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New Years Resolutions Everyone Could Consider Making for 2014

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Joan Lunden

Emotional Health / / January 05, 2014

A friend of mine sent me a list of suggested New Years resolutions that everyone could consider making this year (the original list can be found here: 40 Resolutions to Consider Making in 2014) I loved the idea of putting together a big list of resolution ideas that everyone could pick and choose from so here is mine, inspired by the list from this blog but modified to represent my new years resolution ideas!

  • Start every day with a positive affirmation. I’ve always been affected by the written word, and positive affirmations can set your tone for the day.  It’s a simple way to put your mind in the right place so you feel happy and empowered. It sounds too good to be true, but saying a positive can also help you return to a sense of balance when things feel a little out of whack. Research tells us that every thought and emotion creates a chemical reaction because it immediately changes our neurochemicals that affect our mental, physical and spiritual health.
  • Savor your food instead of “dieting,” try modifying your current eating. Many people try to start strict diets on January 1st, but if you drastically limit yourself, you are more likely to “fall off the wagon.”  Instead, try to modify how many sweets you have, add more vegetables to your meals, maybe even try eating half or three quarters of every meal.  That is a quick way to cut back on excessive calorie intake. I am always telling my kids to eat slower and enjoy each bite.
  • De-clutter your email inbox. Opening up an inbox overflowing with junk mail can be overwhelming and can limit your ability to properly tackle what you really need to focus on.  So take some time to unsubscribe from those store offers and newsletters from the restaurant you went to one time 7 years ago.  (but don’t unsubscribe from our newsletters!)
  • Slow down and Take your time. Many of us rush from one place to another or from one task to another, to cram as much as we can into each day.  Schedule yourself with buffers in between tasks or appointments so you’re not rushing around, you will find that your day is much smoother and you aren’t as frazzled.
  • Stop procrastinating!  Tackle something that’s been pending on your “to-do” list.  We all have those few tasks that stay on our to-do list forever. Go ahead and sit down, stare it in the face, and tackle it.  You will be amazed at the weight that is lifted off your shoulders when you complete that pesky task and cross it off the list! 
  • Unhook! Have an electronic free day. Have your whole family lock up the electronics for a Sunday afternoon and you will be amazed at the activities you all come up with! It is cleansing and important for real time interaction.
  • Go on more walks. This is great exercise for your body and also for your mind.   A short walk (especially in sunshine) can relieve stress and can get your blood flowing which helps clear your mind so you can better return to your tasks.
  • Get active with friends. This is the best way to ensure you’re physical activity.  If you make dates with others to play tennis, take a walk,  go to the gym, or some physical fun, you will be more likely to keep your physical activity on track. 
  • Learn something new. Gerontologists tell us that learning new things is the most important exercise for maintaining good cognitive thinking. Ask yourself what topic you would most like to know more about. What would you choose? Well, what are you waiting for? Start studying it on your own!
  • Watch your spending, stay on top of your finances and attack your debt. Be aware of your money - Sit down once a month and review your finance and have a plan to work towards a goal. Maybe it’s starting to save more or simply paying down debt. The more aggressively you are at paying it down quickly the more money you’ll save yourself in the long run. You will feel SO much better when you know you’re actively working on it. 
  • Read more for pleasure. We’re all so busy with emails, work, and “to-do’s” that we sometimes forget to pick up a book for fun.  I let myself stop reading for pleasure for a number of years and this last year I got back to reading novels. Now it’s one of the most enjoyable parts of my day.  I once heard that “a reader will never have to go to bed alone.” Admittedly reading can keep me up late at night, but there’s nothing more relaxing than getting lost in a good book.
  • Listen to music. If you don’t know what to listen to, ask your kids to make you a playlist or google the music charts for your preferred type of music and just copy what everyone else is listening to! Music can relieve stress and relax you or it can help pump you up!
  • Move vigorously every day. We're stealing this one from Dr. Oz. He once said that the people who live the longest are the ones who do some type of vigorous activity every day. We all know we should, just put it on your To Do list or stick a post it on your fridge or your bathroom mirror.
  • Spend time with family. This might sound silly since many of us are with family quite a bit.  But daily schedules can too often get in the way of spending quality time with those you love. Plan a special dinner or a fun activity where you REALLY get to connect with your family. 
  • Spend time with friends. Friends are the family we choose and making time for them is so important. Being with people who you can talk to, share with, support, and laugh with is one of the greatest, most healing things in life. 
  • Spend time Networking.  Whether you’re working in a professional industry or working raising a family, find other people who are in the same industry or simply like the same things you do. If you don’t have a job outside of the house but love reading about the newest tech gadgets, find a tech fair or a local newspaper writer and try to connect with others who share the same interests. 
  • Spend time with the elderly. It can be family or it can be a stranger, but connecting with older people and asking them about their lives and their childhood is mutually beneficial. They get joy out of the time spent together and you get the benefit of their wisdom and life experiences. Trust me it will make you feel better about life when you put a smile on another person’s face. 
  • Encourage others.  Friends, family, even people on Facebook.  Encourage others to keep going, do their best, and follow their dreams. When you help smooth the rough edges of others, you ultimately help yourself as well.
  • Write. We all have things to say, stories to tell, ideas to share, strengths to share. You can start a blog, start a newsletter to your family, or even submit to an established online community.  
  • Mentor someone. A younger person at your company, a new mom at school, a child who needs some extra help. Find someone who can benefit from your strengths.
  • Save money out of every paycheck.  It is never too early or too late to begin saving.  You will feel so relieved when you know that you are securing your own future.
  • Plan a trip. Even if it’s just a weekend road trip, plan something to look forward to. My mom always told me as I was growing up that one way to keep life interesting was to always have something I could look forward to and I’ve always followed her advice. 
  • Try cooking new things. (Or just try cooking!) You might make the same five things for dinner every week - but step out of the box and try something new!  Your family might find a new favorite, and you’ll be the hero of the kitchen! 
  • Spend five minutes a day cleaning your living space. Most people dread a major housecleaning day, but if you follow this advice, then your house will never get out of control messy. 
  • Start a club. It can be a book club, a wine tasting club, a cards & games club, anything to get people together having fun and sharing time and hobbies together!
  • Floss. This sounds so simple and silly however brushing and flossing morning and night can literally make you live longer! It prevents inflammation that can lead to heart disease and other medical problems.
  • Start a thankfulness journal. Regularly list (and date) all the things you are thankful for in a journal. Go back to it when you feel you need a pick me up. 
  • Try brain games. There are some online (Lumosity is a popular one) or you can try crossword puzzles or soduku. These will help keep your brain sharp. 
  • Be on time.  Being late is stressful and you spend too much time making up excuses and feeling guilty. It is respectful to be on time and you will feel much better not always rushing and apologizing for your tardiness.
  • Try a new activity. Always wanted to try tennis? Find the time and do it! Find somewhere in your area where you can take a lesson or ask a friend to help you play. 
  • Stretch more. It helps with relaxation and stress control as well as joint health. 
  • Give to charity. You can give your time, your money, or both. Services and financial aid are always needed in your community and abroad. Most of us can afford to give just a little bit to those less fortunate and we can all find a little bit of time to volunteer. 
  • Make realistic to-do lists. Make daily, weekly, and monthly to do lists, this way each one is realistic. If you’ve been wanting to attack cleaning out your basement, but you have a busy couple of days ahead of you - don’t make yourself feel guilty every day looking at that unchecked task. Put it on a different list that is ongoing and keep your daily lists do-able so you can check off all your items each day. 
  • Buy colorful food. Colorful fruits and veggies can literally protect us from illness and extend our lives. Have fruit and/or veggies at every meal. Cut back on red meat and try to eat fish 2-3 times a week.  Experts all agree that a Mediterranean diet is the best to keep us healthy and improve our longevity.
  • Get more sleep! Turn off the TV, the laptop or the ipad and pull the covers up around you and go to bed.  I’ve made a point of “shutting down my mind” earlier and logging more REM sleep and I feel much more alert and patient and better able to concentrate. Sleep is just as important to good health as exercise and good nutrition. Give your body the healing sleep it needs!
  • Say thank you. In person, by hand written note, with small gifts, you will feel great. 

Keeping your New Years Resolution can be difficult, thats why having a list of many different resolutions can be helpful.  Having a variety of hobbies and habits can lead to success though out the year and help us to become better versions of our 2013 selves. 

About The Author
Joan bio
Joan Lunden truly exemplifies today’s modern working woman. An award-winning journalist, bestselling author, motivational speaker, successful entrepreneur, one of America’s most recognized and trusted television personalities, this mom of seven continues to do it all. As host of Good Morning America for nearly two decades, Lunden brought insight to top issues for millions of Americans each day. The longest running host ever on early morning television, Lunden reported from 26 countries, covered 4 presidents and 5 Olympics and kept Americans up to date on how to care for their homes, their families and themselves.
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