Personal GrowthSelf Improvement

3 Essential New Year’s Resolutions (And How To Actually Keep Them)

The winter holidays are over, and it is time to get over that nasty hangover and start working on your New Year’s resolutions. If you are like 99% of people, odds are you have decided to lose weight, get into shape, start saving money, get organized or find a better job.

Unfortunately, changes and success do not happen over night – daunting statistics show that only 8% of the world’s population fulfills their New Year’s resolutions before it is time to make new ones. Blame it on a short commitment span, an irresponsible attitude or unrealistic expectations of fast and sweat-free results, but there it is: we just cannot seem to live up to the standards we set for ourselves every New Year’s Eve.

If you want to make a real U-turn in 2016, drop the lengthy list of New Year’s decisions and pick a couple of attainable goals that will prove worthwhile in the long run. Having a hard time narrowing down your focus? Check out these three sustainable changes to improve the quality of your life without turning it into a living hell of Musts and Don’ts.

1. Stop eating junk: Baby steps towards a healthy lifestyle

Yes, comfort food is an excellent substitute for true love, but the toll it takes is far heavier than its short-lived benefits. Junk food is a deadly enemy of both your health and your figure, and if you are not careful, feasting on tons of empty calories can easily turn into a habit or a downright addiction. In 2016, start the path to a healthier lifestyle by ousting takeout and sugar-laden foods from your plate. This can be the first step on your quest to switching to a balanced diet, as it will induce you to structure your meals around healthy alternatives such as legumes, fruit and veggies. Granted discipline, you will see the first positive results within weeks, such as improved focus, weight loss and increased energy levels.

2. Sign up for a yoga class: Start working on your body

If you want to get back into shape, tone up your muscles and curb stress all in one go, try yoga. An ancient Indian technique that combines elements of breathing, posture and movement, yoga has a wide range of health benefits, such as improved flexibility, better coordination and mind-body awareness, increased muscle strength and reduced blood pressure, anxiety and risk of heart disease. Sign up for a yoga class and you will also get the advantage of a group workout which will help you meet new people and stay motivated in the long run. There are many yoga styles suited to different age groups and fitness levels, so you can pick the one that works best for your individual fitness needs.

3. Seize every moment: Stop wasting time

We all waste time now and again, but if you are a hardened procrastinator who waits for the moment to feel right to take action, you have probably lost tons of precious time by now. Assume a proactive approach to life this year: instead of dragging yourself out of bed at noon, try getting up earlier and going for a quick run in the park. Do not wait for the bus – walk to the next stop and get your muscles working; stop postponing chores – finish them before you leave for work; call your date instead of waiting for them to text you; start your weight loss diet today instead of next Monday; sign up for the gym now – you will probably find an excuse not to do it tomorrow.

There is a saying that we should not make promises we cannot keep – and it is pretty much true of the decisions we make every New Year’s Eve. If you want your life to move from a standstill this year, you alone will have to do the walking. Get up and get a move on NOW. The gods favor the brave!

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