by Emily Brockbrader
“Lose weight.” … “Eat healthier.” … “Become more organized.” … “This is the year of ME.”
As the holiday season looms, many of us take the time to look back on 2017 and re-evaluate some life choices.
All the things you had planned when the ball dropped may have fallen by the wayside this past spring.
According to webmd.com, 68 percent of people had lost sight of their New Year’s goal by March — just three months in — and at year-end only 15 percent remained committed.
“People are doing it all wrong,” says Robert Butterworth, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles. “The worst time to make New Year’s resolutions is on New Year’s Eve. We’re exhausted after the holidays. We’re stressed out. The weather is bad. Everyone is talking about it and watching what your resolutions are.”
Even so, more than half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and marketing for health clubs, diet programs and smoking cessation medications skyrocket.
Even with all the flashy “get bathing suit ready!” ads, in the end, the results will depend on you, your desire and the right strategy.
Start small, in weekly, or even daily, increments.
Everyone has a different goal and looking at it as a whole can be a bit daunting.
Let’s say you’d like to lose 50 pounds. Instead of “I want to weigh 50 pounds less by June” start with “I will swap out my soda at lunch time with sparkling water” or “I will try not to eat anything after 6 p.m. during the work week.”
Want to organize your entire house and take on the minimalist frame of mind?
Don’t throw everything away on the first weekend in January only to regret it in April.
Again, start small. Assume a divide and conquer mindset: One area at a time.
A simple web search will give you a plethora of ideas, but more than likely you already have your goal in mind. Just remember to take it in increments.
Let’s say your resolution is to spend more time with your family.
Make your daily goal to eat dinner together.
If that’s not conducive to everyone’s schedule — we all have different work hours and obligations in this fast paced life — maybe strive for breakfast together.
Another daily idea to achieve this goal would be to schedule a time for everyone, and I mean everyone, to unplug.
Read a book to your children or even help them set their clothes out for the next day. Small tasks done together can lead to some amazing conversations.
Moving on to your weekly goal to spend more time with your family in 2018. Schedule a family game night, or even a weekly walk after dinner if it’s not too cold.
Have the kids help cook dinner one night a week (this can be a little less stressful during the weekend, trust me) and make cleaning up fun.
A fantastic monthly goal would be to schedule a family meeting. Go around the table and give each person a chance to talk.
This will go differently for every family but the end goal is to allow time for bonding, problem solving and open communication and compromise. A great yearly goal is to start a new tradition. This can stem from something as simple as family game night or branch out into something you learned about in your monthly family meeting.
Maybe you as a group decided you’d love to visit Yellowstone National Park or Hollywood or … dare I say … the much-loved Disney World once a year.
That daily goal of eating dinner together has morphed into the family tradition of a week at Magic Kingdom every June or checking out the lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges in Montana next fall.
Looking for smaller “mini resolutions” for 2018 that are super-doable? Here are 10!
• Drink. More. Water. Buy a calibrated bottle to track your intake.
• Swap mindless TV for documentaries.
• Make your coffee at home.
• Try Meatless Mondays and introduce new vegetables to your family.
• Start an “old fashioned” recipe box to pass to your children. Actually handwrite the cards!
• Clean out your inbox and unsubscribe to junk.
• Meditate or join a yoga class
• Vow to take a day (or a week) off of social media.
• Go outside every day.
• Take in a local, live music concert
This can be your year. Let’s get started.