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A New Year Resolution

Happy New Year! We finally escaped the clutches of the year that shall not be named. Every last one of you is a fighter. Every last one of you is strong. Every last one of you did what last year tried to make impossible. You made it to another year. Welcome to 2021! Go ahead and make yourself at home, but there are some ground rules that I would like to mention first. One, no one and I mean NO ONE better utter the words "This is going to be my year." Shut up. Don't say it. You'll jinx us all and no one wants a part two of last year. Two, don't touch anything in 2021. We don't know how this year is setup and we don't want to break it right in the beginning. Three, don't bring up events from last year. None of this "Remember last year how....". Nope. I don't remember. I don't even know what you're talking about. Finally, the golden rule. Try to smile. You did something amazing. You survived a time that was literally trying to kill you. Unfortunately, for some of us friends, family, and loved ones in general were not able to physically be here for this moment. They fought a hard battle. They will not be forgotten and we will miss them dearly. We will continue their legacies. They made it to 2021 in the form of cherished memories. They will always be with us. I ask that you try to be happy for those who were closest to us that passed away would not want us to dwell on the past. They would want us to stand tall and smile. You should be proud of yourself.

At the beginning of every year countless amounts of people make a resolution. A resolution is, according to a quick google search, a firm decision to do or not to do something. So, what are you or aren't you going to do this year? Some common answers are go to the gym, get a promotion, eat healthy, or save money. These aren't bad resolutions, but they are hard to complete or continue once you start. Resolutions like these usually involve trying to break a habit or are too broad to actually approach with a plan. Personally, I believe getting away from a habit is one of the hardest things to do. Breaking a habit can mean completely changing the way in which you live. For some, that is impossible. That's why I think making resolutions like these is a bad idea. They are so difficult to achieve, especially in a year. In many cases, by the time the year is coming to a close, that person either didn't complete the resolution or didn't complete it to the extent they imagined they would. So, when the end of the year comes to a close that person feels like they have failed and feel dejected. If you read my last post, you know I'm a strong believer of ending the year on a good note and feeling like a failure is not a good way to do that. A lot people who feel like they failed at completing a certain resolution by the end of the year usually make their next year resolution the same as the year before. Almost like they are restarting from the beginning or giving themself a round two. You can probably imagine this can become a viscous cycle of not completing a resolution and restarting it the next year. I know people who have been trying to finish the same resolution for five plus years now. Don't do that! Instead make you resolution something you can actually see yourself finishing. Make your resolution starting a new habit not breaking an old one. Here are some good ideas and improved ideas for new year resolutions:

Do *exercise* everyday

One of the most common resolutions, as I mentioned earlier, is go to the gym. That specific resolution is hard to do because involves adding something that is very time consuming into your daily/weekly routine. According to MyProtein, the average American spends about 7.6 hours a week working out in the gym. Ask yourself: Do I have an extra seven hours in my week to dedicate to working out? Besides how much time actually spent in the gym, you must take into account prep and travel time.

Another statistic by MyProtein points out that 13% of adults waste at least $21.75 on gym memberships that they don't use. Ask yourself: Is going to the gym actually something I can do on a consistent basis? Do I want to spend money on a expensive gym membership? For those who are just starting to go to the gym, you are most likely inexperienced when it comes down to exercise equipment as well. Chances are high that you will not utilize the majority of the equipment the gym has to offer simply because you don't know what it is or how to use it. Would you normally pay for something that you're going to use less than half of? Answer is probably not. I suggest instead of making your resolution go to the gym make it something you can actually see yourself doing like 20 push-ups every night. It doesn't even have to be push-ups. It can be things like sit-ups or jumping jacks. If you can't consistently do any of those exercises every night then going to the gym probably wouldn't have worked for you. Start small and then work your way up.

Add *healthy meal* to diet and remove *unhealthy meal* from diet

Eat healthy is such a common resolution, but "eat healthy" is such a broad statement. When someone tells you to eat healthy, you probably think about eating more vegetables or eating less junk food, but do you actually know it means? Do truly know exactly what foods to add or cut out of your diet? Unless you're a health expert or do copious amounts of research, you probably don't know exactly how to eat healthy and therefore, don't know how to actually implement this resolution into your daily life. On top of that, completely changing your diet is extremely challenging. My advice is make your resolution to add a healthy meal into in replace of an unhealthy meal. Maybe even replacing an unhealthy meal with a healthy meal every month. For example, replace pizza with grilled chicken with brown rice in January. In February, replace pasta with salad, but don't start eating pizza again. Make the changes to your diet continuous. Don't revert back to eating whatever you had cut out in the previous month just because you cut out something new in the next month. Doesn't improving your diet in this way sound much more doable? I promise you slowly changing your diet is much easier than trying to remove all the unhealthy foods you love to eat at once. To make the transition even easier on yourself, cut out your favorite unhealthy meal last (in December).

Develop a technique for saving money

Saving money as a resolution isn't bad, but it's one of those broad statements that you might not actually know how do unless you're a financial analyst or again, do copious amounts of research. Instead of telling yourself to save money implement a technique thats consequence is that you save some money. What I mean by this is do an action thats reaction is you get to keep some extra funds. For example, say you go out to eat or order food a lot. You know that going out to eat or ordering food is more expensive then staying in and preparing your own meal. To save money, commit yourself to only going out or ordering food once a week instead of say, three times a week. By doing this, at the end of every month you will have some extra money in the bank. A mistake people make when trying to save money is trying to cut out a costly activity all together. They try to go cold turkey. Nine out of ten times this does not work. Like I said, it's hard to break a habit, but if you are going to try to do so then you should change the habit slowly. Don't force a lifestyle change on yourself. You should alter your lifestyle until the ultimate change can be made comfortably and almost on accident. When you slowly alter the way you live when the change you're trying to make happens you might not even notice it.

Me, Myself, and I

This one isn't a resolution, but it is some advice for your resolution. Don't make your resolution something you have to depend on someone else to be able to complete it. When you have to rely on other people, you are putting yourself in passenger seat. When it comes to a resolution, you want to be the driver, so if the car crashes it is you are responsible. What I mean is if you make it so the only way for you to complete your resolution is by way of the actions of another person, you might be setting yourself up for failure. Of course, there is no way to guarantee that you complete a resolution, but it is so much easier if you are the person who allows the resolution to be complete. For example, the resolution to get a promotion. You cannot force a promotion to happen and you can only do so much to put yourself in the best position to receive the promotion, but the ultimate decision is made by your supervisor. What happens if they award the promotion to someone else? It is now impossible for you to complete resolution because you allowed someone else to be in the driver seat. You need to be the reason that your resolution can be completed.

Set a Milestone

Make your resolution a milestone instead of an end goal. Many things in this world take more than one year to achieve and trying to complete a goal like this one year can be compared to climbing Mount Everest with your teeth wearing nothing but some flip flops. Don't climb Mount Everest with your teeth wearing nothing but flip flops. I promise that you won't hit the summit. Instead set a realistic milestone that you want to reach by the end of the year and then the next year another milestone. Continue setting milestones year after year until you can eventually reach the end goal. For example, you're writing a book. Year one, the goal is to finish 25 chapters. Year two, another 25 chapters. Year three, another 25 chapters. Now, your book is complete. Remember how the tortoise beat the hare in the race? Slow and steady, my friend. Slow and steady.

I realize there are only three actual resolutions in this list, but hopefully the advice will help you make a better resolution this year. A resolution that you can actually complete and you can be proud of. Personally, I don't make resolutions because I can never think of anything. Once again, happy new year!

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