It’s a funny thing, really. We spend the entire holiday season, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, in a constant state of overindulgence. Food, drinks, parties, presents, late nights, groggy mornings, shopping until we drop (then shopping online). It’s a frenzy of excess, and we play it on repeat for six weeks straight.
But it’s OK! We know that with New Year’s Day comes an opportunity to scrub the slate clean, set a respectable resolution to be better, and detox the splendors of the season right out of our systems.
Sure, most resolutions don’t last all year, or even until Valentine’s Day, but we set them just the same. Why? It’s a comfortable cycle — resolve, slip up, repeat — but this year, we challenge you to think bigger.
You can make small, smart changes now that will benefit you and your family well beyond 2019. It’s time to abandon the resolution and commit to a revolution. Yes, it’s going to take time. But it’s also going to be so worth it.
As we ring in the new year, we often toast to health, wealth and happiness as a well-wishing catchall for the next 12 months.
Let’s see what happens when we keep the toast, but lose the timeframe:
For Your Health
Focus on the ride — not the results.
We’ve all been there: We set a resolution to lose a few pounds, so we put an unrealistic workout or diet plan in motion to make it happen fast. Once the extra weight is gone, we think we can stop trying so hard. Workouts fall by the wayside and home-cooked meals give way to whatever’s convenient. And the weight comes back. So we resolve to try again the next year.
Wanna break the cycle? Learn to love the journey. Find weird, wonderful ways to exercise that you actually enjoy, like hot hula dancing — a totally real, calorie-burning thing. Hunt down delicious, easy recipes that also happen to be good for you, like this one for Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Pork. And avoid burnout by keeping your new routines fresh and full of variety.
At the end of the day, just don’t treat it like work! After all, cooking is fun. Kickboxing is fun! Retrain your mindset and you just might start looking forward to the time you spend in the kitchen or at the gym.
For Your Wealth
Don’t wait another day to start planning for your future.
This one is pretty relative, because financial abundance looks completely different from one person to another. But there are a few sound tricks to ensuring a solid financial footing for the long haul, and the sooner you put them into practice, the greater the result:
The best time to save is now
It’s easy to hold off on saving money for when we actually have extra — kind of an absurd thought after all that holiday excess, right? But more money is a tricky thing, and how we manage a little will likely reflect in how we manage a lot. When we treat saving money as a necessary expense, like buying milk or paying the mortgage, it’s a much easier pill to swallow. There are a ton of online resources for how to start saving, so pick a few that feel right and stick with them — your retired self will thank you later.
When you spend, do it wisely
In a world where instant gratification is now an expectation, impulse buys are easier than ever to make. When something you don’t really need catches your eye, wait 30 days before you swipe your credit card. More often than not, the urge to buy it passes, and the money you save in the long run is well worth the wait.
Keep your eyes peeled for new opportunities
Talk to your boss about creating a career development plan that sets you on the path to promotion. Invest a little time and money in online learning, then put your new skills to work. Or consider taking on a side job that you can do in your spare time — they’re more common and more flexible than ever, and they often come with perks beyond a paycheck.
For your happiness
Do you ever stop to think about how to make happiness happen? We consider it with big life changes, like when we get married, have a baby or start a new job — but what about day to day?
Each morning before you get out of bed, make yourself smile (even if you really don’t feel like it). Choose happiness! Then take a beat to plan your day. Make time for who and what you love, and more often than not, you’ll be smiling when you snuggle back in at night.
It’s time to think bigger!
This year, when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, give yourself permission to let another meaningless resolution drop right alongside it. Instead, focus on small changes you can make to improve your health, wealth and happiness for the long haul, then settle in and enjoy the ride.
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