Every year, around this time, before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, it’s almost certain that many around the globe have decided to do something different in the next year of their life. Sometimes it’s a commitment to lose weight, while others decide to spend more time away from their jobs, and make more memories with friends and family.
While New Year’s resolutions aren’t always easy, here are a few top picks, plus tips and pointers to help you along the way.
1. Lose Weight
It’s one of the most common resolutions that people make year after year. Whether it’s a lack of discipline or a problem of self-indulgence, you can learn new ways to stay healthy and stay on track with your weight-loss goals. For starters, set a goal for yourself. Not only does this give you something to shoot for, but it also gives you incentive to keep going. Need some tips to stay on the fitness bandwagon? Visit the links below for some helpful tools and resources that will help you keep your fitness goals in the new year!
Lean and Mean Recipes
Stay in the Game
Fitness for Kids
2. Spend More Time with Friends and Family
Spending time with friends and family tops many resolution lists when a New Year begins. Most people want to spend more time OUT of the office and MORE time in the company of those they love. If you find yourself working overtime night after night, reevaluate your priorities. Schedule a family night each week that includes dinner and a movie; or, pick up a board game like Scrabble, Scene It, or Cranium so that you can interact with each other. Spark conversation at the dinner table and try to listen more.
3. Get Out of Debt
Debt can be a weight that holds you down, year after year, after year. So why not make this the year you get out of debt? Your first step is getting a copy of your credit report. This way, you can see exactly how much debt you have and where that debt resides. Visit Equifax to learn more about how you can get a copy of your credit report. Once you’ve figured out the total amount of debt you have, make the necessary changes to start paying that debt off. Seek counseling if you feel you can’t tackle your debt on your own. Don’t feel overwhelmed; just take one step at a time. Make basic changes to your budget so you are saving a specific amount of money, to apply toward your debt. This way, not only will you be out of debt faster, but you’ll also be better financially in the long run. Looking for more ways to save and budget? Visit the links below to learn how you can make this your year to gain financial freedom!
60 Second Guide to Get out of Debt, from The Motley Fool
66 Ways to Save Money, from the Consumer Literacy Consortium
Budgeting Tips, from Personal Budgeting
Budgeting Worksheet, from Kiplinger
4. Quit Smoking
Much like dieting, smoking is something many around the globe struggle with around the New Year. For many smokers, it’s a nicotine addiction that keeps them breaking this common New Year’s resolution year after year. Visit www.smokefree.gov/ to learn more from experts, access materials that have helped others quit the habit, and learn more about what it will take for you to stop smoking. Make it your year to kick the habit!
5. Do More in Community
Volunteering at local homeless shelters or with a boys and girls club can be time-consuming work. But it can also be some of the most rewarding work you do all year. In the new year, try doing more to help improve the community you live in. Volunteer at a local Red Cross chapter, deliver meals to the elderly, or give your time to help a child read with a literacy program. Whatever you decide to devote some of your free time to, do it with a smile and a commitment to better those around you. The greatest gift we can give to someone is our time; give more of your time to others in the new year. Visit Volunteer Match to find a place to volunteer near you.