The presents may be unwrapped, but that doesn’t mean the holiday season is over. New Year’s Day is just a few days away which means you still have time to put some thought into those New Year Resolutions.
Don’t roll your eyes. New Year Resolutions can actually be great things. In the past, they’ve gotten a bad rap for being outlandish goals which are ultimately unattainable and have the goal-setter feeling like a failure. If done right, there are ways you can approach New Year Resolutions to make them not only achievable but inspiring!
The best way to make Resolutions work is to make them actionable. Too often and too easily, people set vague goals such as “be a better person” or “improve my relationships.” While the heart of the goal is admirable, it’s difficult to know if they’ve ever been achieved because they aren’t measureable. With this in mind, I’ve considered popular New Year Resolutions and shared ways these Resolutions can become realities for you.
Making sure you’re in good health is a great idea but not a wonderful goal. It falls into a very undefined area. Work to be specific. Do you want to lose a certain number of pounds? Do you want to run a certain distance within a set time? Do you have a target weight to bench press? Here are ways you can make a healthy Resolution work for you…
- Join a gym: The financial commitment you make with your membership will provide a stronger motivation to go regularly. If you’re feeling really inspired, hire a trainer; most gyms have this service as a part of their offerings and it might be just the push you need.
- Get a workout partner: If a trainer is out of your budget, talk with friends who might have similar Resolutions. If they have the same Resolution in mind, work to sync your schedules so you can work out together. You’ll be less likely to skip the gym if you know you’ll be letting down a friend.
- Put it on the calendar: Set reminders in your phone and on every calendar you use to remind yourself of your workout times. When new to your day, the reminders will help. Work in a picture of your grandkids or a swimsuit you like or any visual reminder of why you’re working on your health. It’ll make saying “no” to your gym time harder to ignore.
- Make a list: While the gym gets most of the attention, the road to good health often starts at the grocery store. Look up substitutions for ingredients that you commonly use that may not be the best for you. Find lower calorie snack options or to see if they come in preset serving sizes (so you don’t eat the whole sleeve of cookies). The answers you’re looking for to achieve this goal may just be on a different aisle.
It’s never a bad idea to be more financially responsible, but saying just “save money” is a bad goal. How much money do you want to save? Which account do you want it in? Clearly define how you want the money saved and how much is considered enough. Here are some methods to get started.
- Look at your current spending: Keep receipts, look at statements and take notes on your current spending habits. What do you see? Eating out a little too often? Paying for services you don’t use frequently enough to justify the cost? There may be adjustments you can make now that you won’t miss and can still make a big difference to your wallet.
- Use direct deposit: Most companies are able to pay using electronic deposits to your bank accounts. Look at how your funds are submitted, and consider having an increased percentage go towards a savings account.
There’s a big world out there, and you want to see it. It’s easy to get distracted by day to day tasks, financial responsibilities and the logistics of traveling, but the memories gained from the exciting journey can be worth it all. There’s no time like the present. Here are ways that will help you hit the road.
- Be prepared: Ensure that you have what you need. Is your passport up to date? Do you have the luggage you need? Also, when working on your financial savings, consider starting an account for your travels. Setting aside a small amount each month can create funds that will help you be ready to hit the road without a major shock to your checkbook.
- Set up alerts: Do you have notifications pushed to your phone to let you know of deals the airlines might be running? While not all notifications or destinations will float your boat, the right deal at the right time might set you up for the perfect trip.
- Save the date: Mark the dates of your trip on the calendar. You will want some flexibility to help you get a good deal on the travel or lodging costs, but by setting a range of dates, you are helping commit to the travel Resolution and getting one step closer to your dream trip.
- Shake it up: When planning your trip, think about other options. Flying is common but what locations are accessible via car or train? Hotels are often conveniently located and offer comfortable amenities, but temporary home/apartment rental sites such as Airbnb and VRBO also offer tremendous deals. You can have a trip customized to your needs.
The true value of life is found in our relationships with others. But, as with anything of value, relationships require work. Here are ways you can meet your relationships Resolution.
- Name who: Which relationships need your focus? Know which ones need your attention so that you don’t feel overwhelmed or spread yourself thin.
- Name how: Think of that person individually. What are ways you can spend time with that person that will better that relationship? We all have different ways we feel valued; how can you make that person feel valued by you?
- Name when: As with the healthy Resolution, mark your calendar for time with the relationships you want to improve. You can’t get in better shape without time at the gym, and you can’t improve relationships without spending time with that person.
The above are Resolutions you can have but they aren’t necessarily Resolutions you should have. Resolutions are great, but don’t set so many that you overwhelm yourself in 2018. Keep your load light enough for you to accomplish what you aim to achieve and can enjoy the year ahead. And, when you do make notable improvements, celebrate your victories along the way. You’re brave to set Resolutions going into 2018 and deserve pats along the back along the way.
Whatever you want out of 2018, we at First Choice Loan Services wish you the best in the coming year. We believe the year offers incredible opportunities for wonderful things, and we hope you experience them all!