Handy Solutions for year-end resolutions | Daily News


Handy Solutions for year-end resolutions

The New Year is all about new beginnings, a fresh start, the chance to hit the ‘reset’ button after a season of eating, drinking, and being merry. Ahem, and then eating some more. So it’s not surprising that come January, many of us feel the need to set some pretty lofty goals. The thing is, only a tiny number of resolution-makers actually achieve them.

It can be daunting when your list of New Year’s resolutions is as long as your holiday shopping list. In addition to the post-holiday slump, not being able to keep your resolutions by February, March or even late January may increase your anxiety. When your holiday decorations are packed up and stored away, the frustration of what you failed to do or other reminders of failed resolutions can make the later months a period of seeming hopelessness.

However, it is important to remember that the New Year isn’t meant to serve as a catalyst for sweeping character changes. It is a time for people to reflect on their past year’s behaviour and promise to make positive lifestyle changes. It's very easy to make New Year's resolutions in the heat of enthusiasm and glowing joy but most of us are more familiar with the difficulty of sticking to them.

It is possible but it does take quite some focus, planning, and a determination to stick with the resolutions for the same amount of time it takes to change a habit, so that the resolutions also turn into new habits. Actually, setting small, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of a singular, overwhelming goal on January 1 can help you reach whatever it is you are striving for. That is because it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognising that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, is best taken one step at a time.

By making your resolutions realistic, there is a greater chance that you will keep them throughout the year, incorporating healthy behaviour into your everyday life. People change with time, so do their aspirations. Making resolutions is a purification rite of self appraisal and penitence that demands personal honesty and ultimately, reinforces humility.

Breaking them is part of the cycle. But in the estimation of the less sardonic souls among us the New Year is a great era for everyone. It is the start of a new beginning. It can also be the start of a new life if the right resolutions are made and kept.

However, it is also a pretty funny time of year in a way. People often make resolutions they don’t keep and do some pretty silly things at midnight. Some take it seriously. Some bid it farewell just after the clock strikes twelve.

Some call it a ‘second chance to dream with eyes open.’ Seriously taken, New Year resolutions are an opportunity to measure our goals. For the adventurous soul, it is the opportunity to tickle a funny bone or to try something bold.

It is also a time to look where you stand. For those who have made all kinds of declarations last New Year’s Eve should take time to reflect how far they have stood by them. If not, it is time you did! The most practical thing to do is to get down to accomplishing the incomplete decisions. If you still feel that the resolutions you made last year and abandoned mid-way are worth a second shot, give them another chance!

And be sure they are realistic resolutions. Instead of weaving dreams in the air make a decision that would have significance that adds meaning to your life. Resolve this year to monitor how far you are holding on to your commitment, it will help you to hang on.

Many people resolve to quit an addiction. If it does you no good, why stick to it? If needed, seek help of support groups or professionals. If you have the will, you shall find the way. For many of us it would be a sagacious move to go back to school, so to say. Learning has no age limit. Pick up where you left off. Fit in a fitness programme that ensures a future with fewer trips to the doctor. Select an exercise regime you can stick to. A group activity may add the element of fun to the routine. Lose some flab. But don’t set any strict targets or attempt to over extend a schedule. Chances are that over enthusiasm may make the going too tough and de-motivate you to quit.

Soaking up new skills, learning something new and interesting is always fun and a value addition too. Try to stop pigging out. Eating to live and not living to eat should be the aim. Yet don’t deny yourself the occasional indulgence.

Endeavour to lose the loan that keeps niggling at your mind and causing stress. Pay off any debt you may have and feel light at heart.

One element that can make you feel better and help you sleep better at night is to contribute to a charitable cause. Giving back to society is the least we can do to make the world a better place to live in.

Learn to liven up your lifestyle. Certainly, paying attention to your professional growth is fine, but your personal life requires attention too. Strike a balance. Try to be organised in everything you do and pay attention to the smallest detail. That is the key to make life easier, manage time and live stress free. Make a proper ‘to-do’ list, and you will be half way there already.

Unhealthy habits develop over the course of time. As such, replacing such behaviour with better ones requires time. Don’t get overwhelmed and think that you have to reassess everything in your life. Instead, work toward changing one thing at a time.

Don’t strive to be a perfectionist. Perfection is unattainable in any human endeavour. Remember that minor missteps when reaching your goals are completely normal and acceptable. Don’t give up completely or feel guilty if you indulged in a sinful pudding or dessert and broke your diet or skipped your exercise regime because you were busy. We all have our ups and downs. Simply resolve to recover from your lapses and get back on track.

But there are many out there who start getting real about resolutions. Instead of setting their sights on one meteoric milestone, they begin shifting their focus to the smaller things that can add up to make a major, lasting impact on overall health and happiness.

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