Resolutions That Rock

Keeping a New Year”s resolution isn”t much fun. To stay on track, you have to give up things you like best, make time for things you hate to do and suffer cravings that you can”t satisfy because you”re trying to kick a bad habit.

Psychologists continue to warn us that we”re failing to reach our goals because, to put it simply, they”re no fun. We”re putting ourselves on rigid diets when we should be simply cutting back on unhealthy foods and increasing our intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. We”re sweating it out at the gym when we should be walking, swimming, biking and playing badminton.

Luckily, however, all New Year”s resolutions don”t have to hurt. You can make a resolution that will not only be fun to make but easy to keep!

Stop Apologizing!

A recent report on gender differences in communication styles revealed that women say “I”m sorry” far too frequently. A woman tends to apologize to a spoiled child who complains about the broccoli on her plate and she apologizes when someone bumps into her.

So this New Year”s, perhaps women should vow to reduce the number of times they say “sorry.” Every time there”s a slip-up, try putting a dollar or a quarter aside in a piggy bank. Then, at the end of a few months or the end of the year, use the money on something special.

Creative New Year”s Resolutions

Can you think of a creative New Year”s resolution that you haven”t tried before? How about something that”s not punitive and reaps rewards?

One of life”s greatest pleasures is receiving a hand-written letter in the mailbox. Why not resolve to write one such letter a month and see who writes back? The high-tech version, of course, is to send personal e-mails to friends. Seeing new names in your inbox can be such a thrill. (Hint: Be sure to check your Spam folder or Bulk mail to make sure the new ones don”t get lost in the trash.)

Self-improvement is another punisher. Taking a language class and slogging through homework assignments can be tedious, to say the least. Cutting classes or dropping out becomes more attractive as winter stretches on. Why not take a singing class, or learn to sketch or write your biography? You might even find a class that your teenager would love to take with you.

Here”s another creative New Year”s resolution that helps reduce clutter and brings hours of fond memories: sorting out the family photos. Buy a few attractive albums and sort your pictures. Take the time to look at each one, and don”t forget to throw out the bad ones that make you cringe.

Techies can do the same with all the photo files they”ve accumulated from taking digital pictures. Throw out the fuzzy ones and subscribe to a service that allows you to create online albums. Then invite close friends and family members to take a peek. Also, putting a caption under each one adds a great deal of interest.

Quick and Easy Innovative Resolutions

To come up with a New Year”s resolution you”re likely to stick to, think painless. Do you hate to exercise? Then round up some friends to do something fun a couple of times a week. Shoot some baskets, walk on the beach or throw on a few CDs and dance like you did when you were young.

One-shot events work well for those of you who lack patience:

  • Arrange a payroll deduction to pop $100 a month into a savings account.
  • Cut up a credit card.
  • Make your travel arrangements for summer six months ahead.
  • Set aside one day in October to read up on electoral candidates.
  • Sort your receipts in January instead of waiting until April 14.
  • Teach a child to swim, ski or draw.

Workplace New Year”s Resolutions

Business consultants are increasingly seeing the start of a new calendar year as an optimal time for improving employee and client relations. Here are a few ideas for New Year”s resolutions for the office:

  • At least once a week, pay someone a compliment. Praise their work or their efforts.
  • Clean your desk and weed out your files. The same goes for your computer desktop and e-mail archives.
  • Make a note in your planner to place unsolicited calls. Follow up on clients without having them call you first.
  • Make meetings more efficient by cutting down on announcements and information items. Put those in writing or in an e-mail and use your meeting time for decision items only.
  • Take your team out to lunch when they meet a difficult deadline.
  • Update your Web site. Look for Web sites that work especially well and steal a few good ideas.

New Year”s Resolutions: Budgetary Innovations

Many of us vow to spend less and save more, particularly when those holiday credit card bills start to flood the mailbox. These money-saving resolutions can help you organize your finances:

  • Learn to use software that helps you track your expenditures and monthly bills.
  • Make a will.
  • Organize your desk so that bills and important mail are kept in one place. Avoid sorting the same stack of mail over and over again.
  • Review your insurance policies and find out how you can save money with higher deductibles or by having your renter”s and car insurance with the same company.
  • Send for a free credit report and close accounts you no longer use.
  • Take a one-day class on using eBay and move those unwanted collectibles out of storage.

Altruistic New Year”s Resolutions

The New Year is a great time for resolving to do things for others. Send a get-well card, invite a friend to start a new hobby with you, invite your neighbors to a barbecue or drop off items you don”t use at a thrift shop or homeless shelter.

You don”t have to be a billionaire to make a difference. Pick a number from one to 30. On that day of each month, write a note on your calendar or in your planner that reminds you to do something worthwhile for someone, something that will make both you and them smile.

Resources

eHow (2007). How to Make a New Year”s Resolution. Retrieved October 2, 2007, from the eHow Web site: http://www.ehow.com/how_12077_make-new-years.html.