Tuesday, December 23, 2014

New Year's Resolutions

At the dawn of a new year, people look at the achievements they made the past year and reflect on the things they wish to change and achieve in the year that is just starting. It's tradition, period. A calendar dictated tradition. Folks come up with lists of the things they want to concentrate on in an attempt to make their lives better aka 'resolutions'. The most important thing to note is that everyone has unique New Year's resolutions. Therefore your resolutions will depend on what you want to achieve during the year and not what others' expectations of you are or what the populace wants.

Statistics generally show the top ten New Year resolutions include weight loss, getting organized and spending less money. Enjoying life ranks number 4 while quitting smoking came in 7th. Falling in love came in 9th, very surprising. Others are staying fit at number 5, learning something exciting 6, helping others in their dreams 8, and spending more time with family 10 (another surprise). About 45% of Americans make resolutions, and only about 8% still stick to it long after the excitement of the moment. Do you make resolutions? And I mean achievable ones? Come on now, pleeeease don't count winning the lottery as one, hehe. Where do you fall? I am definitely not a part of the 8% shame on me.

The following are some of the most common New Year Resolutions:

Saving Money: Isn’t spending money so fun? Those happy hours, impulse purchasing, playing Santa, etc. LOL. After a December of excessive spending, a lot of people plan to be debt free, cut back on spending and save more money either traditionally by tweaking a few things or through their 401k plans, 503B and IRA etc. as the new year begins. Like other resolutions, this one takes a lot of work and discipline and before you know it your savings start to add up and can be applied to things that really matter the most. Emergencies too. A lack of discipline is the number one reason people break this resolution. I am not a fan of excessive frugality that ends up making folks miserable tho, find a midpoint, make a plan, map out how you want to pursue this, stick to it and that usually works pretty well. Little things like cutting back on fancy dinners out from three times a week to once, bringing your own sack lunch to work a couple times a week and even brewing your own coffee at home (enrich Starbucks and Peet's no more) all add up. And if your coffee skills are not up to par, corner shops like 711 brew a wide range of flavors for just a buck.

Quitting Smoking/Alcohol Consumption: Because of the health risks that are associated with cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, they tend to be very popular and recurrent resolves. The question again remains ‘how long for’? Old habits die hard and often times smokers fail at their attempts to quit. Alcoholics too. For some it takes more than just a resolution and for others it’s cold turkey. I myself was a chain smoker, had been since I was a teen. I had to have my Capri luxury length (120's) menthol cigs. There was truly no slimmer sleeker way to smoke for me. Virginia Slims menthol 120's came in a distant second place. A roll or two rolls of Capri would always be my first purchase from the Duty Free shop upon traveling outside of the US, just to be sure I had enough. It didn’t take a resolution but a realization that I had a lot to live for. I quit the habit cold turkey years back and haven’t gone back to it. Yay me! Today I am a happier healthier me. I am yet to figure out what need this teeth yellowing, cancer causing habit was feeding, obviously not one that's important cos I don't miss it, not one little bit. Are you are struggling with kicking this habit? Is it topmost on your New Year’s resolution year after year? There are a few things out there like the patch and  e-cigarette that have great reviews and promise to help. I say good luck, keep at it, you can kick this. Fight on!

Getting Fit: This is almost always on people's resolutions. There is no doubt that fitness is associated with good health and everyone wishes to be fit for obvious reasons. Think 'feel better, look better'. And if that’s not enough motivation for you, think of those awesome trends that you want to keep up with. You’ve got to be physically fit to fulfill this need. Think of all you have to live for. There, that should do it for you. Don't be that part of the populace that buys gym memberships that go unused cos you're too lazy to get up and go. My neighborhood gym is filled to the brim the first weeks of the year. Resolution time, hehe. Then the crowd starts to dwindle and before you know it it's back to the regular gym rats. You can actually find a thread mill to get on and Zumba classes are not as crowded. Check the date, it must be February!

Spending Quality Time With Loved Ones: Many people resolve to spend more time with their family and friends. This resolution always faces various challenges because majority of people find themselves occupied with work and endless deadlines thus leaving very little time to spend with their families. Unfortunately work doesn't melt away just because it's a new year. Sincere as this resolve may be, another reason it's hard to keep is that come February or March, folks realize the reason they didn't see aunt Lou or cousin Mike very often is because they are annoying. Funny but true. And then it's back to the old ways of getting together only at Thanksgiving, Christmas maybe.

Eat Healthy: Eating healthy is always a priority for many people and that's why it's very common to find people putting this as their top New Year's resolution. A lot of folks wish to replace processed foods with organic or whole foods through clean eating plans. Eating healthy improves people’s quality of life. That said, don't restrict yourself to a diet so strict you can't possibly maintain it for over a week. It may sound super good on January 2nd, and you may even be the envy of your friends when you call out 'non fat dressing please' at a restaurant on January 4th, but how long can you sustain that? People tend to stop short as soon as they stumble largely because they don't think long term, or make subtle changes they can keep up with.

Traveling: Exploring new places is among the most common New Year's resolutions for many people. Not by the magic of the internet but actually logging out, packing up and taking a trip. Going on vacation is very exciting, relaxing and fulfilling. More so if it’s a place you've never been before. You learn new cultures, meet great people, make new friends, try new foods, fashion & style, etc. For someone with a huge great phobia for flying I have travelled quite a bit not as a resolution tho, lol. The world is full of amazing places to visit and exciting things to see, do and better still learn. Again people become hesitant in the event of a hiccup, and come up with all kinds of excuses like it's too far, it's too hard, I didn't know, I just don't have the time, I thought I'd be able to etc. Tight budgets also force people to go back to the lovey dovey relationship they had with staycation, LOL.

Raise Education Level: A resolve to enroll in educational courses that would boost performance, improve talent and increase chances of rising in various workplaces or getting better jobs is not uncommon.  A fulfilling and well paid job after all reduces stress, improves your mental health and overall well being. Now that I mention stress be sure not to dwell on the 'omg it's 2015, am I where I planned to be in my life, where did time go, and the rest of the stress lines. Doing that means you're stressing already. Starting out a brand new year stressing is a no no, period! So don't go there.

2014 is 357 days old, that means we have just about a week or so to go. Will you be ringing in 2015 with a long list of New Year's resolutions? Engraved in stone? Penciled down on paper? Or hand written on sand? Have you figured out what it is you want to do better, more, less? May I remind you again (incase you missed it above) that winning the Lottery does not count. Keep it realistic, concrete and attainable. How determined are you to keep it? Are you going to make a genuine and dedicated effort to be part of the 8%? Or the 38% that fall off the wagon by January 5th at 3:47pm? LOL.

My 2 Cents? Don’t try to be an Octo-human (I just made that up) with 8 tenta-arms (omg it gets better) taking on many goals. Possibility smells super good early on but that would be a recipe for a derail by the end of the 1st week. 2nd week tops. Pick one concrete goal to focus on, make a plan. If you failed in the past then reflect on why you failed. What was effective even for a day? Commit to stick to those this time. Celebrate your successes every few days. Now that keeps you motivated. Change is a veeeeery sloooooow process, have that at the back of your mind always. So if you don’t see results right away, don’t get frustrated and throw your hands up in the air. Setbacks will happen for sure. Who said it would be easy? Not I! Real struggles are never easy. Just don’t let those setbacks become distractions and deflate your enthusiasm. The icing on the cake is having a buddy with the same goal. You become each others' support system along the way. Continue taking baby steps, following your plan closely and soon those baby steps become huge achievements. 

I plan on giving it a shot one more time and I am determined as ever to keep it this time. My resolve? I have just one not so itty bitty resolve. Its all about staying focused right? So I don't want to be saddled with a long list of soon to be U-turns. Hehe. My one resolve is to be more awesome than ever, :) :). In every aspect of my life. Sustainable? I say heck yeah! Not too ambitious. My sleeves are rolled up, setbacks don't stand a chance, 2015 here I come.

Good luck with yours, what ever it is. You read to the end! >>>YOU <<< are simply amazing. Happy Holidays, Xo...


  1. Nice post idu.Talking about cutting down on alcohol consumption.Follow my blog on the effect of alcohol on your liver at
    http://healthfirstaf.blogspot. ca/

    1. Thanks Joy, I sure will check it out. Happy Holidays...

  2. Lovely dear! adore the NY resolutions! …
    I have a new look on my blog; come visit!
    Kisses from Miami,

  3. I think your resolution is the harder of all but uou set it out very clearly. Keep rocking dear. Happy Holidays!
    Coco et La vie en rose - Valeria Arizzi

  4. Es algo que todos los aƱos nos proponemos, pero que es necesario ver escrito para darnos cuenta! Genial!!!

    Feliz Navidad, besos, Emi

  5. lovely post! i'm setting myself little goals instead of huge resolutions as they're easier to keep up i think!

    from helen at thelovecatsinc.com

  6. That's why I do not make New Year's resolutions. They never stick, but I always constantly make goals throughout the year.

  7. great advice...This year I made only one resolution and that is to learn to let go...

  8. Amazing resolutions.... These are the resolutions to follow each year.