It's that wonderful time of year again-New Year's resolution time! That's right! You get to inventory your life, identify trouble areas, and then resolve to make huge sweeping changes (overnight!) to make it all better. Ironically, most of us make the same resolutions year after year. And after a week (one day, really) we're back to our old routines-just more disappointed with ourselves since we can't even keep a resolution for more than 7 days. So, we propose you steer clear of the following seven self-defeating resolutions and instead aim for more attainable results.
WHAT NOT TO RESOLVE FOR 2012
I'm going on a huge diet.
With that extreme a stance, you'll be lucky if you make it past noon. Face it: you've been splurging through the holidays (beginning at Thanksgiving, actually,) and you're most likely going to crumble at the first sight of chocolate. Why get all hyped up for something you're going to forget in mere hours? Instead, aim for starting with a healthy breakfast each day and see if that helps get you off on the right foot.
I'll hit the gym every day.
This will probably last five days. For the first two days you'll be pumped up and ready to hit the weights. Day three, you'll be a little late getting there and the treadmill won't be quite as much fun as it was the day before. Day four's workout is full of cursing and on day five you'll spend most of the day trying to schedule ANYTHING to get out of going to the gym. After that, your gym bag will go untouched for 360 days. A more reasonable goal is to take a walk after dinner each night. Or find a friend to work out with a couple of times a week. Slowly step it up and you may just build up to a healthy four or five times per week.
I'll pay off my credit cards.
Are you getting a new job that pays double what you're making now? No? Unless you plan on going out less, cutting back on shopping, and cooking from scratch at home, you're probably going to end up paying the minimum for another year. In fact, the aforementioned are much better goals to helping save money-and perhaps parlay the savings toward paying down your debt.
I'll make an effort see my family more.
This resolution comes from a good place-which is why you'll feel even worse when it doesn't happen. It's true: it's doubtful you'll use vacation time to spend a week at mom and dad's house, particularly if they're out of state and a plane ride away. Avoid the heartache and don't even make the resolution. What your family doesn't know won't hurt them. Want a nice compromise? Try to call every week or other week.
I'm going to drink less.
But you enjoy that glass of wine with dinner so much! Are you sacrificing just for the sake of tradition? There's no need to skip one of your most enjoyable rituals just to appear like you can make a resolution and keep it-unless you regularly overindulge. In that case, a better resolution would be to seek support and help in changing your ways.
I'm going to take up a new hobby.
Thinking about learning French? Interested in coin collecting? Make sure the desire is extremely strong before any public proclamations about this resolution. Hobbies are a huge time commitment so if you're not sure you'll be able to find time between reading Entertainment Weekly magazine and watching 'The X Factor,' it's best to just enjoy the things you love that already take up your free time.
I'm going to read more.
Give yourself a break. After all, there's more and more distracting media, gadgets, and gizmos. Besides, just because you're scanning the news from your iPhone doesn't mean you're not "reading." But we know what you mean. Many of us have desires to focus distracted on a great piece of literature or non-fiction. Instead, set a more reasonable goal, such as one book on CD per month during your commute. Or start with an article-heavy magazine subscription, then ramp up to loftier goals.
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