With the first week of 2017 now over, chances are you’re doubting your New Year’s resolutions already. However, it may not be you that’s the problem, but the resolution itself. Here are some ideal New Year’s resolutions and what you might want to consider replacing them with.
#1: “I’m going to stop being the ‘late friend’ this year!”
Replace With: “I’m going to set reasonable meeting times with my friends this year.”
Being late can be caused by anything from public transportation to lengthy makeup routines. However, since most of the routinely late (including myself) see these dilemmas coming, there is clearly a way to avoid them. Set meeting times that make meeting with your friends less of a hassle. If you know you don’t wake up early, negotiate to meet at a later time. If you know the public transportation you take is unpredictable, negotiate a meeting time when public transportation is more frequent so you don’t risk waiting fifteen minutes for the next bus or train. Being on time isn’t impossible – just ask your friends.
#2: “I’m going to be less flaky this year!”
Replace With: “I’m going to overbook myself less this year.”
Flakiness is often the result of laziness and Netflix. Still, the lazy feeling we get when about to hang out with friends can be caused by too many outings and too little alone time. Instead of going out every other day, spread your outings out over the week and set aside some days (or even a full week) for alone time. You can stay home and binge-watch your favorite shows or go out by yourself. Taking some time for yourself lets you recharge and will make you more inclined to hang with friends when the opportunity comes.
#3: “I’m going to find a boyfriend/girlfriend!”
Replace With: “I’m going to try to develop a meaningful relationship with someone”/”I’m going to work on some of the relationships I’m already in”
Attempting to find a boyfriend/girlfriend within 365 days makes a partner seem more like a fashion item that’s always out of stock than a special person. It also makes you set yourself up to settle for someone, which is disrespectful to the person you’re settling with and can be even more harmful to you. Instead of going on a scavenger hunt, enter the dating scene open to both triumph and failure. You’re less likely to get hurt in the process. Also, consider improving other relationships in your life. Formed an unexpected friendship last year? If you like where it’s going, continue to build that relationship – and don’t be afraid to mend other relationships that ended on a sour note.
#4: “I’m going to spend less money this year!”
Replace With: “I’m going to set a weekly budget.”
Saying that you’re going to spend less money is hard to take seriously if you’re a spender. By setting a specific amount of money for spending and saving each week, you’re taking your resolution more seriously. Set a weekly budget of the amount of earnings you will spend and the amount you’ll put in your savings account. If you follow a pattern of spending no more than a certain amount and saving a certain amount, you’ll be more orderly in your spending habits. You’ll also be less likely to freak out when unexpected expenses arise, since your spending habits follow a pattern and you’ll know exactly how such expenses will impact your bank account.
#5: “I’m not going to shop as much this year!”
Replace With: “I’m going to shop based on usefulness.”
When you’re a shopaholic, telling yourself to simply not shop isn’t as easy as it sounds. Instead of changing how often you shop, change how you shop. Buy clothes that are actually necessary for your wardrobe, such as jeans, turtlenecks, or sweaters. If you’re on the lookout for clothes that you know are necessary, stylish and can be worn multiple ways, you’ll be less likely to buy everything you see – and will probably go shopping less as a result. Sometimes you don’t need new clothes, but need basic items that can help you wear what you already have (see our article on capsule wardrobes to get the full idea!). You’ll find that your style has been elevated and you didn’t even have to shop much to do it!
#6: “I’m going to exercise more this year!”
Replace With: “I’m going to start doing (insert sport here) more this year.”
Considering there are so many different gyms, exercise machines, and fitness classes out there, you’ll probably fail at this resolution simply because you don’t know where to start. Choose a specific sport to pick up instead. Sports are a great form of exercise because they tend to be more enjoyable than routine exercises. Jog to your favorite music or pick up dancing. If you’re in school, consider joining a sports team, or a sports club if you don’t want too much commitment. Also, picking up a sport is usually cheaper than getting a gym membership.
#7: “I’m going to eat healthier this year!”
Replace With: “I’m going to eat (insert meal here) less.”
It’s easy to tell when a meal isn’t good for us. However, some meals can even make us feel physically uncomfortable after we eat them. Effects can range from digestive issues to exhaustion. These are the meals to cut out first. Telling yourself to eat healthier isn’t nearly as effective as choosing a specific meal to cut out. If a meal you’re eating has poor side effects, you probably won’t find it as difficult to stop eating it so much.
The new year is always a good time to add new habits to your lifestyle – and get rid of the bad ones. Sometimes our goals just need a little tweaking for us to make this year our year!