Got Resolutions? How to Make 2017 SuccessfulSubmitted by Insignia Financial Company on December 21st, 2016
5 Top New Year's Resolutions For 2017
As the end of 2016 draws near, most of us are filled with thoughts of what we want to do differently in 2017. As known as "New Years Resolutions" we tend to start out strong and most fizzle out within a couple of weeks. This commonly happens because we have chosen large goals and want to see immediate results, when we don't, we tend to give up and quickly. We would have a greater chance of success if we took the large goal and broke it down into smaller bit sized pieces - a single piece at time. Below are 5 top New Year's Resolutions and ideas on how to help achieve them in 2017, one bite at a time.
1. GET FIT
How many of us at one time or another has said, I want to get fit. Then decided to get fit, to run a marathon or complete a triathlon? You start out totally motivated - work out for 2-3 days straight and can't walk for a week. Sound familiar? Instead of starting with a marathon, start smaller and work up to it. Set your sights on local 5K. Especially if your most recent form of exercise has been from the car to the office building or the couch to the computer. There are many apps available that can help you with this goal for your phone or tablet. Search Couch to 5K in your applications store for your device and pick the one you like best. You will be more likely to stick with it once you see weekly progress towards your smaller, short-term goal. After you reach the 5K mark, you can set your sights on a 10K and then ultimately a half marathon or marathon. You should see your fitness level increasing & you will have achieved several incremental goals along the way.
2. EAT HEALTHIER
Don't we all want to eat better? Then go on the extreme cleansing of our homes and get rid of anything "bad for us"? Then a week later you give in when there's brownies in the office and you figure, well I'll just have one and suddenly your kitchen is full of everything you just threw out, plus a few more items. Instead of going cold turkey, try removing one item from you and your families diet. Pick whatever you want and stick to it. If it's sugary drinks such as Sodas, eliminate it from your diet completely. It is hard at first, but in the long run it's healthier. I eliminated soda recently and I had one about a month later - it tasted terrible. If you do drink 1 regular can (12 oz) of soda a day, at the end of year you will have consumed 35 lbs. of sugar1. Another idea is to read labels. My personal rule is if I can't pronounce it, I shouldn't eat it. The same rule applies here, as the getting fit - once you change one habit (eliminating an unhealthy item) you can add another. Or add a new fruit/vegetable to your family to try. It's that easy. Then you have success.
3. SAVE MORE
One thing I think most of us struggle with is how we can save more money. It seems hard. What we don't have a problem with is spending money on coffee in the morning or a quick meal out, right? The average cup of coffee in the United States is $2.382. If you gave up 1 cup of coffee a week, each week and saved that for a year you would have $123.76. It doesn't sound like much, but what you really need to think about is how money actually grows over time. Your $123.76 at the end of the first year could turn into well, you know, some larger amount. I can't overemphasize the power of compounding. For many of us, a greater challenge comes in where we spend our money. I just looked at last month's bank statement and noticed that I had 6 ATM withdrawals, only one of which I recall the reason for the withdrawal. I'm certain that the money was spent, although I wonder how important it was. We could all probably save more by just being more aware of what we are spending.
As Ben Franklin said:
Money makes money. And the money that money makes, makes money.
4. GIVE BACK MORE / ACTS OF KINDNESS
Many people increase their charitable giving during the holiday season. We seem as a society to be more aware of those in need during this time of year. However, most of these organizations need help throughout the year, not just during the holidays. If this is on your Resolution list, think about ways you can contribute throughout the year, not just during the holidays. Perhaps during spring cleaning you can donate gently used items to a resale store that supports a local charity or run in a 5K that supports a local organization. If you are a LinkedIn member, you can search for Volunteer opportunities in your area and find a charity to work with. Do not limit your thoughts to just donations either. Many organizations need actual volunteers. If you have a special talent such as Graphic Design, perhaps you can design a new brochure or if you like working with animals, volunteer to walk dogs at a local shelter. The other way to consider giving back, is simple acts of kindness throughout the year. For example, pay for the person's coffee order behind you in the drive-thru or fill the laundry machine with quarters where you live. Simple acts such as these can totally change someone's day. There is never an end to those in need. The key to giving back is making sure you find an organization that you believe in.
5. ENJOY LIFE & LAUGH MORE
They always say that laughter is the best medicine. The average four-year-old laughs 300 times a day. The average 40 year-old? Only 4. Today we live complicated, stress filled lives. It's important to stop, take a breath and spend time with those in your life that make you happy and laugh. Recent studies suggest that laughter enlivens us, changes us and makes us more positive. It reduces stress and has shown to release health-enhancing hormones such as endorphins3. So if your child wants to tell you "something funny", stop, listen and laugh. That email, text, Facebook post will still be there. What Ferris Bueller said over 25 years ago is still true today: Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special.
We hope these suggestions will help you make your resolutions more successful in 2017.
Happy Holidays & Happy New Year from Insignia Financial Company.