For those of us who still make them, this is the time to make New Year’s Resolutions. And we make them with the best intentions of making them last. BUT, change is hard. And making so many changes at one time is harder. So, instead, make one change a month. That gives you 30 days to get used to each change before you add another one.
Here are a few ideas to get you started. Remember – just pick one thing to work on for January.
New you – Health. Drink 64 oz. of water each day. If you’re not already doing so, this can appear to be a dramatic and difficult change. While I’d rather get a the largest cup I can find, and drink from it, it might be easier for you if you have a container that holds 64 oz., in which you store your water, and also have an 8oz. cup to drink the water out of. The smaller cup makes the total goal of 64 oz. seem more doable. And having the large container with your daily goal allows you to see the container get smaller and smaller as you fill up the cup. Don’t forget that you’ll be in the bathroom more often, so slow down on your drinking at least an hour before your long commute and before bedtime.
New you – Finances. I know I could use a financial tune-up, but I would be overwhelmed if I tried to implement all of my goals at once. Instead, do one thing, and focus on that one thing, for a month. If you spend a lot of money each week eating out, eat one less meal a week out. Or cut out a few of those fancy coffee drinks each week.
New you – Emergency Preparedness. You can start by planning an emergency car kit or an emergency home kit. Whichever place you focus on, put aside $5, $10, or $15 each week (I put cash in an “emergency preparedness” envelope), and shop the sales to stock up. At home, I started with things like flashlights, candles, canned foods (and a manual can opener), and water. For the car, I started with a 5 gallon bucket, a portable/foldable shovel, flashlights, a simple first aid kit, bottled water, a car charger for my cell phone, small stash is hidden cash, and will work on getting a battery jumper that doesn’t rely on a 2nd vehicle to work. You want to be prepared for the small emergencies that can pop up, but you don’t want to break the bank getting ready. A little bit prepared is better than not prepared at all.
New you – Spirituality. For me, going to church regularly is important for me in 2012. I fell off the wagon about 8 months ago and have been trying to get back in. Instead of going to several services each week, my goal is to make it to 1 weekly service, whether it’s on Sunday or Wednesday. For you, your goal might be to simply get back in touch with God. Although He hasn’t left you, you may have left Him. Start by saying grace at your meals. Thank God for the food in front of you and for the people who prepared it for you. It only takes a moment, and if the only prayer you ever pray is to say “thanks”, that’s probably the best one out there.
New you – Get Organized. The concept of being more organized can mean different things to different people. For some, if you’re always late, simply getting up or leaving the house 15 minutes earlier can make all the difference. For other, it may mean that you’re always late paying your bills, and you need to make a list of all monthly bills, the approximate amount due, and the due date, and coordinate this with your paycheck schedule. Then a few days before paycheck, start writing checks (and stamping them for the mail)or making scheduled bill payments in advance of the due date. Some people, like me, aren’t organized in our house cleaning. I’ve decided that I’m going to assign different zones to different days of the week. I’ll wash, dry, and fold a load of clothes each evening, and I (or the girls) will clean the sinks and toilets on Sunday afternoons. We’ll also sweep and mop the bare floors at the same times. For you, organization may mean something different. Sit down, and write out a doable plan of action.
What are some things you’re working on in the new year? Let me know in the comments below, and I may include your responses in next month’s post.