Don’t wait to make your 2017 New Year’s resolutions. Make these resolutions now for a happier and healthier life!
We all want to lifestyle binge through the holidays and put off being our better selves until next year. It makes those guilty pleasures a little less shameful to know that New Year’s resolutions are just around the corner.
And how long do those resolutions usually last?
Don’t wait! Being a better you doesn’t need a date on the calendar.
There’s actually a very good reason to start your New Year’s resolutions now. Studies show that it takes about 66 days to form a new habit. If you started now, that would put you at the end of January with some great new habits at about the time everyone else is dropping their own resolutions.
Here are a few ideas from my own list of 2017 New Year’s resolutions.
2017 New Year’s Resolutions for your Health
Among the top five most popular New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight, exercise more and spend more time with the family. Nearly three of ever four Americans are either overweight or obese and incidences of weight-related diseases like diabetes are soaring.
Working long hours so you can spend more time with your family in the future? If you’re neglecting your health, you might not have much time left to spend with them.
My New Year’s Resolutions: Family fitness fun time! You don’t have to sign the family up for roller-derby but get off the couch for a couple of hours each week. Need a few ideas? How about Frisbee, freeze tag, soccer, ice skating, hiking, swimming, laser tag, yoga, charades, go to the park or just go for a walk around the neighborhood?
We usually think that the brain controls our muscles but it turns out that it might be the other way around. A study posted in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that smiling activates the release of dopamine and endorphins in the brain. For the non-neuroscientists, people take cocaine to experience the same thing.
My New Year’s Resolutions: Get addicted to smiling. Research shows that people get the same boost of chemicals even when they force a smile. Not only will you feel better but you’ll make more friends as well. Smiling people are perceived as more friendly and open by others.
- Place little post-it note reminders around your workspace or around the house to smile. You don’t need to be smiling 24 hours a day but make a mental note to let out a grin when you think of it.
- Get your family involved and make a game out of who can smile the most.
2017 New Year’s Resolutions for your Happiness
As an expat living in Colombia, the social media revolution has helped me keep in touch with friends and family thousands of miles away…but it’s also a monster, right? Be honest, how often do you check your smartphone for messages and updates when you’re out with friends and family?
Is it ironic or just terrifying that the same technology that helps connect us is also keeping us from really spending time with each other?
My New Year’s Resolutions: Resolve to stay off social media and email when you’re out with friends and family. Go old school social!
Do you dream of early retirement or what you want to tell your boss to do with his weekly team meetings? The average person spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime. That’s more than just about any other activity including sex (only 48 days, sad). Worse still, seven out of ten people say they feel disengaged from their job while a quarter say they HATE their job!
Life is too short to spend so much of it in misery.
My New Year’s Resolutions: Get ready to quit the rat-race. You’ve got bills to pay and can’t just walk out before finishing this sentence, but it doesn’t take 40 years to start getting paid for something you enjoy doing.
- Start looking at things you enjoy doing and how to make money freelancing your skills. You can freelance just about anything. Check out an earlier post on freelancing and nine websites to help you do it.
- You might have to ease into your hobby-job over a few years. You won’t get the best contracts or rates until you build up some experience and references. Consider taking a short course on Udemy to bring your skills up to speed.
- Switching to full-time freelancing is a combination of making more money and spending less. You might not have the lavish lifestyle you had when working a 9-to-5 but you’ll be much happier on less.
As bad as the time we spend at a job we hate is the fact that the average American spends 9.1 years in front of the TV, almost three hours a day and half of our leisure time. This is a big one for me and more than half of the TV I watch is probably stuff I’ve already seen. How many times have you wished that there were more hours in the day or that you could spend more time with your kids…without considering how much time you’re wasting in front of the idiot box?
My New Year’s Resolutions: Watch less TV. I’m not suggesting you cut out the essentials like The Simpsons, but start cutting back.
- Don’t watch stuff you’ve already seen.
- Don’t watch a show because “there’s nothing else on.”
- Try making a schedule of shows you really want to watch and not watching anything else.
Don’t try to keep these New Year’s resolutions forever, just aim for those two crucial months to develop better habits. Talk to your friends and family about the experience and get them onboard the same resolutions. Having that support network and even a little friendly competition is key to keeping your resolutions. At the end of two months, look back at what you accomplished and be proud of the changes made. You may just find that you really didn’t miss some of the habits you gave up.