We’ve all seen that New Year’s Friends episode. You know, the one where Rachel resolves to keep a journal, Chandler promises not to joke around any more, Ross tries his hand at leather pants “ and everybody fails. So if you’re like the majority of the population (also, like us), by the time Monday rolls around, you may be less keen to commit to your jog per day resolutions and more inclined to pick up that morning donut (and there’s nothing wrong with that). But in case you want to start 2011 anew, here’s our guide to keeping your New Years resolutions in the most realistic way possible.
Keep it simple
Fresh start seems synonymous with make lists “ lots of lists, but let’s be serious: there’s no way you’re about to undergo a lifestyle change after spending two weeks surrounded by baked goods, zero responsibility and sleeping till noon. So instead, start small. If you’ve resolved to eat better, don’t jump into a food journal or drop hundreds of dollars at the grocery store. Instead, phase out the bad and replace it with the good. Where you might buy a Danish, pick up some multigrain toast and all-natural jam. Instead of chips, opt for rice crackers. Soon, your new diet will become habitual and you won’t even be trying at all.
What does it represent?
At the end of the day, resolving to change things usually means there’s something about yourself you’re not particularly impressed with. So what is it? Is scheduling two hours at the gym a result of loving exercise or because you’re not happy with yourself or your body? Is budgeting to the nth degree in hopes of opening a savings account or is it damage control after an expensive Christmas? It may be hard, but look at what it is your resolution represents. Once you do, it’ll be easier to keep it, change or simply adopt a lifestyle that changes the negative to the positive.
Don’t limit yourself
There’s a lot of pressure when it comes to January 1 “not only in the way you’ve chosen to ring it in, but in the sense that it limits you to overhauling your life in a 24 hour timespan. Fresh starts are fantastic, but if you declare failure after having a beer on January 4 (and let’s face it “ that after work drink is almost a necessity), you’ve completely closed off the opportunity to evolve or transition slowly “ which is a mistake. Things take time, and you’ve got a lot on the go, so if you really want to make some positive changes, understand that you’ll make mistakes, go off course and need to start over. (But you’ll be learning and maintaining a certain level of awesome along the way.)
Don’t make resolutions
This may seem like the opposite of everything you just read, but by making New Year’s resolutions at all, you’re almost less likely to keep them since you may be making them for the wrong reasons. If you really want to improve your life, it shouldn’t be because it’s January 1. And if you’re already swamped with work and social endeavors, to add another thing to your growing to-do list only promises to make you stressed and unhappy. Technically, every day is the start of a new year, so if the start of January is when you need caffeine or a cookie the most, wait until you’ve come out of the post-holiday rush.