Let me begin by saying that this isn’t your ordinary list of New Year’s resolutions. I’m not going to tell you to go on a strict diet, or exercise more…alas! These resolutions are for wholeness of being and yes, they will lead to better health, happiness and contentment.
1. Get Organized
This is a staple new year’s resolution. It’s the end of 2014 and my how much clutter you’ve acquired! An often overlooked, yet powerful thing about an organized life is that it can often translate into an organized mind. Do you ever notice that if your bedroom is clean, it’s easier for you to go to bed? Your burden just feels lighter and your stress has dissipated. Give yourself small attainable goals that can be tackled one step at a time. If trying to get the whole house organized, all at once, seems too overwhelming, then take just one room at a time. Or maybe it’s your office, or even your car! And if this seems like too much, don’t forget that there are professional organizers! Though you may wonder how you could actually spend money on such a thing, I’ve used them! They are worth every penny when you realize how much they can transform your day to day life and give you organizational systems and tricks that you can continue utilizing into the future.
2. Get Out of Debt
Though this resolution may seem obvious, it is a biggie! For millions of Americans, the major point of stress in their life is the same, money. Based on statistics from the Federal Reserve, of those family households that carry debt, the average debt amount is $15,611. Whatever the cause of your debt, there is great power that comes with conquering it. The first step is awareness: knowing where your money is going for every single expenditure. breaking the bad habits and instilling reasonable budgets to stick to. Two great budget trackers are Mint.com and YNAB.com (you need a budget). Get a friend or partner as accountability and support and start your path to financial freedom today!
3. Enjoy Life More
Do you catch yourself saying, “If only I had time for that…” or “I wish I had more time to (fill in the blank).” This wistful thinking is overrated! It’s time to change things in your life to allow yourself to enjoy the simple things, or be pampered more. Americans have bought in to the hectic lifestyle of allowing their career to take over their lives, but it can become more similar to “golden handcuffs” effect, than anything else. What good is all the money in the world, if you don’t even have time to spend it on things you enjoy? Take up a new hobby, or accomplish that dream you’ve always held at arms-length. Or perhaps allow yourself to have a spa treatment every once in a while. Most of us are in desperate need for our busy lives to be interrupted so that we can stop and “smell the roses,” whatever your roses may be.
4. Help Others
Isn’t it an interesting thing that the more selfless we become, the more fulfilled and happy we are as individuals? And by selfless, I mean turning our attention to help others. This could come in a variety of forms, from mentoring a child, to donating food, to serving at a homeless shelter, to even just volunteering at our kid’s schools. If your time is limited, this could also mean donating your clothes and or furniture to a place in need. As the old saying goes, “If you help someone up the hill, you get yourself closer.”
5. Quit Smoking
Excellent news…! If you have tried to quit smoking in the past, but have failed, don’t let that get you down. The average smoker has to try 4 times to quit smoking, before they finally succeed. Keep your eye on the prize. Don’t think you are the one exception to the rule that is somehow immune to getting cancer. You could be next. And to think of all those medical bills! Instead of letting life take a turn for the worse (in the U.S. alone- 480,000 deaths a year is caused by smoking), join a support group, or a free hotline. Or perhaps change your habit from smoking, to a healthy alternative, like making a cup of herbal tea every time you want to smoke. Consistent baby steps toward stopping smoking are better than no effort at all. Don’t let the fear of failing, stop you from trying.