The start of each New Year is synonymous with making a fresh start, so of course that includes making New Year’s resolutions. Every time January rolls around, we tend to make a bunch of declarations and promises to ourselves (and maybe to others) and then proceed to break each and every one. The gyms are packed for the month of January and then they slowly start to empty out. We eat salads and drink green smoothies until we feel the urge to indulge in a juicy steak and potatoes. And a cocktail. And maybe some cupcakes. And some chocolate. Oh wait, maybe that’s just me. 😉 My point is, in the New Year, we are encouraged to feel like we should make some major changes to our lives – and don’t get me wrong, a lot of people do! But there’s also a lot of us who just take a temporary break from some of our bad habits, only to slowly return to them. And that’s ok – we’re all only human, after all! We shouldn’t put so much pressure on ourselves. So this year, instead of making the same old tired New Year’s Resolutions that I’ll probably break (where’s that steak?!), I’m deciding to make some not-resolutions instead. These are five practical, doable, and pressure-free things that will help to make 2016 better for me – and you – and we won’t feel any regret if we slack off on them a bit!
Check out my 5 (Not) New Year’s resolutions for 2016:
1. Create a vision board
I’ve never read The Secret or the Law of Attraction but I’ve heard so many great things about both books. And I personally believe in the power of positive words, positive thinking and positive energy. Creating a vision board is a fun activity to do, alone or with friends, and it basically is a visual wish list of things you want to manifest in your life. Of course, you’ll have to work for those things, but it’s a great visual reminder of your goals, wants and needs. Create one now and check back at the end of the year to see which of your visions have manifested into reality!
2. Create a blessings jar
I am a believer in God and thankful for all of His blessings in my life. Even though I had a challenging year last year, I created a blessings jar to remind myself of the positive things that happened each day. Whether you’re spiritual or not, you can also create a place to remind yourself of all the good things that are happening in your life, whether big or small. When you’re having a particularly rough time, it’s nice to be able to go back and read them and reflect on better days and happy moments in your life!
3. Start an emergency savings fund
It’s always nice to extra have an extra bit of cash set aside, right? And it’s pretty easy to save just a little each day, or with each paycheck. You never know when a financial emergency will arise, and whether that emergency equals a new set of tires, house repairs or a new handbag or airplane tickets, you should set aside a little bit every now and then to cash in when you need it!
4. Write a list of (flexible) goals for the year
There’s nothing wrong with starting off your year with a list of goals and things you’d like to accomplish throughout the New Year. It’s a good starting point and roadmap for the year ahead, but you can alter it as the year goes along. Grab a glass of wine, your notebook or planner and start writing! You can check things off as you accomplish them or no longer need them, and add new things to the list as the year progresses.
5. Don’t sign up for things in the heat of the moment!
Because the New Year is so tied to resolutions, everyone is trying to get a piece of the action (aka, your money). Gyms are running all kinds of specials to get you signed up and locked into a year-long membership. Weight loss companies and other businesses are doing the same. My advice to you: don’t do it! Not in the heat of the moment, anyway. Unfortunately I’ve learned this the hard way. You have great intentions and you’re all like “I’m going to sign up for this class/that program/this other cool, exciting sounding thing!” only to have the excitement wear off and you’re already locked in. Take some time to decide what you seriously want to do and pursue throughout the year and then sign up for that membership, class, program, etc.