13 New Year’s Resolutions — and How to Keep Them
1. Lose the Weight
From wearing a pedometer to surrounding yourself with the color blue, there are all kinds of small changes that can help you finally drop those extra pounds. Make a commitment that 2012 will be the year you get rid of what’s weighing you down.
2. Get Organized
If your home is making you feel like you’re heading toward an episode of Hoarders, start small: Focus on one clutter-packed zone (even that junk drawer in your kitchen) and get that in order, then move on to the more-intimidating areas (hello, garage!).
3. Get On Top of Finances
Even if cash is really tight, 2012 can be the year you finally get a sense of control over your money.
4. Spend More Time with Family and Friends
A lot of us feel we don’t spend enough quality time with those we love. So pick up the phone or fire up the computer and start arranging experiences that you can do together. Here’s one way: Send an e-mail invite to a picnic in a centrally located park. Everyone brings food and drink‚ and a smorgasbord of catch-up results.
6. Quit Smoking
You know all the ways cigarettes hurt your body — that they dramatically increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, high blood pressure, and almost every other health concern, small or large. So if you’ve still got the habit, this can be the year you ditch it.
Find out how:
25 ways to stop smoking cigarettes
7. Smell the Roses
Lost your mojo? The easiest way to kick-start your joie de vivre is to focus on those little things that give you pleasure. Every day, have a moment where you focus on just a small, immediate enjoyment, like a great song on the radio, a tasty peach, a pet’s licks, your friends’ thoughtfulness, or an unexpected invitation.
6 surprising happiness boosters
8. Tackle Your Drinking
If drinking is doing you more harm than good, stop altogether, learn to moderate or get support (such as from Alcoholics Anonymous) if you can’t control your intake on your own. (Those living with alcoholics will also find friends at AA.)
For help reducing your consumption, try:
Cut back on alcohol without giving it up
9. Learn Something New
There’s nothing more esteem-building than getting an additional qualification under your belt. Your career options widen, you meet new people and you exercise your brain. Check out local community colleges, which offer a range of inexpensive courses.
How to picking up a second language
Top 10 tips for a healthy brain
10. Help Others
Every day, we’re hearing about a new catastrophe in some corner of the globe, so it’s no surprise that “volunteering vacations” are booming worldwide. But you don’t have to head to a far-flunch locate (or spend money) to make the world better — offering your time, or if that’s in short supply, simply donating furniture, clothes and other household items can help someone in need (and make you feel great).
11. Land a New Job
Whether you’re itching to switch careers or have recently lost your job, there are plenty of reasons these days to stay current (read: keep your resume updated and don’t stop proving you bring something to the table).
12. See the World (or Even the State!)
Get a new perspective on things — literally and figuratively — by putting yourself into a new environment. And it doesn’t mean hopping on a plane — there are plenty of fresh locales within driving distance from where you live.