Living A Simplified Life!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year's Everyone

As we approach the bewitching hour of midnight many of us will have nothing more on our minds except drinking, partying with friends and making lots of noise.

Then there are those of us who will take this time to reflect on this past year and make our resolutions to make this coming year better.

Some of us will use these resolutions for personal reflection and growth while others will encompass broarder desires for how they can improve their community, their workplace, and the world itself.  Hopefully the majority of us will do a combination of all of the above.

Personally I know that I need to work on some areas of personal growth in my own life.  I need organization, a nice word for stop procrastinating!

Of course I can always try to justify that with the saying that "no decison is a decision to do nothing at all."  I need to work on time allocation so that I don't get distracted so easily. It is easy to decide to go sweep off the porches or go outside and do something when the weather is nice, rather than that chore inside that needs to be done that I keep putting off.

I am a great one for making "To Do" lists. There is something very fulfilling about as they are accomplished seeing a line drawn through the chore. I do have to remember though that I need to stop doing all the easy ones first and leaving the hard ones till last!  Sometimes those hard ones just seem to roll over to the next day and then the next and the next!  See my posting about the Parable of the Pebbles and the Sand! I am so glad that I received that and was able to share it with all of you, as well as realizing that I need to apply it in my own life.

Here is a list of some of the things that most people resolve to do in any given new year:

1. Lose weight and live a more healthy life style (which often includes the resolution to stop smoking) - this always seems to be the first thing everyone mentions when you speak of a New Year's Resolution.  When it comes to this, set yourself some realistic goals. Take the weight off slowly and sensibly because if you don't, it is going come right back again. If you plan to just lose between 3-5 lbs a month that is being realistic. Be prepared to hit a point where you will plateau and you will need to make some adjustments in both your eating habits again as well as your exercising in order to start losing the weight again. Don't get discouraged, just be aware that it is most likely to happen and be prepared for it. The more healthly life style of eating a more balanced diet with lots of vegetables and fruits will also help with the weight loss. Cut back on the red meats in your diet and start eating more poultry and fish. Set a goal to eat at least one meal a week where you don't have any meat/poultry at all but substitute with either beans or tofu for your protein that evening. Once you are accustomed to eating one meal a week without meat or poultry, increase that to two nights per week.

To stop smoking, especially if you have smoked for many years, will be extremely difficult to do and perhaps you won't be able to entirely quit but at least you may be able to cut back on the number of cigarettes that you smoke. Much of your smoking habit is just that, habit.  You get up in the morning and have a cigarette with that first cup of coffee. After you have breakfast you have another cigarette. You get into the car for your drive to work, you light up. On your first break at work you light up another and then another after you have lunch. In fact, if you have enough time on your lunch hour you might be able to sneak in a second smoke. Then the afternoon break, with either coffee or a coke. Finally, that drive home, you ease into the driver's seat, cinch down that seat belt and light up. Get the picture?  Is that a pretty typical senerio of your day?  Oh if you don't work, you just light up everytime someone calls you on the telephone, when you pour another cup of coffee, sit down at the computer to check your emails.  Am I right?  Chances are you also light up, then set that smoke down in an ashtray and start in typing away or doing a chore and let it sit there and burn half way up before you get back to it. Smoking is probably one of the hardest bad habits to try and break, so I am not going to lecture.
2. To Set up a budget, save money and stick to it this time around.  The quickest and easiest way to do this is start a journal where you record every cent you spend during the month, from that impulse pack of gum or coke at 7/11, every purchase at the grocery store, to all of your regular monthly bills. Then at the end of the month decide what things you are able to eliminate as well as ways to reduce some of your monthly expenses. 

3. To get organized. Another word for stop procastinating!. You need to really clarify this so you know what directions you need to go in. I will tell you this though, if you start by organizing your personal space, getting your house and your office in an orderly fashion, you will see your personal life also become orderly with very little effort.

4. To become more spiritual, to attend a church of one's choice more this coming year.  Start attending a church of your choice on a regular basis. If you don't have a specific denomination that you are interested in, go through your phone book, look at some of the different churches listed by faiths and plan to attend at least once to see if you might be interested in making it your home church. You can also go to and take their faith quiz.  This should help you with some decisions of what church might fit your faith needs the best.

Then there are those resolutions we make that are either for our community or for the world at large.

1. We pray for Peace, but what are we doing as an individual to help bring about that peace? 

2. To give money to charities or to provide assistance in some way to those who are less fortunate than we are

3. Become politically active in the decisions that are made by our government at either the city, county, state or national levels.

4. Help our community to become a better place to live.

5. Learn to be more frugal with our use of natural resources, to "go green" and save the planet.

6. To live in harmony with other nations

Research has been done on those who make resolutions and then are able to obtain them. It has been found that by writing them down and posting them where you can continually see them you are more likely to obtain them than if you file the list away somewhere. Those who  don't write them down at all are the least likely to even obtain one of the goals that they said they wanted to obtain. This not only goes for New Year's Resolutions but for each and every goal that you want to obtain in your life.

So to ensure that you reach your goals, write them down. Better yet, make yourself a Goals Board with pictures and affirmations of the goals you wish to obtain. Place it where you will see it often. Also take time to discuss your goals with a loved one or a friend. This will help you to be accountable to work towards obtaining those goals.

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