By Sophie Isbister, Staff Writer
New Year’s is the time of year when we put our best foot forward and set goals that we will hopefully achieve by the end of the year. And with those goals come the naysayers. Folk who say that the gym is going to be packed at the beginning of January, and then go back to normal as soon as all of those resolving give up. People who say the bars are going to be empty for a couple weeks, but invariably the hardcore drinkers will filter back in, as one by one their resolutions bite the dust. There are some resolutions you won’t keep, but for every failed goal, there’s a counterpart that just might work for you.
Resolution you won’t keep: Eat better. Everyone wants to eat better, kick the fat and the salt, pass by the Triple-O’s and make a beeline for the salad bar. But with vague, wishy-washy sentiments like “eat better,” you’ll never succeed. So try this instead:
Bring a lunch to school or work every day. This idea works because it’s something you can actually do. Bringing your own lunch (depending on what you bring, obviously) is usually going to be healthier than pre-packaged, expensive cafeteria food or grease-laden fast food. With your own lunch you can control portions and salt and you can eat clean and make tangible steps towards being healthier.
Resolution you won’t keep: Get out of debt/save money. This one’s tough too! In a region like the Lower Mainland, where rent is high and wages are low, students and workers alike can find themselves living paycheck to paycheck (or loan to loan, if you’re like me). It’s cheap talk to simply say, “I’m going to get out of debt!” Say this instead:
Put $50 to $100 onto my credit card balance from every paycheck. You may not pay it all off, but it’s manageable, makes a dent, and more importantly, you don’t set yourself up for failure.
Resolution you won’t keep: Get fit! Anyone who’s fit will tell you that physical fitness is about lifestyle. You may use your resolution energy to spur you into a one-or-two-month gym frenzy, but if working out has never been your bag, it’s probably not going to stick just because you decided on January 1 that it might. Here’s an idea that might work:
Take the long way home. This resolution will be different for everyone depending on their commute, but there are many ways to alter your routine to include more physical movement. Say you usually take the bus for 10 minutes to get to the SkyTrain station to get to school. Resolve to walk for 30 minutes instead. It’ll get your blood moving for up to an extra hour a day, and only tack 40 minutes onto your commute. And it’s sustainable.
Are you sensing a trend here? Resolutions that are targeted, quantifiable, and fit in with your lifestyle are more likely to be kept. They’re also more interesting to talk about. Who doesn’t want to hear about someone’s master plan for self-improvement? Hopefully, armed with my advice, you’ll be able to create the perfect road map to whatever it is you want to achieve in your personal life in 2013. All the best to you!