New Year, New You! - Carolina Country

New Year, New You!

How to set resolutions you can stick with

By Allison Goldberg

New Year, New You!

Do you resolve annually to make changes, then fail to make them? You are not alone. Setting large, difficult goals that fade as the weeks go by happens to everyone.

It’s good to remind yourself that small changes can have big impacts and be easier to maintain. Here are some reasonable resolutions to help you make achievable changes.

Eat better

If you want to eat better but find you cannot adhere to a strict, restrictive diet, try making more nutritious choices one at a time. You can:

  • Add an extra serving of nutritiously prepared vegetables every day, like steamed or roasted veggies as a side, salsa instead of butter on your baked potato, or by adding mushrooms to ground beef.
  • Hide your veggies in foods like pasta sauce, meatballs and more. Search online for “hidden vegetable recipes.”
  • Cut both sugary and artificially sweetened soft drinks to only one each week. Don’t deny yourself, but make it a special treat!

Clean up

If you’ve resolved to get organized but find yourself still living in clutter, tackle organization with small tasks. It’s also helpful to get a new perspective on cluttered areas. For example:

  • Take a photo of a room or a section you want to de-clutter. Zoom in on the photo and ask yourself: Do I need or use the things I see?
  • Room by room, or section by section, put things away, dust or disinfect and do not allow yourself to re-clutter a cleaned area. Clean one area each evening.
  • Have a conscious rule that if you pick up an object, you must put it back in its rightful place.

Work out

If you’ve resolved to use the gym but you’re not going, find a way to make it engaging. You can:

  • Join a gym and find a gym buddy to hold each other accountable.
  • Take an aerobics, self-defense or dance class, riding lessons or outdoor survival course. Do what moves you (literally and figuratively).
  • Search for groups that get together for fitness activities, both indoors and outdoors.

Make time

Sometimes people don’t achieve their resolutions because they haven’t figured them into their schedules. Here are some helpful time management tips:

  • Use your phone’s calendar to track every appointment and block off time. Set reminders for tasks such as tidying up.
  • Outsource big jobs that take too much time or energy, such as painting or yard work.
  • Say no to unnecessary or unimportant requests that stretch your time and patience, to which you cannot give your full attention or that just sound plain tedious.
  • Prioritize the people and activities you care about most, including yourself.

About the Author

Allison Goldberg writes for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.

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