Happy 2017! How many New Year’s Resolutions have you made, promised to keep, and already broken?
Let’s face it, most New Year’s Resolutions are just bad habits that we desperately need or want to change. And changing our habits overnight, at the drop of a ball, aren’t easy. I find that my New Year’s Resolutions are more likely to be kept when I change my bad behaviors gradually. If I don’t push myself, all at once; to go to the gym 5 days a week, get to work 5 minutes early, give up all sugary treats, and declutter my house in 1 week flat, then little by little the changes in my daily life start to take effect.
Below are 4 New Year’s Resolutions that I’ve made over the years and conquered. I must admit it wasn’t an easy road and, to be completely honest, I sometimes stray. Along the road, I’ve learned a few tricks that help me navigate through my personal struggles.
Workout More- the promise heard around the world! Probably more than 90% of us have resolved to go to the gym more often. Whether it’s because we’re overweight, trying to bulk up, trying to lose that baby weight, maintain, or even just shed 5 pounds, exercise is the healthy alternative to being a couch potato. We know this because society is constantly jamming it into our psyche.
If 2017 is the year you promised to finally fit back into your skinny jeans, then let’s make it happen! Start by increasing your workout schedule slowly. Try adding one more day to your normal regimen. Then after a few weeks, if you’re confidently walking away the pounds 2 days a week, go for that third day! If you’re barely making 2 days a week happen, then don’t push yourself to go for three. More than likely it will not happen and you’ll get discouraged.
Switch up your routine by changing your workout. If you’re normally a weights at the gym person, try taking a walk or jog outside around your neighborhood. Maybe try that Pilates or yoga class. Mixing it up, can surprisingly, reinvigorate your desire to get fit.
Be on Time- if you’re habitually 15 minutes late to everything in your life, try setting all the clocks in your house 15 minutes ahead. This includes your phone, watch, and the clock in your car. Running late can be a difficult habit to break, I used to struggle with this daily. It took some time before I stopped telling myself, “You have 15 minutes to spare because your watch is fast”! Eventually I adapted and now I rarely run late to my life.
Eat Healthier- this is one of the most difficult habits I’ve ever tried to change. I’m guilty (big time) of having a major sweet tooth. Unfortunately for my parents, who paid my dental bills, pre-married life, I racked up thousands in cavities and root canals!
The only way to avoid the foods or sweets that tempt us is to not have them in sight. Otherwise, giving in is almost always unavoidable. For this reason, I don’t keep more than one sweet indulgence in my house at a time. If you follow our blog on Instagram (and I recommend that you do) you’ll often see my biggest indulgence is raw cookie dough. If they had a self-help group for this addiction, I probably should be there.
Live a More Organized Life– this one is surprisingly very difficult for many. I firmly believe that there are two types of people in this world- organized and messy:)
This doesn’t mean that if you were born a messy person, then you can’t become an organized person. I was always taught that if you really set your mind to something, you can achieve it!
I know that I was born an organized person, my husband on the other hand, was born the latter. After 14 years, however, he is adapting my neurotic ways. My tips for those who struggle with untidiness, but desperately strive for order- start simple.
Declutter your mind and buy a spiral bound planner. I know it sounds like an ancient concept in this digital age- what with calendar apps, list apps, notes apps, reminder apps, and even “time of the month” tracking apps! There’s nothing like a beautiful new spiral planner equipped with a calendar, notepad, and penholder (check out mine from Hallmark here). I carry mine in my purse or diaper bag so I can jot down ideas whenever the moment strikes! Just writing down all the ideas swirling in my head makes and making lists (check out a past post, Be More Productive Now for effective list making) for achieving my goals makes me feel more organized.
Next, throw out your junk! Spring is not only the time you can or should clean. Sift through your stuff regularly to help yourself stay more organized. I have found that as I accumulate new items (shoes, clothes, baby toys, etc.), I donate the old things I haven’t used in a while. My rule of thumb is if I haven’t used, worn, or even touched it in 3 months then I probably won’t miss it. GET RID OF IT!
Too much clutter around the house? If you’re not ready to throw it out quite yet, treat yourself to some new canvas bins, wicker baskets, trays, or whatever you think will help reduce the appearance and/or hide the clutter! I know you can’t get rid of everything, especially if you have kids. In my house, I’m always tripping over toys and shoes. The key is having somewhere to put the toys and shoes when it’s time to clean up. I absolutely love this shoe cabinet from Ikea. You can also store toys in it!
My next organizational project will be making over my kitchen pantry. It’s slated for early February, per my handy spiral bound planner. Check back later to see its transformation.
I hope 2017 is the year of you! The year you make and keep all your New Year’s Resolutions. If not, remember there’s always 2018! Happy New Year to all.
What’s your New Year’s Resolution? What’s your plan for keeping it? Share in the comments below.
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