Today is the last day of 2013. Many people are reminding themselves of what their New Year’s resolution is from last year, and are creating a new resolution for the year ahead. Some people maybe have successfully exceeded their expectations for 2013 by meeting their thoroughly thought through self-improvement plan. Some people (me, ahem) have forgotten what their resolution was, tried to remember, but have given up. So, for the forgetful individual, I advise taking some time to think back on the year, and hopefully, recognize the many improvements that you have made throughout 2013.
I had an extremely busy year in 2013. I do not remember exactly what my resolution was, but I do remember referring to it as “the year for change”, and was it ever. This year my intention was to work on doing things that I wanted to do, and not let others influence my decisions along the way. I also worked really hard to improve my physical and mental health. Here are some highlights from my list of 13 Things from 2013:
1. Purchsed a new car to get to my thankless soul sucking retail job of almost five years after my vehicle kicked the bucket. Shortly after, I quit said job, and got a new job that I no longer had to drive to. This is great in many ways. Now, “the man” never gets me down, and I feel like I’m being kind to the environment.
2. Found a part time job at a museum where I met a boat load of amazing people, and I was able to say that I had a job in my field, success!
3. Bought a bike, and rode it everywhere. I rode it all over Pittsburgh, across the state border into west Virginia, and took it to the beach in North Carolina.
4. Began to take yoga more seriously. I’ve had an interest in yoga for many years, and had a very unsteady practice. But this year, I made sure to stick with a routine, and recently I got accepted into my studio’s teacher training program for 2014. I couldn’t be happier with my results.
5. I enrolled in a holistic health coach program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and will be graduating within a few short months. This experience has improved my health, and has taught me how to coach others to do the same.
6. Me and my boyfriend adopted a new kitten. Who doesn’t love kittens?
These are just a few things that have drastically changed in the last year. They have also improved my health and outlook on life. I suggest, if you plan on making a 13 things for 2013 list, that you look at every detail from the last year, and really focus on the positive. No matter what happens there’s always a good and a bad side, and it’s up to you to chose which side you’re on.
If you’re sitting at your kitchen table staring at a blank sheet of notebook paper trying to think of a resolution for the coming year, then have no fear! Here are a few suggestions…
I find that most New Years resolutions can be very… vague… so, let’s narrow them down a bit.
This is a list from Time Magazine of the top ten most commonly broken New Year’s resolutions:
- Lose Weight and Get Fit: This is definitely the number one resolution that I hear from people every year. My suggestion for everyone is to keep it simple. If you don’t regularly go to the gym, then don’t rush out and get a monthly gym membership that you’re only going to use for two days. Maybe look into some local fitness classes to see what type of workout is best for you. There’s also a lot of workout videos floating around on the internet right now. Give those a try if there are time and budget constraints, which many of us have. But, if your heart is absolutely set on the gym, try to find a work out buddy. You’ll be surprised at what great motivators your friends can be.
- Quit Smoking: There are currently so many outlets for people to quit smoking. I encourage anyone who is contemplating quitting to look into them, and give them a try. Your lungs will be overjoyed.
- Learn Something New: This does not have to be complicated. You do not have to go back to school to learn something new. Maybe just pick up a book, or watch a documentary.
- Eat Healthier and Diet: Both of these terms are extremely vague. If you want a healthier diet, the best way is to take baby steps. Such as, slowly integrating vegetables into your diet, cutting out fast food, or stop drinking soda. Any of those are great ways to start introducing your body to a healthier diet.
- Get Out of Debt and Save Money: This can be extremely hard to do. However, after cutting out fast food, bypassing Starbucks for your overpriced latte, and resisting the urge for that $1.75 soda from the office vending machine, you’ll find that you are saving a substantial amount of money (that’s four mini New Years resolutions in one!).
- Spend More Time with Family: This doesn’t have to be a week long family vacation. Maybe just call them more frequently, or have dinner once a week with them. They’ll appreciated it, you’ll be fulfilling your New Years resolution, and neither of those things should take longer than two hours of your time.
- Travel to New Places: If this doesn’t fit your budget, then maybe just try out something more local. See what attractions are around your area, check out a new restaurant or coffee shop. You don’t have to travel far, just somewhere new.
- Be Less Stressed: There are many ways to feel less stressed. You could start a meditation practice, or just practice a couple breathing exercises everyday. Try to take a little more time for yourself, and relax a little. Exercising is also a great stress reliever; try going for a jog, or a hike. Maybe drop into a yoga class. The possibilities are endless.
- Volunteer: Volunteering is an excellent way to give back to the community, and it is also very self-rewarding. It usually only takes a few hours of your time, it’s a great way to meet new people, network, and it looks good on a resume.
- Drink Less: You don’t have to quit cold turkey. How about just not ordering a beer with dinner next time? Or don’t finish the entire bottle of wine in one night after opening it. It’ll still be ok the next day, I promise. Remember, baby steps.
Good luck everyone, I wish you the best, and hope that you have a fabulous 2014!