Resolute

Change

Traditionally, I do not make resolutions.  If I see a change that needs making, I just make it, I do not wait for a calendar date to start.  However, last year, I did make a very small change and started it on the first of January:  I took the stairs whenever possible.  In my daily commute, I am given a choice of stairs or escalator and I chose the stairs whenever possible.  If I was only presented with an escalator, then I walked up them instead of stood on them.  That is it.  Simple.

It turns out that one of the keys to a successful change in your life is to start small because a tiny habit is easier to stick to.  Another trick to secure a successful change in your life is to piggyback a new habit on an existing habit.  If you already go to the gym, adding five more minutes of cardio is very simple.  Lastly, as with everything, practice makes perfect.  Keep at your new habit, keep doing it, and before you know it, you will realize that you are doing it without even having to think about it.

Some of the suggested New Year’s Resolutions I have collected around the internets:

Drink More Water – start with a dead simple resolution — to drink more water. Assuming you’re not already in the habit of drinking plenty of water, that is. This resolution is so simple that if you can’t keep it, you probably shouldn’t be making resolutions at all. It also happens to come with a lot of health benefits. Dehydration is bad for your skin, it’s bad for your kidneys and it’s even bad for your digestive regularity. So buy a reusable water bottle, or keep a mug by your desk at work and make frequent trips to the cooler.

Eliminate Your Limiting Beliefs – Every one of us develops beliefs over the course of our lives that are inherently limiting.  When we’re young, most of us think that nearly anything is possible. The things we can do, the things we can achieve are all within reach. As we grow older, we often find ourselves in positions where a lot of the things we hoped for didn’t turn out the way we wanted them to. In an effort to save face with our subconscious mind, we make up a bunch of lies about why we don’t have the things that we want to have.

Become More Organized – Start small, and start on areas that you know will make a difference. Resolve to organize just one aspect of your life — whether it’s your email inbox, your finances, or even your social life. Once you start to see the impact it has, and once you begin to understand how manageable this process can be, you’ll find it easier to tackle some of the bigger organizational hurdles you have.

Disconnect At Least Once A Week – Speaking of limiting beliefs, one of the most common ones a lot of us are guilty of is that we need to go on vacation to disconnect from the technology and ties we have in our lives. This is a good one to start challenging as soon as the New Year rolls around. Take a day, or at the very least a few concerted hours every week to truly disconnect. No email. No internet. No television. No texts. Give yourself the space to take a break. It will feel amazing, and if it becomes a long-term habit, you’ll wonder how you even managed to live your life without this practice in the first place.

Take Every Small Opportunity To Exercise – Here’s another common suggestion that normally comes off as a load of half-hearted superficial advice. We’re here to tell you that it really, really isn’t. Walking at a moderate pace for 45 minutes will burn an extra 200 calories for most of us men that weigh enough to be concerned with our weight in the first place. Two-hundred calories might not seem like a huge deal, but consider this: If you burn an extra 200 calories per day and you change no other habits in your life, that will add up to 20 lbs of weight loss over the course of a year. This does assume that you’re at an equilibrium right now where you are neither gaining or losing any weight. Nevertheless, if you needed evidence that small changes can have a huge impact over the course of a year, there you go.

Give More Compliments – Paying someone a compliment is in itself a great action, but as a habit it’s even better. Learning to pay compliments means learning to pay closer attention to people in your life and the small changes that they make. Most of us spend a great deal of time and consideration on who we are and how we look, and getting recognized for it can be a great feeling. Besides the fact that you’ll feel better for paying more compliments, you’ll find that people start to warm up to you a lot more when you take the time to recognize them for who they are and the things they do.

Quit – If you hate your job, quit your job. Repeat after me: THE MONEY IS NOT WORTH IT.  Make job hunting your after-work activity.  Apply for everything you even think you may like.  Do not limit yourself.

Help strangers –  “Pay it forward,” do good things for the world — and don’t post a Facebook status about it.

And here is a list of what to leave in 2013 (I used to work with a guy that would need a personality transplant if he took this advice):

Stop posting negative shit about celebrities on social media, stop buying gossip magazines, stop watching reality TV. Moreover, just stop thinking about celebrities altogether. I am guilty of schadenfreude as much as anyone, but Miley Cyrus does not care what you think about her, so stop thinking about her.  I write daily about people whose lives I find inspiring.  Find people that inspire you and make them your own personal celebrities.

Stop caring about how many people “like” your Instagram photos, your tweets, your status updates, or any of that. If you like the content enough to post it, what else matters?  Social media anxiety is a waste of time.  Plus, trying to cater to what you think will garner a response from the hoi polloi makes you a Kardashian.

You don’t have ADD, you’re just rude.  Turn off your smartphone at dinner.  Don’t check your various feeds when you’re with friends.  Pay attention to the people physically in front of you.

Stop Liking Things Ironically – When you try to be ironic — you end up making bad things a million times worse. Therefore, all intentional irony should be abolished until everyone’s clear on what’s good and what’s bad. It’ll probably take about five years.

Quit The Namaste Gesture – When directed at, let’s say, the dry cleaner, this abridged prayer and bow combo comes off as highly insincere. As with everything, if you can imagine Adam Levine doing it, you should avoid it.

No More Honoring Yourself, Practicing Mindfulness, and Manifesting What the Universe Wants for You – Masking your selfishness with fancy words does not make it any less selfish.

Quash The Falsetto Flourish – Saying something like, “Imma get my drink on” with the “drink on” part sung in falsetto is a stylistic choice that cannot carry over into the new year. It might not seem like much now, but after a while, when things start to seem somehow better, we’ll know it’s because the Falsetto Flourish is gone.

Never Say “At the End of the Day, It Is What It Is.” – Across this great land, roughly 500,000 times a day, one person says this to another person, who nods in agreement, neither of them realizing that they’ve just participated in the emptiest experience two people can have. I think we all have our own corporate double-speak phrases that we find annoying, just start responding to the person that said it with “you just said nothing.”

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