Resolutions you may actually be able to keep!

by Laura Dawn Lewis

If you're like me, these major life changing resolutions usually last through January 3rd (or maybe all the way to Valentines if you're lucky).  So how about some resolutions you can keep?

Why don't you make a resolution to never make another News Years resolution again?

Yes that is the easy way out, but it does solve the problem.  Not ready for something that drastic? Here are some suggestions that aren't too painful and can make your life more interesting.

  • Learn one new word a week
  • Give up housecleaning (and delegate it to your children as their New Year's resolution).
  • Are you a yes man or woman?  Set a goal of saying no to one person each week.  If you don't say no in a given week, drop a $20.00 into your goof jar.  At the end of the year, use this money to treat yourself to something you want to say yes to.
  • Learn one new skill a month (massage techniques, canning, programming the VCR...the opportunities are endless)
  • Does your wardrobe make others yawn? Tied to black?  If your wardrobe consists of black, beige, navy, gray and white and little else, make your New Year's resolution to wear a color not in your wardrobe at least once a week...chicken to do this?  Make your underwear the color garment and work on the outerwear next year.
  • Start a diary and keep it for a year
  • Organize your closets TOP
  • Pay off one revolving credit card by the end of the year
  • Do something new and different that you've never done before at least one time each month
  • Banish the missionary position form your sex life for one year.
  • Rekindle a friendship which has cooled since you married
  • Learn a new computer program (Photoshop, Illustrator or Flash could take you far, especially if you are artistically talented).
  • Swear off swearing, negativity, passive-aggressive behavior or any other undesirable communication skill for one year.  (donate a dollar to a jar each time you goof.  You'll have your vacation fund in no time!).
  • Organize your snapshots into albums for each of your children...take it further by scanning them in to your computer and preserving them on CD's.
  • Shy? Resolve to say hello to one new stranger every day for 365 days a year (even if it means just calling 411 to speak to a voice!)
  • Pessimistic with a habit of complaining?  Resolve to find one good thing about each situation and person you meet over the coming year.  As soon as you hear yourself complaining, stop, (and put a dollar in your goof jar).  Back up and rephrase.  In order to say something negative, you must first say something positive about the situation first.  Example: Your coworker Jennifer consistently butts in on your conversations and always one-ups you.  Instead of rolling your eyes and complaining the minute she leaves try, "Jennifer, you have such a variety of experiences.  How do you manage to do so many unusual things? What is your secret?"  Now if you want to add something negative you can like, "I do want to let you know that though I value your input, I find it irritating when you come into the conversation and consistently one-up me.  Rather than helping, this causes me to feel negated."
  • Trying to lose weight?  Rather than go on a drastic diet, try eliminating, reducing or substituting one food every two weeks.  If dessert is your problem, make your New Years Resolution to have dessert only on Friday's and Sunday's.  Butter?  Allow it on baked potatoes but eliminate it from muffins, pancakes and other breads already high in fat.  Snacks: Vow not to eat after 7PM.
  • Finally one of my favorite resolutions is education.  Is there a subject, topic, current event, company, product or country you'd like to know more about?  Whether it's becoming an expert on the Middle East or composting, in 12 months time you can become the expert on a specific subject within you peer group.

New Years resolutions are more about setting goals for the year ahead than beating yourself up over something that irritates you.  It's a time for renewed optimism and fresh starts.  It's a time to put the past in the past and look to the future with renewed hope and optimism.  January first is just another day, but it is also the first day of the rest of your life.

Let's take a poll. How many of you have:
  1. Tried to lose weight as a New Years Resolution?
  2. Given up a vice like smoking, gambling, drinking or drugs?
  3. Vowed to get in shape by summer?

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