It’s that time of year when we’re all contemplating our New Years resolutions and deciding how to make our lives better in the coming year. It’s exciting and daunting at the same time. Setting goals, making promises and being truly honest with ourselves gives us a great opportunity to start fresh. But how can we make sure we stay on track to meet our own expectations?
If you are one of those people whose goals are basically the same from year-to-year and somehow you consistently fall short, you are not alone! There are some very common resolutions that many of us share. The reason they are universal is because we all often struggle with the same issues: health, money, relationships.
We’ve boiled down some of the most ubiquitous New Years resolutions, and perhaps more importantly, how to keep them.
Get In Shape
Fitness and weight loss top the list of New Years resolutions. With a few extra pounds on our bodies from the holidays, January is the month that most people hit the gym. But a few words of caution: forcing yourself to do exercise that you really don’t enjoy will only last so long. Mix it up from the beginning so you don’t get bored. Try a variety of classes, add some active sports like tennis or soccer to your routine, and get your body and brain moving in different ways from a range of movements, such as swimming and cycling. Remember, the goal is to burn calories and tone the body to get fit and healthy, not burn out on exercising and tune it out! Be sure you’re equipped with the right gear for whatever workouts you choose, like our awesome wirefree full figure sports bras. Feeling supported from the intimates out will definitely help you keep this resolution.
Beyond exercising to tone-up and drop some weight, there are many ways to lead healthier lifestyles. Exercising is a great first step to improving our bodies. It strengthens our heart and muscles, gives us energy, elevates our “happy” hormones to improve our emotional state, and revs the metabolism. The goal should not be to lose weight, but instead to adapt a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet is, of course, also an important way to better health. That doesn’t mean you can never eat chocolate or ice cream, it just means you should put more emphasis on balanced meals with lots of fruits and veggies, lean proteins and whole grains. Sprinkle in indulgences every once in awhile. If you deprive yourself, you’ll crave it even more. Also, simply taking a multi-vitamin or all-natural supplement can really kick-start your health goals.
Everyone’s body is different so how we care for ourselves may also vary. Put some thought into the areas of your health you want to focus on this year. If you have a history of heart disease, breast cancer or mental illness in your family, research preventative measures, know signs of these diseases and get screened regularly. Talk to your family and physician about your desire to stay on top of this aspect of your health so they can help you do it, too.
Save Money, Spend Less
You’re probably pretty good at managing a budget at work, right? So why is it so hard to do it for yourself? If you have long-term goals for big ticket items – a new home, car, vacation, even having a baby – avoiding excessive debt and accumulating savings is essential. Treat your financial situation like a job. Create a budget and diligently review your finances regularly. Use technology to your advantage by downloading an app to help you record your spending. Sometimes seeing how much you spend is exactly what you need to come up with clever ways to save in the future.
Speaking of savings, technology can help you there, too. Always look for a coupon. Sites like Retail Me Not and Coupons.com have codes and printable coupons for tons of things you may be buying, from groceries, toiletries and household items, to gifts and clothing. Also, wait for sales. Chances are, what you want to buy will eventually go on sale. Waiting a few weeks won’t kill you, but not waiting might kill your budget. End of year sales, like our current 50% off bra sale on clearance items, are a great time to shop. We love to be trendy but trendy and thrifty is even better.
As we get busy with our daily lives, relationships sometimes slip. Perhaps we don’t make time to call or make plans with our friends. Maybe our stress makes us grouchy when visiting with family. It happens to the best of us but we are all human and usually more forgiving than you may think. Have honest conversations and make an effort. Your friends and family may have the same feelings and together you can try to rebuild your relationship. Set a schedule to help you stay in touch and plan get-togethers at less stressful times for you. Maybe it’s a once-a-month girls’ night, a weekly at-home date night with your spouse, or a family picnic on Sunday afternoons. Also, consider which relationships in your life are most valuable and meaningful to you. As adults, we have the right to choose our friends and if some relationships are toxic or no longer worthwhile, back off for awhile. Don’t make enemies, just choose to spend your time with people who inspire you, challenge you and support you instead. You are much more likely to have productive and healthy relationships that way.
Not everyone can keep up with Martha Stewart, but being organized can simplify our lives, save time and make a good impression on others. If organizing your life feels overwhelming, map out specific areas to focus on each month. January, your closet. February, your recipes. March, your garage. And so on. Taking on small chunks at a time will certainly make this goal feel attainable. Remember, you don’t have to spend a fortune on storage bins and containers either. Try wrapping your leftover holiday cardboard boxes in trendy, thick wrapping paper for fun and unique ways to store your stuff. Or raid a dollar store for cheap containers. When sorting through your belongings, keep in mind this rule of thumb: if you haven’t used it in one year, get rid of it.
Happy New Year, Leading Ladies! We wish you a year of fulfilled New Years resolutions!