New Years Resolutions Worth Sticking To

Every year it’s the same thing, a few days, albeit hours, before I’m about to ring in the New Year I think about what I want to make a concerted effort to change or better about myself for the upcoming one, and I know I’m not alone. Some stick, most don’t, but here’s a few worth keeping and reasons to motivate you “ and I “ to do so.

1. Quit Smoking
This is a no brainer “ no explanation required, but it’s often the hardest to kick. Things to think about when you’re craving a cancer stick: my family’s counting on me, all that money I’m saving can go towards that new bag “ or shoes, or wallet or dress, etc “ I’ve been eyeing for months. Also, leaning on someone who’s already kicked the habit can be useful. They can tell you what to expect, support you on hard days and be there to celebrate those little victories along the way. And while I’m not advocating picking up another bad habit in the midst of kicking this one “ treating yourself to an indulgence, like your favourite cupcake more often than you normally would, won’t kill you like the other habit will.

2. Quit Talking to Your Ex
He’s your ex for a reason. You’re no longer together and as cliché© as this may sound, all the time you waste talking, sleeping, hanging out with him, only prolongs the time you focus on meeting Mr. Right Now (or “ even better- the much needed post-breakup spring fling!) Living in the past isn’t a way to ring in a new year so do yourself a favour and ditch Mr. 2010. You may not feel ready to date again, but the time you stop wasting on him can mean more time for those other resolutions, or maybe just more time for your most excellent self.

3. Choose Salads over French Fries “ but not all the time
I’m not the friend who will go for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner with my girlfriends and make healthy ordering decisions. So why am I advocating you (and I) make this switch? Because little changes like these can have big gains (aka less time in the gym, which is a big plus for yours truly) and big losses (you get the gist). Don’t cut them out entirely, they’re one of life’s smaller joys, just reserve them for that perfectly juicy burger, a meal of steak frites or that drive up to the cottage when your local fry shack is calling your name.

4. Read More
I recently cut my work commute from 55 minutes down to 12. Crazy, I know. But in all the extra time I gained, I really cut down on the time I spent reading. That’s because I used to read every day during my almost 2-hour TTC ride. And I’ve noticed it. I’ve noticed how words don’t come to me as quickly when I’m writing, how I don’t know as much as I used to and how out-of-the-loop I am during current events discussions among friends and coworkers. So, bottom line; read. Read the paper, read magazines and read books. Read a mixture of substance and fluff, fiction and nonfiction, whatever, just read. Reading makes you more self-aware, it good for your mind and bottom line “ it makes you smarter.

5. Mind Your Manners
Small acts of kindness like saying please and thank-you, giving up your seat on the bus to the elderly or pregnant and asking the Starbucks barista how they’re doing before you place your order, don’t go unnoticed. I recently took a 10 day trip where I was waited on hand and foot by the amazing staff. I couldn’t believe how surprised they were when I asked them how they were doing before I ordered my food. Then I heard the guy behind me bark at them for not putting enough sauce on his pasta and it all made sense.

Sure, we’re all busy and we all need what we need when we need it, but that doesn’t mean our manners need to take a backseat. Keep this in mind each time you’re ordering a meal, taking a taxi or buying the newspaper. You’ll be surprised how these small gestures make a big difference in the way people perceive you and the way you present yourself to others.

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Tags: quit smoking, resolution

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