When it comes to choosing a New Year’s resolution, less is more. While your intentions to lose weight, exercise more and simultaneously quit smoking cold turkey at the stroke of midnight may be good, lofty resolutions are usually swept under the rug and forgotten within weeks of the start of the New Year.
I put together a list of mini-resolution ideas aimed to improve physical, emotional and a worldly wellbeing that won’t leave you feeling overwhelmed and defeated after week one.
- For the big meat-eater: Instead of becoming a full-on vegetarian, try to eat meat-free two days a week. Make a batch of veggie burgers to store in your fridge for busy, meatless weeknight dinner.
- For the soda-drinker: Instead of giving up on carbonation altogether, switch to club soda with a splash of your favorite juice. As your tastebuds adjust, decrease the amount of juice you add for even more health benefits.
- For the sweetener-user: Come up with a plan to cut the amount of sweetener you use over time. If you take 2 packets with your coffee, go down to 1. Water down your pitcher of Crystal Light or trade it in for a pitcher of fruit water – just add fresh berries, mint, pear, apple, lemon and/or orange slices and chill for a few hours. Add a touch of honey, agave nectar or raw sugar if you like it just a little bit sweet.
- For the wannabe runner: Commit to jogging five to ten minutes, two to three days a week. If you can, take a buddy to chat with to keep the pace just right. When that feels easier, increase your time by a few minutes every week or two. When you feel ready, sign up for a 5K and start looking into beginner training plans.
- For the dieter: Instead of trying the latest fad diet, commit to making one or two small behavior changes that are attributed to weight loss - drinking water with meals, go for a walk when you’re talking on the phone, take the stairs at work, eat half of your meal when you dine out and take the rest home. These small things add up and are more likely to become life-long habits & will promote natural weight loss over time.
- For the caffeine addict: Cut down on the number of espresso shots in your morning late or brew coffee at half-strength using a blend of regular + decaf coffee. Try cutting out caffeine completely after 2pm.
- For the long-lost friend: Pick one day a week to catch up with a friend or family member. Call, email or write a handwritten note. No answer? Leave a message and keep dialing loved ones until you get an answer. Chances are those messages you left will prompt a call-back later in the week.
- For the sleep deprived: Try cutting out TV or computer 30 minutes before bed – these stimulate your brain making it tougher to fall asleep. Set an alarm 30 minutes prior to bedtime to give yourself time to wrap up your evening activities and get ready for bed. Cover your alarm clock & don’t go looking for the time if you wake up in the middle of the night.
- For the wannabe do-gooder: Pick a “pay it forward” day - one day every week to do something nice for a someone else.
- For the overcommitted: Choose one night a week to have a date with yourself. My self-date nights include candles, a mani/pedi while watching General Hospital, grilled cheese & tomato soup for dinner.
- Make what you have enough: Start a graditude journal. Not a paper person? Try a gratitude app.
- For the Clorox queens: Pick up a few spray bottles and make your own general household cleaners with natural, antimicrobial products like vinegar. Choose earth-friendly cleaning products and detergents at the store. Buy natural, reusable cleaning cloths (my favorites) instead of disposable rags and sponges.
- For the food waster: Freeze excess leftovers immediately. Ask for to-go restaurant items to be wrapped in foil or paper which can be recycled.
- For the bottled-beverage drinker: Buy yourself a cute water bottle and take it with you wherever you go. I’m eyeing this one. Keep a coffee mug & pint glass at your desk for bottle-free daytime hydration.
- For the closest parking spot stalker: Park a little farther away and make the trek to stores within a 5 minute walk (i.e. same shopping plaza) to cut down on gas & car emissions, get a few minutes of exercise & save time and your sanity.
- For the frequent shoppers: BYOB – bring your own bags – not just to the grocery store but shopping malls as well. I got one of these in my stocking and love it – so lightweight and fits in just about any size handbag.
There are definitely a few things I’d like to improve over the next year – taking care of my emotional self and being a little more Earth-friendly are at the top of my list. I’ll be back tomorrow with my three mini-resolutions for 2013!
Question of the day:
- What resolutions have you completely abandoned in recent years? Any that you were able to stick with?
Also, if you think of any other good mini-resolutions, leave them below!