely meet individuals with similar interests, but that should never be your primary goal. Put yourself first, and let love follow closely behind.
3. To read more
Reading a mountain of books and novels sounds wonderfully ideal, but like all important things in life, reading takes up a significant amount of time. Instead of trying to incorporate more reading into your schedule, focus on cutting down on — or even completely eliminating — mindless tasks you perform in your everyday life (watching The Real Housewives, pinning on Pinterest for three hours, g-chatting with old college buddies, etc.).
Take an inventory of all the menial, mindless activities you perform in your normal daily routine and try eliminating a few of them. When that's done, incorporate more reading into your newfound free time.
4. To spend less money
Chances are you think about money on a daily basis. Whether you're saving up for a home, putting aside money for retirement, or paying off your credit card, you probably have a financial goal you'd like to achieve in the new year. In today's unpredictable economic times, we could all benefit from becoming more financially responsible.
Instead of trying to spend less money all together, focus on spending less money in a few key areas.
Yet instead of trying to spend less money all together, focus on spending less money in a few key areas. For instance, if you go out to eat one too many times a week, try staying in a day or two. We all have areas we like to splurge on, so if you zone in on managing those specific areas, you'll be able to save a little bit more each month.
If you find that you are still spending more than you'd like, start managing one or two more things, such as clothing costs, food costs, travel costs, etc. As long as you're specific in your financial goals, you'll be able to start saving more money.
5. To become a better person
Honestly, what does that even mean? Instead of trying to become a "better" person, channel your energy on becoming a more authentic person. Be true to your emotions, desires, inclinations, goals, wants, and needs, and you'll be on your way to becoming authentic.
Once you become a more authentic self, you'll find more lasting, meaningful happiness and self-confidence. As a result you'll be able to achieve other resolutions you've been failing to achieve over the years.
Best of luck to you and your resolutions in the new year!