Top Ten Resolutions for 2009

Why do people make resolutions for the new year? Many use it as a catalyst for accomplishing their goals. Many take the opportunity to try something new and improve their lives. I’ve put together a list of some of the most common resolutions people make. If you haven’t made your resolution list yet, you may find some ideas here:

  1. Quit Smoking. Several people I know were able to do this last year, and it is a good resolution to try and keep. There are some great resources online that can help you, and many state health departments sponsor programs as well. Here’s one – You will feel better, breathe better, and your health will begin to improve sooner than you think. Your friends, family, car, clothes and computer will thank you for quitting. Those who love and care about you should support you. Good luck!
  2. Lose Weight. This isn’t just about the holiday pounds. Our society is getting heavier and heavier – are you? This is one of the most common resolutions people make, and it’s a good one. I’ve been working on mine for three months, and I’ve lost twenty pounds!! With determination, you can do a lot. There are many things you can do to get started. You can join a gym, order DVD workouts, join online support groups… the possibilities are endless. A great place to start would be something like Weight Watchers. They have calculators to help you keep track of what you eat, they have message boards for support, and it is a well-known name. There’s also places like Beachbody – programs that offer many options for exercise, diet and support all in one place. Keep at it, don’t give up. After all, if you don’t have your health, what do you have?
  3. Eat Healthier. Be specific in your weight loss, and be honest. You know, McDonald’s isn’t going to help you lose weight, and neither are those Christmas candies. You’d be surprised at how much money you save AND how much better you feel taking a homemade lunch to work instead of eating fast food. Make some conscious choices, and use the official Food Pyramid as your guide. Plan your menus and your meals ahead, don’t shop hungry and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how you can accomplish this goal.
  4. Exercise More. This one goes along with eating healthy and losing weight. You will receive better and longer lasting weight loss results, and improve your heart and lung function. Please remember to talk to your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program.
  5. Take Time for Family. Are you a workaholic? Do you remember the names of your children? What about birthdays and anniversaries – have you forgotten any lately? Life is short, and we need to make the most of it. You can’t take your job, your money or your computer with you when you die – but you can take your experiences and the love you share with your family. Make sure you let them know how important they are to you, and try to do it on a daily basis. If you don’t have children or you aren’t married, consider talking to your parents or extended family more often.
  6. Return to School. Did you leave college before you earned a degree? Did life happen before you had a chance to get a higher education? It’s not too late, you can take online classes, night courses, or some type of correspondence course for many areas of study. You can keep your day job! All it takes is some hard work and dedication. You may qualify for financial aid, grants, scholarships… you never know unless you try. If you don’t have your GED, what are you waiting for?!? Step up and improve your life, and finish your high school education. If you are still young and not of age, please stay in school. Work hard, earn good grades, and they will take you far in life.
  7. Stick to a Budget. With the state of the economy, I’m sure you are feeling the pinch. If you haven’t been laid off yet, you may want to think about keeping to a budget. Figure out your expenses, your income, your investments, and put them all in one place. There are applications like Quicken and MS Money, but there are also free programs that can help you too. You could also go “old school” and use a ledger book. The most important thing is to balance your checkbook and keep an eye on everything that goes in and out. How you keep track of that is up to you.
  8. Change Jobs. Working at Wendy’s and want to get more out of life? Well, now is your chance! If you put together some of the resolutions above, you can accomplish this. You’ll be able to budget your money, go to school and work at the same time, and get your exercise to work off those half price meals. Check your local Workforce Services or job board for things you may be qualified for. Don’t sit back and complain – be proactive and do something about it!
  9. Have Patience. Everyone could use more patience. Whether it be with your co-workers, your boss, your family, or your friends, try counting to ten once in a while instead of raising your voice or flying off the handle. Make sure your interactions with others are positive – make conscious choices to lift people up and not tear them down. Try listening to Tony Robbins or something, and improve your self-esteem. You’ll be surprised what an effect it can have on your relationships with others, your patience with them and the success you will have.
  10. Help Others. As you know, Ponzi and I always try to help those less fortunate. There are things you can do too, even if you don’t have a lot of money. Your local food bank will always accept donations, no matter what time of year it is. Hungry people exist every day, not just around the holidays. Non-perishable foods are the best, because they have a longer shelf life and can be easily stored. Donate useful items that you don’t use anymore – glasses, coats, shoes, blankets, and wearable clothing.

What resolutions have you set? How successful were you last year? Feel free to share your ideas, experiences and encouragement for the new year.

Oh, and by the way – HAPPY NEW YEAR!