New Year’s Resolutions – Top Ten
The New Year is upon us and like most people you are still debating whether to make a list of resolutions. Learn how to make and keep your resolutions:
Make & Keep Resolutions
About 40% of us make resolutions in any given year. Roughly 60 % of those resolute folks fail. That is because they are doing it wrong. Instead of a list, science tells us that it is usually more effective to pick just one thing to change, set a realistic goal, become highly motivated, get the facts and some help on an effective program, accept that you will occasionally slip, and then go!
Let’s Do It!
The following is a list of ten popular resolutions. Pick the one most important to you for 2015. To help you keep your resolution, follow the link (s) included in the items below. The photos are provided solely for motivation:
1. Lose Weight: Year after year weight loss is the number one resolution and for good reason ! According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) 69% of adults age 20 and above are overweight. If weight loss is your 2015 resolution, start by getting some expert advice from a website like http://www.win.niddk.nih.gov/ . “The Weight-control Information Network provides the general public, health professionals, the media, and Congress with up-to-date, science-based information on weight control, obesity, physical activity, and related nutritional issues.” Start with their short publication Chosing a Safe and Successful Weight Loss Program at http://www.win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/choosing.htm
2. Get Organized: Clutter creates stress and strains relationships. A simple first step in decluttering is to store your collections and keepsakes in a vault, room or locker in a safe and clean storage center. This is to assures that things you value are not inadvertently thrown away. It makes the rest of the process much less stressful. Divide the remainder of the excess items, divide into four large cartons labeled “Gifts”, “Sell”, “Donate” and “Throw-Away” and then follow through on all four actions allowing a week for each carton. More information on getting organized can be found at http://www.sofiastorage.com/blog/79-spring-cleaning
3. Spend More Time With Family & Friends: In these frenetic times we spend most of our time working or asleep. It is important to schedule face time with our family and friends. At the beginning of this year, calendarize specific family/friends appreciation days right through December 2015. If you have decluttered your apartment, you can host some occasions at home and suggest restaurants for others, as appropriate. We have prepared a guide to Upper West Side restaurants available at : http://www.sofiastorage.com/blog/upper-west-side-appetites . Dinning is great in NYC but the City affords an incredible variety of activities for groups of all sizes. To get some great crowd-sourced ideas, select and calendarize your favorites from Trip Advisor’s Top Things to do in New York City at: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g60763-Activities-New_York_City_New_York.html
4. Quit Smoking: Becoming smoke free is one of the best things you can do for your health and 2015 is a great year to quit smoking. Science has finally provided a wide range of over-the-counter quit-smoking aids. Alternatively your doctor can provide a prescription for slightly more powerful addiction-breaking drugs. There are Quit Smoking Clinics throughout NYC. Find one near you at: http://www1.nyc.gov/apps/311utils/providerInformation.htm?serviceId=2300. The federal government provides free quit smoking resources at: http://www.smokefree.gov/
5. Save More, Spend Less: A Budget is your BFF. Most people have the misconception that a budget is a draconian measure devised for spendthrifts. Quite the opposite. A personal budget is a simple annual financial plan with two lists by month: your income items with amounts and your expense items also with amounts. Once you make the lists, subtract your expense amount from your income and the difference is the amount available for savings. If you wish to increase savings either lower your expenses or increase your income. Google offers a number of free and very helpful budget templates at: https://drive.google.com/templates?q=budget&category=14&sort=users&view=public&ddrp=1#.
If you need help with debt or other financial problems you might want to try the US FTC Website Page: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0150-coping-debt
6. Drink Less : Drinking can be harmful to your health and life. Most people who recognize a need to reduce the amount they drink need help in doing so. The government sponsored website Rethinking Drinking at http://www.rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/default.asp may be a good place to start. It provides a customized analysis of your: Drinking Pattern, Signs of a Problem and Tools for Change.
7. Get Fit : Evidence-based science indicates that regular exercise improves one’s mood, blood pressure and longevity, while reducing weight, risk of some cancers, and pain from arthritis. It makes you look and feel better. Gyms abound in NYC, or you can try one of the simple exercise programs provided by the CDC at: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/getactive/index.html
8. Enjoy Life : Many evolving New Yorkers recognize each year that there may be some truth to the saying that “Even if you win the rat race your still a rat” [William Sloane Coffin] . The resolution to “enjoy life more” generally comes from the recognition that a happy, healthy life is about achieving balance between work and nourishing one’s mind, body and spirit. To accomplish this you may want to visit one of New York City’s holistic healing centers, regularly attend services at a place of worship or even visit the Omega Institute for a week long retreat (see http://www.eomega.org/ ). Sports, such as skiing can be an excellent outlet for your energies if you are fit enough. Alternatively, consider taking up a new hobby or joining a meetup.com group that shares your interest in hiking, zumba, or yoga, for instance. If you are looking to explore various interests, you might start by browsing http://www.meetup.com website.
9. Learn Something New : If you are willing to sign up for a course, continuing education opportunities abound in New York City. Whether you want to learn a new language, start a business, fix your computer or write a book, The New School in NYC http://ww.newschool.edu/ce/ is the pioneer in continuing education well worth visiting. Most colleges and universities now offer adult education and distant learning courses. There are also computer learning programs, some for sale such Rosetta Stone (http://www.rosettastone.com/) for languages , if you do not need the discipline of a class room.
10. Help Others : Volunteerism is an unselfish resolution that can help both the giver and receiver. Many organizations heavily rely on volunteers such as museums http://www.amnh.org/join-support/volunteer-now, libraries http://www.nypl.org/help/about-nypl/volunteer-nypl, houses of worship churches, disaster relief https://www.volunteermatch.org/opportunities/disaster_relief.jsp, boy or girl scouting http://www.bsa-gnyc.org/ http://www.girlscoutsnyc.org/ , animal rescue (http://animalalliancenyc.org/about/apos/borough.htm), soup kitchens (http://holyapostlessoupkitchen.org/ ), and Habitat for Humanity (http://www.habitatnyc.org). If you are still searching for a volunteer activity near you, try https://www.volunteermatch.org/search/ Helping others is considered a stress relieving activity. Successes facilitated by volunteers are incredibly rewarding to all concerned and often become part of one’s legacy.
Expert Advice on Resolutions
On January 2, 2015, radio host Gary Null had as a guest on his show, Gabriele Oettingen, author of Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation. In her book, Ms. Oettimgen stresses that positive thinking alone is insufficient. It needs to be augmented by a sense of reality and personal discovery as to one’s goal inhibitors. Once the obstacles are identified and voided, the person must stay focused on her/his goals until they are fully attained. Ms. Oettingen’s website is: http://www.woopmylife.org. Gary Null’s website is http://www.garynull.com