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2015 Rethink the Resolution

Jan 02, 2015 04:18PM ● By Dia

Resolutions are so last year. The statistics have spoken, and they have given you no choice but to change your thinking regarding this dreaded New Year task. “Around 78 percent of resolutions are broken within the first 30 days of making them,” says Life Coach Rick Kolster of Peak Performance Group.

Rick offers a better way to get where you want to be in life—this year and beyond. He says to turn every huge resolution into a set of mini achievements.

“It is better to establish smaller goals with specific timeframes that are attainable,” Rick says. “The biggest reason that resolutions fail is that they aren’t clear enough or defined enough. Write down all you want to happen in the year, and be specific. 

The experts at our resolution roundtable all gave similar advice on how to attain your goals for the New Year. Interestingly enough, the steps they gave work well under anyone’s expertise umbrella—whether that’s health, wealth or happiness.

Here’s to your health

Most resolution lists feature a health-focused goal—whether that is to lose pounds, clean up your diet, or alter your fitness routine. Fortunately, expert Harold Wilson, the fitness director at Impact Fitness in Southlake, offers an easy way to make those goals a reality, with a few smaller steps.

First of all, Wilson says, take a look at your nutrition habits, by resolving to keep a food log. This will give you all the information you need to decide how you want to change your diet. “But don’t just decide to eat carrots to get skinny,” Harold says. “Plan to incorporate good eating habits on a consistent basis.”

Keeping track of your caloric intake is an important step as well. “Everybody wants to add up the calories they’ve burned,” Harold explains, “but it’s not as fun to count up what you consume.” When you consider how often you might eat at a restaurant, this may seem like a daunting task. However, as Harold bluntly advises, your best bet is to “stay out of restaurants.” That’s the No. 1 piece of advice he would give to changing your eating habits.

After planning your menu—best prepared at home, Harold notes—you can move onto the fitness side of the coin. If you can’t remember the last time you exercised (even if it was as far back as middle school), start out simple and focus on consistency more than anything else. “Since learning how to make exercise a consistent part of your life is paramount, find something easy—something you like: yoga, going to the gym or running laps,” he says. “The important thing is to make it stick. Adding an exercise routine to your life needs to become habit.”

Here’s to your wealth

Coming in a close second to health and wellness resolutions would be money management. For those aspiring to save more or pay off debt, we asked Mark Jones, CEO of First Financial Bank in Southlake, to share ideas for easy steps to success.

 You can’t make money grow on a tree, so Jones suggests resolving to look at your current spending. “Review each of your expenses, and see where you can cut back, even just a little. Do you really need 1,000 channels on TV only to find there is still nothing on? Can you adjust your thermostat even 1 degree? Little savings add up.”

Next, take time to divide and conquer—your investments. “Make sure you are participating in your company’s 401K and maximizing your investment there,” Mark says, noting it’s a good way to diversify your portfolio. “Many companies match funds up to certain amounts so you double your investment immediately. Additionally, review your investment portfolio, sell your losers, rethink your strategy, and go for the long haul, not the get-rich-quick scheme.”

With that being said, it can’t be all work and no play, right? “Take the time to spend some money on yourself, and enjoy the fruits of your labor,” Jones says. “Too much focus on savings can lead to frustration and a quick end to your strategy. Like dieting, think about investing for the long haul, not just as a passing fad.”

Here’s to helping others

Many desire to spend more time volunteering, resolving in the New Year to engage in non-profit work. However, if you’ve never volunteered before or have done so intermittently, it may seem like an overwhelming goal to accomplish. Breaking your goal into small, attainable pieces can work in the non-profit arena as well, says Shonda Schaefer, Executive Director of GRACE, a non-profit in Northeast Tarrant County.

 “Start with the web,” Shonda says. “There are many neutral websites that have lists of non-profits for you to connect with. Usually, these lists features valid 501(c)(3) organizations, so you don’t have to worry about wasting your time and efforts with a non-reputable group.”

 Once you find an organization in your area that seems like a good fit, visit their website or give them a call to find out if they have orientation. “At GRACE we have sessions that give volunteers an idea of the work they can and will be doing,” Shonda says.

“Often times people are unaware that their specific talent is exactly what an organization may need,” she notes. “For example, those in corporate America may not think their talents would be of use. But maybe they really like to work with their hands—building things. At orientation they will find out exactly what opportunities there are. Don’t discount an organization just because you think you have nothing to offer.”

 Which leads us to Shonda’s main message. “Think of what your passion is and give in that area. You and the organization will get so much more out of the experience if you are engaging in what you love to do.”

And here’s to seeing the world

Then there’s that voice in your head that tells you to enjoy the year, in addition to the hard work you’ll put into losing weight, saving money and helping others. And it should not be ignored, according to Gloria Currie of Cruise Holidays. “You deserve to travel,” she says. “Take a break and get out of the office. Spend time with someone special, whether that is family or friends.”

Taking a trip is an important way for many people to banish stress, but don’t let trip preparation details bog you down, break this one into smaller goals with the help of a professional. After all, in order to get what you really want, planning ahead is key.

You’ll get better information regarding where to stay and what to do which can make all the difference in the world. And as far as making that travel budget goes? “Make it something you want to do,” Gloria says. “It is not about price as it is as much about the value. The memories you will make are priceless!”

Change that tire!

In addition to the roundtable’s advice—all similar in nature—to plan and be consistent, they each had something to say about getting off track or falling or the wagon. Any way you put it, there are setbacks, and everyone with a dream or goal in mind has suffered one in their life. But our favorite analogy is one Harold shares. “If you get a flat tire, you don’t jump out of the car and let the air out of all the others, right? You fix the flat and move on.”