New Year’s Resolutions have a way of disappearing by February. How many times have we decided to get healthier, get a better job, or finally tell someone how we really feel? And how many times does that actually happen?
The problem is that we try to do it all cold turkey. That last week of December should not be spent thinking, “this is my last chance, I’m gonna start on the 1st!” The truth is that if we really want our resolutions to become reality, you’ve gotta start thinking about them now. You’ve got to start planning and clarifying exactly what you want to accomplish so then you’re not frantically looking up dieting tips on New Year’s Day.
This is consistently at the top of most popular New Year’s Resolutions. But how many of us actually finish the year fitter than we started? Instead of waiting until January, start thinking now about what you really want to accomplish. Don’t just say you want to “be healthy.” Say you want to lose 5 percent of your body fat or gain 5 percent muscle mass. Be specific, because then you can make actual progress towards your goals.
Start doing research. You want to finish a marathon? Look up races in your area to give yourself a timeline. Maybe you just want to sit less. Put a pedometer on your Christmas list so you’ll be ready. Already have your goal and plan in place so you have absolutely no excuse come January 1st.
Live life to the fullest
This is another one that everyone always says they want to do. Carpe diem, live in the moment, make every second count … These are all really inspiring, but what do they even mean? How can you measure this sort of thing?
To really meet this resolution, you have to ask yourself: what moments are you wasting? Where are you falling short? Does your life match up to your values?
Nothing changes unless you make it. Are you passionate about your job? If you’re dreading getting out of bed every morning, it can be easy to feel like you’re life is spiraling down the drain. But it’s never too late to switch careers — online education especially is broadening to fit a variety of career paths. You can still be whatever you want to be.
Maybe you’re lacking passion in other places in your life besides your career. Don’t be afraid to meet new people! Not only will this help you connect to others, but it can help stoke dormant interests and hobbies that will give life more meaning. Sites like MeetUp make it easy to just that, no matter where you are or who you know.
It’s never too late. You have no excuse come January 1st.
Especially for millennials, this is a big one. We’ve got wanderlust bad, but we’re also struggling to pay for student loan payments, rent, and the occasional cup of Starbucks coffee. So how are you ever supposed to see the world?
You won’t unless you take action now. If you ever want to spend any meaningful time in another country, your younger years are the best time to do it. The older you get, the more likely that your presence will be required to maintain certain things like a kid, a partner, or a mortgage.
So start planning now. Make a list of where you do want to go and how long you think you should spend in each spot. The travel-savvy of you already know that this itself is a daunting task, but that’s why you’re doing it now! Then use budget travel sites or apps and compare costs to your budget.
You might have to make some compromises. If your entire travel budget is $200, you’re probably not visiting Rome this winter. But you can certainly travel somewhere closer, or you could make a concentrated effort towards saving. Set aside a certain percentage of your paycheck towards your travel fund every month and go from there.
These are just some of the most common resolutions. You might have a different one in mind, but it doesn’t matter. Whatever it is, you need to set an actionable, realistic goal, and start planning it now. If you keep putting off everything you want to accomplish, yet another year will have gone by with nothing to show for it. Start planning now so you’ll have no excuses come January 1st.