I can hardly believe Christmas 2018 is in the books and in less than a week we will be ringing in the new year and learning how to type “2019” instead of “2018.”
Do you make resolutions for the new year? I sure do. Even though most of mine are often the same ones I made the previous year (I know. Fail), I still go ahead and write them down.
Recently, I read that people who make resolutions are more inclined to achieve them than those who do not. Sounds sort of commonsensical, right? One study I read said they followed a group of resolution-makers and that 77 percent of the group kept them that first week. By the end of the month, however, the “keepers” number dropped to 65 percent. That still seemed pretty good to me. After three months, the number dropped to 50 percent, but still that seemed encouraging. At the end of the year, this particular study said that 19 percent of the participants felt like they had reached their goals.
Let me be honest. There has never been a year in my life where I met all of my goals, or fulfilled my resolutions. Sure, some years were better than others, but there never was a year when I checked off all of the boxes on my list.
Still, I think having goals and a plan to achieve them is super important. We all need a path and a plan. Whether you want to lose weight and get in shape or just get your finances in order, this is a great time to plan for the upcoming year.
Here are a few tips when it comes to planning for 2019.
First, list the categories in your life. Work, family, home, relationships, self-care, personal goals, etc.
When it comes to work, what are some goals you have for the upcoming year? What about your family? Do you hope to spend some more time with your children? What about your spouse? Does your relationship need some work?
If you have young children, maybe you need to make date-night a regular feature in your life.
Probably the most common New Year’s resolution is losing weight. If that’s your goal, instead of just writing that down, take a few minutes to come up with a plan. Before you run out and join a gym along with the thousands of others, consider soliciting a work-out buddy and committing to a plan together. If that partner is your spouse, all the better. Nothing makes an exercise/fitness plan work better than when there is someone to be accountable to.
Perhaps along with your fitness/weight loss goal, you also just want to be healthier. Most experts say weight loss is 80 percent about your diet. That being said, try to get your spouse on board with a healthy eating plan. Eating out less not only saves money, but also ensures you know just what is in your food and how it was prepared. Commit to taking your lunch to work. If your mornings are a bit crazy, try cooking a big batch of soup on the weekends and dividing into individual portions. Most soups freeze well. Another tip is to cook extra food for dinner and take the leftovers to work the next day.
Track your progress. Keep a small notebook handy and record your activities and what you are eating. If possible, invest in one of the numerous fitness trackers. Aim to get in 5,000 steps a day and try to work your way up to 10,000. You will be amazed how motivating tracking your steps is. You will find yourself thinking of ways to get more steps in to meet your daily goal. Don’t obsess about weighing yourself. Just weigh once a week.
Use your common sense when it comes to your goals. For example, if you want to quit smoking, you might need to limit your time with your chain-smoking friends. Better still, see if you can get them on board with you to kick the habit.
Lastly, be forgiving of yourself. If you have a bad day and find yourself chowing down on a quart of your favorite ice cream, brush yourself off and get back on the program the next day.
Happy New Year to all of you! I hope 2019 is your best year yet.
South Forsyth resident Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.