Who among us has never made a New Year’s resolution? Who among us has kept their New Year’s resolution for more than a few weeks?
1. Yes, it’s that time of the year when we begin to realize that the New Year is almost upon us.
It’s time to think about improving the quality of our life. According to health.com, there are a number of ways to be healthier and happier in the New Year. We looked at a few from their list, and also added some of our own. And, so no one gets overwhelmed, we thought it best to focus on a handful of resolution suggestions instead of a long list that will only serve to overwhelm us before we ring in the New Year.
2. What’s among the most popular resolutions of all time? Yes, you got it if you said “go on a diet.”
We’re not going to use that word. Instead, think about enlisting a buddy to adopt a new-to-you healthy habit, such as walking after dinner, taking a yoga class or trying a new sport, such as kayaking, tennis or cycling. The secret of success? Keep doing it! Studies have shown that less than half of us keep our resolutions for more than six months. In addition to trying a new activity that will ultimately help with weight loss, enroll in a cooking class at the local co-op for new ways to prepare vegetables, tasty, healthy soups or baking whole wheat bread. Remember, your journey begins with that first step….
3. Quit Smoking!
It’s hard for most of us to believe that people still smoke today. It’s deadly, it’s expensive and it stinks. There. We said what everyone thinks. If you smoke, there are more ways to quit today than ever before: hypnotism, drugs, counseling, holistic aids and faith-based smoking cessation programs. There’s bound to be one for you, but you’ll never know unless you give it a shot.
4. Reduce Stress
Let’s be real here: we all have stress. A former boss, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a tough cookie, once said “Hell, if we didn’t have stress we wouldn’t get up in the morning.” So true. There are myriad ways to reduce stress, and many of those ways are right under our nose: exercise, reading, napping, a vacation or getaway weekend, a new hobby. Reducing stress can be lifesaving, as stress brings on obesity, alcoholism, sleeplessness, headaches, muscle aches…you get the picture. Add one of our suggested stress reducers, and see your quality of life improve.
5. Go Back To School
Yes, we mean you! A woman once wrote to a renowned advice columnist. She was 50, her kids were off to college, her husband had a great career and she longed to complete her education at the local veterinary school, a dream she had since she was a child. She wrote to the columnist and asked if she was too old to realize her dream. Too old? The columnist replied “Of course not! What if you write to me when you’re 60 and you still long to be a vet? What then?” The woman went back to veterinary school, got her DVM degree and became a country vet dedicated to farm animals, starting in her mid-50s. She thanked the columnist profusely, sharing how elated she was with her new career, a dream realized all because she followed her dreams and threw out the adage of being too old…. A quilting class, a class in oil painting, English literature, a new program in graphic design, you will be learning something new and fulfilling. Studies show that those who continually learn help to keep Alzheimer’s away. Go ahead. Sign up today. And enjoy!
6. Friendships are Treasures
How many of us were in scouting? I remember the campfire song about friends. It had the verse “make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other’s gold.” I’ve never forgotten it. Send a Christmas card to someone you haven’t reached out to in years. Plan a dinner reunion for the board of directors you sat on five years ago of that favorite local charity dedicated to homeless veterans. Have an open house the week after Christmas and invite 25 people in your profession you’d love to connect with before the New Year. Research shows that those of us who have strong social ties live longer than those who do not. Go ahead. Use Facebook and LinkedIn to find missing connections today.
And, have a healthy and happy Holiday Season and New Year!