Ten great tips for New Year’s resolutions

BY SARA DIMERMAN

No matter the day on which Jan. 1st falls, it feels like a Monday. Time to begin another diet and exercising daily just like the Monday before. No wonder that weight loss programs and gyms see a spike during the first week of January. This year, however, I’m thinking of what else I might want to tackle with increased vigour. I’ve included some of my ideas, along with invited resolutions from friends and family below:

1. Take time for oneself. One friend wrote that he’d like to return to meditation. He accepts that life is different since becoming a dad. However, he has realized that instead of working through his lunch hour, he can close his office door and use that time to get back to meditating. Other ways to take time for oneself may include, as one friend wrote to, “Take up passions of my younger years such as piano and flute and dance!”

2. Make time for others. Some of the resolutions I received included, “Do a good deed for someone every day,” “Take up volunteer work” and “See my friends once a week instead of only once a month.” One friend said she was planning to “Help others more with advice or actions rather than with things.”

3. Clear the clutter. Several people want to create more empty space in their lives. Conquering the pile of papers, bills, cards and kid’s projects may seem insurmountable but as you sort through, throw out, categorize and put away you’ll feel the heaviness fall away. Clearing clutter also includes sorting through clothes that you haven’t worn in a year or longer. If you have a difficult time parting with ‘stuff’ you may find it helpful to put the old unwanted items into a bag, knot it and write the date on the outside. Place it in the garage. Then, if you haven’t looked for those items within six months of that date, donate the bag to a charitable organization. The trick is not to open the bag once it’s knotted or you’ll want to bring ‘stuff’ back inside the house.

4. Spend wisely. One resolution I received was to, “Pay all household bills on time and to not over use credit cards.” Another was not to spend on impulse but to think longer before making purchases that may not seem as necessary tomorrow as they do today. Also, to clip coupons and take them with you when shopping.

5. Floss every day. Despite how tired you are at the end of the day, remember the long term consequences of not taking care of yourself. Along with flossing, some resolutions I received included remembering to drink more water, eat healthier food and to take the supplements and vitamins you bought.

6. Don’t fall behind. Do you find that there’s often leftover laundry from the week’s pile when its time to begin again? My resolution is to keep up so there’s nothing undone by the beginning of the following laundry week. Keeping on top of routine chores can be tiresome but a necessary evil unless you’re prepared to deal with daunting tasks when you get around to tackling them later on.

7. Face fears. Some resolutions included tackling a fear of flying, the dentist and heights. Others included getting back in touch with a friend or family member, despite the fear of possible rejection. Quitting smoking, fighting a bad habit or confronting an internal demon may be difficult but empowering.

8. Better oneself. Several great resolutions included going back to school to further an education or begin a change of career. Some resolutions included being less judgemental of others and one great mom of adult children wrote, “Accepting the fact that my adult children don’t have to agree with me all the time. They are entitled to their own opinions and shouldn’t be berated for them.”

9. Appreciate family. I have resolved to call my mother in law more often and to remember and appreciate that she is the reason my husband came to be. A wife and mom wrote about her plans to get to know her husband again. She felt that after years of hard work and time away from one another, she had ignored their relationship.

10. Give thanks and stay positive. One friend wrote, “I resolve to treat each day and person as something special and not simply wait for a holiday or New Years Day or any so called ‘special’ day to be grateful of those people and circumstances around me.”

Sara Dimerman is a psychologist, author and parenting/relationship expert to the media. Check out www.helpmesara.com.

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