Need help with your New Year’s Resolution?

It is time to make a pledge to yourself and to those you love. Why? Because it is tradition and research tells us that setting ourselves goals can have an immensely positive impact on how next year turns out…for some. For others it will make January a challenge but we will revert back to normal from February 1st! A lot hinges on whether you make the right resolution for you. If you tell yourself you are going to half your body weight, fall in love, or have triplets then you may be setting yourself up to fall.

Choose a new years resolution that will enhance your life and give you something motivational to work towards. We all need a long term goal to keep our lives focused. The right resolution will bring a ton of rewards with it and you will look forward to making another one at the end of next year! Here are five categories that will help you to make an informed decision on which New Year’s Resolution is the right fit for you! The best of luck everyone.

These are simple but highly effective resolutions that we take for granted all year until the moment when we review our daily routines and take stock of what we have accomplished throughout the year. Could any of these change your life? You would be surprised by how much.

Get enough sleep – Sleep aids productivity, reduces the chances of illness and energises your creativity, lightening your mood and making you more fun to be around. If you get enough sleep you seriously improve your quality of life. Easier said than done of course but isn’t everything that is worth doing?

Watch less TV – We have got into the habit of making TV are main pastime when we are not working or down at the gym. Sitting for an hour and watching our favourite programmes is seen as a great reward and in small amounts it is. But when we cannot think of anything more stimulating to do instead it quickly loses its gloss. Walking, shopping, exploring, visiting heritage sites, zoos, restaurants, playzones, the cinema and starting new hobbies, sports, language courses, quizzes, brain teasers…there is a world of other stuff to do out there, don’t limit yourself to TV.

Stop eating crap –Even if you do not say the words – I am going on a diet you can simplify that and just say I am going to stop eating rubbish. Cut out pop, crisps, chips, white bread…anything that makes your blood sugar spike and fall. This is what leads to low moods and rapid dips in energy. Anything that is rich in sugar should be eaten in moderation.

Make time for exercise – The most common New Year’s Resolution because we all know it is good for us. It can lift moods, reduce depression, help us burn off fat, increase our energy levels and release endorphins into our blood stream that makes us feel good about ourselves. Find something you enjoy and stick to it because the rewards will be overwhelming in the long term.

Stop keeping a spotless house – It just occupies so much of our time and mind space. If you re-shuffle the money could you afford a cleaner? If you got the kids involved once a week as a regular habit could that ease the stress? Try and limit cleaning to allocated slots and spend more time on fun, happy pastimes because cleaning doesn’t make memories. We all have to do it but if it has become a focus on your life then you are wasting some valuable life experience time on something utterly mundane.

Have sex – Being tired is not a good enough excuse. There are many positive benefits to having regular sex. Just like any exercise it can increase energy levels and makes you feel good about yourself and your partner. If you do not have regular sex then one partner is probably feeling rejected and hurt because it is rarely a mutual decision. Feeling satisfied is a huge boost.

Don’t wait for your partner to read your mind – people do this all the time and get mad when their partner does not guess what is irritating or upsetting them. To be blunt life is too short so if they need to do something to make you feel better then tell them. They will not always be able to read your mind because they have other stuff occupying theirs. No it isn’t ideal but that is life so meet in the middle.

Stop letting intrusive or rude family members butt in all the time – space from parents, in laws, and siblings is sometimes a requirement. Don’t feel bad if you have to tell them to butt out and mind their own business. You need time to yourself and time to organise and live your own life. Too many oppressive characters can have a negative impact on your self-image and well-being.

Stop wishing you were different – If all you do next year is simply be content with yourself then you will have achieved more than most simply dream of. Well they would if they realised that was what they needed! There are endless ways to change yourself for the better but we cannot do them all. We are human with an infinite time on this Earth so start this year by accepting who you are and what you have got naturally. You are a loved, valuable and appreciated person, everything else is just window dressing now.

You know what I am talking about – those fitness challenges that crop up every January. There are the common ones laid down each year and then there are the not so common ones that people pick out for their personal goals. What might yours be?

Running weekly

Learn a martial art

Hiking the three peaks

500 squat challenge

10k run

Half Marathon

5 minute plank challenge

3 classes per week

50 mile bike ride

Coast to coast bike challenge

Learn to swim

Learn to scuba dive

Master white water rafting

Open water swimming

Skiing

Winter sports (curling, bobsleigh, ski jumping)

Master a new fitness class (Pole dancing, Bootcamp, Insanity, Spin)

Learn to dance (Tap, Ballet, Ballroom, Street)

Horse riding

Synchronised swimming

There really are thousands of things you can try from water sports through to walking, ski diving, abseiling, and mud wrestling. The more unusual the better because when you tell your friends they will be dead impressed. Everyone runs but tell your peers you have taken up roller derby training and you will quickly stand out from the crowd. Some of them take grit and determination while others are more about having a laugh and getting fitter and fitter without realising that is what you are doing. Depending on what kind of personality you are you might want to decide on something that compliments it so you are not swimming against the tide from day one.

Change of career/direction – If your haven’t found the career that synchs with your talents perfectly then maybe 2015 is the year to go out there and find it. To be truly happy and content most of us need to find our calling in life. It doesn’t matter what yours is so long as you never lose sight of it. You are here once so if it means that much to you fight with everything you have until you land that dream job.

Learn a new language – The older we get the harder this is to do but it is far from impossible. There is a massive multicultural multilingual world out there to explore and there is nothing better than being able to speak the language of the country you visit. Us Brits get a bad reputation for not being particularly skilled in speaking multiple languages so anyone who tries to actually chipping away at a stereotype. Bravo!

Read a book weekly/biweekly/monthly – It is something I tend to pledge every so often. I must read more. There is so much to absorb and so many literary creations to enjoy that I am always frustrated when I haven’t done more of it. It is the perfect habit to get into before bed and whether you grasp a paperback or a kindle reading is reading. There is a world of knowledge to tap into and endless entertainment to be had from some seriously imaginative and intelligent reads.

Brain training – You do not need a fancy app for it but they can make it more fun. Play board games (scrabble, trivial pursuit), learn a new word every day, do some maths training to refresh the old brain cells. You will be amazed at how your memory improves and how much more alert you are!

Teach yourself a new skill – There are endless skills to stretch our brains and improve our capacity for learning new things. We so often settle with skills we learnt years ago and then quickly find ourselves in a world that makes slightly less sense to us. You could learn coding (hmtl), cooking, carpentry, knitting, magic, gardening…there are hundreds of new skills out there waiting to be embraced.

Write – You do not have to write a novel but if you want to then do it! Write it in chunks so you do a little each day and break a mammoth task into bitesize instalments. You could write a diary and document weekly events for future reflection. Some people write short stories, interesting anecdotes or thoughts down, and poetry. There is no fixed rule on this – let your creativity flow.

Tough Mudder

Appearing on Mastermind

Marathon

Swimming the Channel

Degree, Masters, PHD

Black Belt

Triathlon

Achieve enlightenment

Single finger push up

One armed pull up

Cross Fit Championship

This is the section for the elite trainer. Those with a strong fitness base that want to push on and go for a target that will make them a miniature hero to the rest of us mere mortals. Everyone is capable of any of these with the right training and dedication but they are not for the faint hearted. If you have what it takes then what are you waiting for! Go and get it done

I haven’t got a list of these but I know they are out there. Just about everyone reading this post will want weight loss, more time to do the things they love, a higher level of fitness, more money, and more holidays to exotic and stimulating destinations. We are full of excuses as to why we cannot do them or why we didn’t attain them last year. But that is what they are – no matter how we explain it – they are excuses.

So now you have a choice, the same one you have every year. You can achieve the resolutions you keep restating each New Year with ever increasing gusto, or, you can opt out of being average. You can acknowledge your weaknesses and strengths, embrace them for what they are and decide to be unique in your resolution selection. Be creative and chose something you have always wanted to do. It may not benefit your health but it will make you happy.

Average people all want the same thing and they crowd a slippery slope trying to reach it. What if you took a different path? What if you made yourself happy by distracting yourself from work and all the stresses in your life. You would be far more likely to lose weight, go on holiday and make time for your loved ones if you had put yourself in a good place at the beginning of the year.

I don’t know what this resolution looks like for you because it is personal. For me it could be learning to ride a unicycle, going roller blading every Sunday, learning a new recipe every weekend, striking up a conversation with a new person each week, or saying no when I have reached capacity. None of those will completely change my life but they all have the potential of making me that little bit happier…perhaps the right emotions are giddy and care free. I want more of that in my life because I know that will make stress easier to cope with, add a little structure to my down-time, and make me more productive throughout the week. Who knows what that could lead to.

So I am choosing two New Years Resolutions this year. One will roll on year on year until I find the time to nail it…and eventually I will. The other will be about bringing a ray of happiness into my weeks because all of us could do with doing something just for us – couldn’t we?

So my New Years Resolutions are:

  1. Write a Book (I have been saying this since I was 9)
  2. Roller blading on Sundays with one a month off to cook a new recipe

What are your resolutions and why did you make them?

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