The New Year is a great time to review your past year and to make bold decisions on how to improve yourself for the upcoming year. (Both you and your kids will appreciate it!)
Unfortunately, many resolutions do not stand the test of time or never even find their way out of the planning stage. This year, it is time to make those changes that you want and to find ways to make them stick.
If you are looking for a way to help those who are less fortunate, giving of your time, your money, or yourself can go a long way. Ten percent of your income each payday is a good place to start. Some like to give this much as tithes to their place of worship. Others like to donate to a favorite charity. Maybe you know of a person or a family who is struggling right now who could use a little help. You can give to a different place each time, or you may wish to make a more long-term commitment. Write this into your budget and take care of this first thing when you get paid. Helping others, whether people, animals, or causes, is a great way to give of yourself to better the lives of others. It makes you feel good, too.
Learn a New Skill
There are probably a few things that you have always wanted to do, but just have not gotten around to yet. Make this your year to learn. Take those flying lessons. Learn how to speak another language. Get your degree. Find a class at your local community centre that you can do with your children. Get books and videos from your local library. Learn a new skill can enhance your self-esteem while opening up new opportunities for work or personal growth. Your new skill may even lead to a way to earn some extra income, such as painting, woodworking, crocheting, sewing, or jewelry-making.
As sort of a generic goal, exercising more does not always work. Why not put your money where your mouth is and give yourself a reason to stay fit or be more athletic? Get that gym membership. If you have some health issues or want to get the family involved, sign up for swimming lessons or get a membership at your local public pool. Better yet, incentivize yourself further by buying a swimming pool for your own yard from a company like Blue World Pools. Swimming is a great way to get in shape without putting strain on your joints. You and your family can also stay cool during warmer months in the comfort of your own home. Make some family memories this year while getting more exercise.
Donate Your Time
Perhaps you do not have a lot of extra money to spend on other goals. Giving can occur in many ways. Giving of your time can help others. You can volunteer at a local food bank. Make time every week to have a family game night. Take a little time each day to catch up with loved ones. Visit the elderly in a nursing home a couple of times a month. Not only does your time benefit those who you are giving it to, but it can help you to realize how much you have and can be thankful for.
Weight Loss/Increased Health
No list of New Year's resolutions would be complete without the traditional get healthier/lose weight type of plan. Many of these do not work. For one thing, many plans are too vague. With no real plan, it is easy to get distracted or never make any progress. Additionally, results typically happen too slowly to keep your interest. It is important to stay in for the long-haul and to make realistic, small goals that you can stick to whether you see an immediate difference or not. Perhaps this will be the year that you give up soda and drink more water instead. This will take away empty calories that can cling to your body as excess weight while keeping you more hydrated and healthier. Take away one not-so-healthy food or beverage and replace it with something that will improve your well-being. Making one change for the better is easier to stick with and focus on than a more generic resolution with no real plan.
These are just a few ideas that should get your juices flowing for your New Year's resolutions. Do not overburden yourself. Start with just one or two if necessary. Remember, your resolution should help you to be a better person, whether that benefit is for you or for others.