21 December 2007, 10:40
Okay, I know it can be hard to come up with worthy resolutions for the new year, so I thought I’d give you a bit of help. Remember, goals & resolutions are totally different. Goals can be defined as “what by when“, while a resolution is somewhat more ephemeral. A resolution is light-hearted, something you do for fun. A guideline, rather than a hard-&-fast line. Here are some ideas, but if you already know what your resolutions are, feel free to post them in the comments below! I’d love to hear them.
Start wearing sunscreen
It’s never too late to start if you haven’t already. I am definitely guilty of not wearing sunscreen on my face, & I know that it’s going to start affecting me if I don’t do something about it soon. Invest in good sun protection for your face & wear it every day. FYI, it goes over your moisturiser & under your make-up, & the longer you wait, the more you will regret it! Do some research & find one which works for you.
Throw away your scales
I haven’t owned scales since the middle of last year some time, & you know what? I don’t miss them. I don’t know what I weigh & I really don’t care — it’s a very liberating feeling. Gauge your size by how happy you feel & how well your clothes fit. If your jeans are getting loose, eat some extravagant dinners. If they’re feeling a little tight, step up your exercise. That’s really all there is to it.
Stop exercising out of obligation & instead do it because you love it
There are so many people with gym memberships who just go because they can’t stand to think of the money they’re wasting if they don’t go. But here’s a revolutionary thought — exercise doesn’t have to cost anything, & it doesn’t have to be boring, either. If you’re not sure what you’ll like, take a different class every week for 3 months. Try salsa dancing, indoor cricket, taiko drumming, acrobatics, ballet, boxing, aikido, sprinting…
Live to a budget
I did a little exercise a while ago where I made a note of everything I spent money on. It was kind of scary, to say the least. I really had no idea how indiscriminately I spent my money. Well, now I know — so I picked a number, & I try to spend less than that every week. It’s made me feel a lot better about money management. I always thought budgets were terribly dreary, but it actually ends up leaving you with more money to spend on manicures, Chanel handbags, tennis lessons, gigolos, etc.!
Have a personal date once a week
Go to a movie, eat an amazing meal, go for a long meandering walk or have a candlelit bubble bath. Just take time out for you. Regularly.
Make 3 new friends
If you’ve been living in the same city for a long time, it’s really easy to just stick to your peer group & call it a day. But it’s also kind of boring. Comforting, yes. Nice, yes. But not very exciting. Go out of your way to meet new people. Be friendly to the new person at work. Strike up a friendship with your local barista. Find someone who also shares your gripping obsession with lunchmeat. It will enhance your life.
“Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” — Anaïs Nin
Stop eating meat
Well, you don’t HAVE to. But I know my body works best when I eat a meat-free, non-dairy selection of food. Read My Year Of Meats by Ruth Ozeki or Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser if you want to know more on the subject. Being vegetarian or vegan is a bit more work than just being a desultory meatmouth, but I think it’s worth it.
Take a risk
Every day, if you can handle it! & I don’t mean piddly little risks like “catch a plane”. I mean things like… tell people how you feel about them. Apply for a promotion. Approach a client that intimidates you. Start your own business. Taking risks helps to keep you youthful, as well as preventing your life from becoming a yawn-inducing routine.
Choose a role model & then think, “What Would ____ Do?”
It smells & it makes you wrinkly. The occasional cigarette won’t kill you, but chain-smoking is pretty self-destructive… If you’re not sure where to begin, I hear amazing things about The Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr. & there’s always EFT!
Improve on your weaknesses (spelling, maths, etc.)
Being unable to spell or do basic maths can really kick your confidence. A lack of spelling ability can easily put you off any kind of text-based communication, while confusion about maths can lead to all sorts of financial difficulties. Fortunately, it’s something you have the power to fix! This page on improving your spelling is fantastic, as is this one on how to get smart in math.
Eat more vegetables & drink more water
I don’t need to explain this, surely?!
Master a party trick
No one knows party tricks any more! In the 70s (well, from what I’ve heard), it seemed like everyone had some strange skill that they could show off at parties — weird stomach contortion, belching the alphabet & handstand push-up demonstrations were all popular. But these days, you see nothing of the sort. (No, losing all your worldly posessions during a night out doesn’t count as a party trick!) Decide to learn some strange skill that you can demonstrate at a moment’s notice. How about juggling or complicated origami?
Or, take a page from Criss Angel’s book.
Learn the names of flowers
I think people who know the proper names for flowers are wonderful. It’s such an odd thing to master, but it’s so utterly charming that I can’t help but be impressed.
Start yoga or meditation
It doesn’t have to cost money or even take a lot of time. You can download all kinds of yoga videos & borrow books on meditation from the library for nothing. Both activities are really good for your body, mind & spirit. Make 2008 the year that you start looking after yourself holistically!
Pay someone a compliment every day
You might find this difficult some days. But there is always someone doing something worth applauding — whether it’s the barista who always makes an effort, the bus driver who is polite & smiley, or your daughter trying to cheer you up. Tell them how much you appreciate it.
Read one self-improvement book a month
I think I’m going to try this one myself. I’m naughty when it comes to books, but I’ve been making more of an effort to read recently & it has been hugely enriching. I’m currently working my way through The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield & it is rocking my world!
Extra For Experts:
Top Three Most Popular New Years Resolutions and How to Keep Them from Associated Content.