After spending awkward quality time this holiday season with family steeped in meals, gifts and traditions, many people will be prepared to make bold, sweeping changes in their lives. Forty percent of Americans will take stock of their year and make a declarative statement of their intentions for the year to come. Eighty percent of us will fail within 30 days. With only 8% of resolution makers actually seeing follow through, more often than not making a resolution will result in frustration and a sense of defeat. According to Statista, 53% of Americans surveyed in 2017 wanted to save money in the coming year closely followed by 43% who want to lose weight or get in shape. A desire to be healthier and richer are certainly great goals, but knowing that over three-quarters of those who embark on these goals are going to fail, what's a person to do?

Don't make resolutions

Resolutions clearly don't work for the majority of people in America. Why continue putting energy into something that is bound to fail? Instead, do these four things to achieve whatever goal you decide to set.

Don't Make Rigid Resolutions -- Choose A Word Of The Year

As an alternative to making a resolution that you're probably not going to see through, choose a word to guide your year. This idea, which isn't new by any stretch, has been thoughtfully packaged by author Susannah Conway. She creates a free yearly workbook to unravel your year and choose a word to guide the next. If you choose a word to give your coming year shape and direction, there is automatically no failure. An abstract word alone won't propel you to your goals, though. Hard work will still need to be done to achieve them. The word just gives you more flexibility. Take for example the two most popular resolutions, saving money and getting fit. Perhaps your word would be something like Wealth, Fitness, Wellness or Thrifty.

Forget About Saving Money -- Hold Yourself Accountable With A Budget

Let's be real-nobody wants to set a budget. They're not fun, they can be restrictive and sometimes they're downright depressing. But unless you were lucky enough to win the $1.5 billion Mega Millions lottery, which you weren't, it's a fact of life that to grow your bank account you need to watch what and how you spend. Budgets are a great way to tackle both of the most popular resolutions in one fell swoop. The easiest money saving tip is, of course, to not buy things you won't use. Take for example a gym membership. An episode of the "Planet Money" podcast found that half of the people who hold memberships at Planet Fitness never go. With 61.87 million gym memberships across the U.S. at a variety of gyms and health clubs, that's a massive amount of money going down the drain.

Throw Your Diet Out The Window -- Take Control In The Kitchen

Now is your chance to channel your inner Food Network star. In addition to not going hog wild with a gym membership that you'll probably never use, reigning in your food spending is a quick way to pad your wallet. Dieting isn't fun, so instead of picking some wacky diet that makes you put butter in your coffee (Seriously? Has Ina Garten taught us nothing about where butter goes?), check out a food pyramid that fits your lifestyle and morals and plan your weekly meals accordingly, remembering that you need to be mindful of excess. There are a ton of YouTube personalities, blogs, podcasts, Instagram stars, books and apps that are readily available to help you make nutritious, healthy meals for every style of eating from omnivore to vegan on a budget. It will just take a little planning and time on your part to cook and prepare your food instead of hitting up Seamless for a pizza. Spend a couple hours on Sunday cooking and you can eat like a king all week on the cheap, saving both your wallet and your waistline.

New Habits Are Hard-Be Patient With Yourself

New habits aren't formed overnight. While you're making all of these awesome, new choices, you will potentially backslide. It happens. You're human. Eating your weight in pizza and margaritas doesn't mean that you're an utter failure. Skipping a work out doesn't mean that you'll never work out again. Accept that you didn't hit your goals for the day and do better tomorrow. Sometimes Netflix releases an entire season of a new show and you simply must watch the entire thing in one sitting. Sometimes you need a night out with your friends. Sometimes you want to eat every recipe that Delish and Basically put on Instagram, so go ahead indulge once in a while. Then just get back on track the next day and know that one day or one meal isn't going to break your resolve.

There's no need to go to extremes with strict resolutions that you're bound to bail on. Instead, choose a word to guide yourself through the coming year, make a plan that isn't overly restrictive that fits with your lifestyle and goals and take the steps necessary to stick with it. New habits are built over time and anyone can achieve them if they don't set themselves up to fail in the first place. (Forbes)


Popular posts from this blog