We all make them - those popular New Year's resolutions and yearly promises to ourselves of things we plan to do in the new year. Yet somehow, we forget all about them by February! All around the world, people make resolutions, so here are a few of the most popular New Year's resolutions you're apt to hear -- and make!
1. Lose Weight
Losing weight is definitely one of the most popular New Year's resolutions. It's the number one promise everyone plans to keep as the new year comes in. Problems with being overweight or obese are growing in the United States, as well as many other countries around the world, and yet that number continues to grow. In the U.S. alone, over 66% of the population is either overweight or obese. Remember to set a reasonable goal, so as not to discourage yourself before you've even begun.
2. Spend More Time with Family
In today's fast-paced lifestyle, it's hard to fit in time to spend more quality time with family and friends. Between moms and dads working, kids going to school and "hanging" with friends, and grandparents taking their retirement seriously, there is a lack of time spent together as a family. People are recognizing this, but is it important enough to work at keeping the promise to do better?
3. Quit Smoking
The average 25 year old American smokes about 2 packs of cigarettes a day. That is roughly about $6 a day, $42 a week, $180 a month, and in a year, they have burnt up $2,190, at least! In five years of not smoking, they would have saved $10,950! Crazy, I know. And yet, many people still waste their money and even squander their health. Hopefully, those who realize this and resolve to quit this year will stick to it and save themselves some money!
4. Get Organized
Clutter is one of the biggest battles we moms must face every day. Kids collect things, husbands hoard things, we hide things...until enough is enough, and we vow to do something about it. January and February are good months to keep this resolution, since it's cold outside, and not quite as fun to be out and about. Close yourself up and start going through things for a spring yard sale!
5. Quit Drinking
While many use the New Year as an incentive to quit drinking, most are not quite ready to make such a dramatic lifestyle change all at one time. Many fail to quit "cold turkey" and do better by gradually weaning themselves from the bottle. If you decide that you want to quit drinking, help is available. Call your local AA support group to find the help you need to stop drinking.
6. Learn Something Brand New
Whether it's to learn a new craft, or even a new trade, many decide they want to broaden their knowledge just a wee bit more at the start of a new year. It's a great time to learn something new, especially since the winter semester starts this time of year. Even if you want to learn something new on your own, make this a resolution that you keep for the betterment of yourself!
7. Help Others
It's selfless and thoughtful, and many do it. Helping others is a wonderful resolution to make, and can be carried out in so many different ways! Volunteering for events at schools, libraries, local charity organizations, or even the Red Cross are all popular choices. There are so many ways that one can make a difference in someone else's life.
8. Get Fit
On top of losing weight, another popular resolution is to get fit. Join a gym or, if you don't have the money, just make sure you walk or jog at least three times a week, and do basic exercises such as sit-ups, crunches, push-ups, and toe touches every day. You'd be amazed at the difference that simple small changes will make in your fitness.
9. Save Money
Now isn't this something we all need help with? In today's economy, money is tight, so every penny counts. Never leave a penny lying around! Remember, "A penny saved is a penny earned." Start a change jar and empty your pockets every night. Open up a Christmas account at your bank. Don't allow yourself to buy more than what you and your family will eat or use. More money is wasted on food gone bad than anywhere else. Buy what you eat and eat what you buy. Saving money can be hard, but it's very possible.
10. Reduce Stress
This is one of the most self-rewarding resolutions listed. While a certain amount of stress is actually a good thing, too much stress can lead to many health problems, such as digestive issues, sleep disorders, heart disease, depression, obesity, skin conditions like eczema, and ulcers, as well as many other issues. Take time to relax and enjoy some "me time" every now and then. Try taking Yoga classes or something equally soothing. Face the year with a little less stress and a whole lot more ease! You'll thank yourself!
11. Further Education
Going back to school is something that many people resolve to do at the start of a shiny new year. Just learning something for the sake of learning is one reason. For others, however, getting a further education is a New Year’s resolution because it’ll help further career goals. If you want to get some classes under your belt, check for online programs at universities in your area. This is an easy way to work them into your already busy schedule.
12. Eat Healthier
This one goes along with wanting to lose weight. However, some people choose to eat healthier to protect against specific health conditions or to have more energy and feel better day to day. If this is your resolution, focus on eating a variety of foods from each food group, including low-fat dairy, lean protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Mixing and matching your favorite foods from the food groups is a simple way to eat healthier in the new year.
If you find yourself tossing everything in the trash, but you feel guilty about doing so, a great New Year’s resolution for you might be resolving to recycle. Check with your trash company and inquire about recycling pick-up. It’s often under $10 a month to add it. Then, grab yourself some large plastic bins and start putting paper, cardboard, plastic, tin cans and anything else your trash company accepts in them. With very little effort, you’ll have a New Year’s resolution you can be proud of.
14. Career Advancement
Perhaps you feel stuck in a rut when it comes to your job. You aren’t alone if working to advance your career tops your list of New Year’s resolutions. Gather together a list, with evidence, of all the projects and successes you’ve had at work. Take them to your boss and discuss additional opportunities or a raise at work. Or, work together to come up with a doable step-by-step plan to help you move up the ladder.
15. Go on Vacation
With the busy lifestyle we all lead, going on vacation often takes a back burner to all your other obligations. This isn’t good for you. Taking a break from everyday life is the perfect way to recharge your batteries, spark creativity or just relax without having to check your laptop constantly. Plan a weekend away or a full week if you can manage that. Work in fun touristy activities, eat ethnic food or just lounge by the pool and drink a mai tai. You won’t be sorry!
Research shows that with 52% of participants in a resolution study being confident successfully reaching their resolution goals, only 12% actually did. Men reached their goal 22% more often when they set goals like a system where small measurable goals are being set, such as vowing to lose a pound a week instead of saying "lose weight." Women succeeded 10% more when they shared their goals with others and got support from friends. So, my fellow All Women Stalk readers, tell your friends what your goals are and make sure they show their support - you'll be 10% more likely to succeed! What is a resolution you hope to keep this coming year?
This article is written in collaboration with editor, Eliza Martinez