Thursday, January 15, 2009

How To Make Fabulous New Years Resolutions (And Keep Them!)

Bonjour 2009! The new year may already be in full swing the whole world round, but to those hoping to make some changes to their life, it's never too late to make New Years Resolutions. What do you want to get out of this sparkling new year? Who do you want to meet? What changes do you want to make? If you haven't already, resolve to tweak your life and change it for the better, and for those who need a little help with coming up or keeping resolutions, here are a few simple tips to help you get the most out of two-oh-oh-nine!

♥ Picking Your Resolutions
Focus on the small stuff! Improvement means taking baby steps, so in order to conquer those huge, long-term resolutions try to break your action plan into pieces. If your goal is to lose weight, make your resolution to take a yoga class or try a vegetarian diet. If you want to get rid of excess stress, resolve to take a big pink bubble bath at least once a week. Making your resolution as specific as possible will make it easier to attain, as well as twice as fun! Remember, resolutions aren't obligations - there's nothing stopping you from making them enjoyable!

♥ Tips For Sticking To Your Resolutions
While making resolutions is easy, actually keeping them seems to be a little bit trickier. First and foremost, if your resolutions involve long term goals, then only make one or two at a time. Any more than that and you're bound to get overwhelmed at some point and permanently slip up, so the bigger the resolution the fewer you should have. Most importantly, though,  it's essential to remember that it's okay to fall off the bandwagon! Don't beat yourself up if you break your resolution once or twice - just work twice as hard to meet your goal! It's statistically proven that people who break their resolution within the first six weeks are more than twice as likely to reach their goal in the long run. Take it one day at a time!

♥ Resolutions to Make 2009 Fabulous
+ Learn to play an instrument
Pick up anything from the electric guitar to the tuba and learn to play at least one full song on it, even if it's just Hot Crossed Buns. Who knows, maybe your undiscovered talent lies in playing the ukulele or the trombone!

+ Keep a journal and fill it with tiny kisses from each day
Days are too short and sometimes in the madness of day-to-day life we forget the small moments that made the time between sun-up and sun-down so great. Buy a tiny journal like Moleskine's mini notebooks and fill them with at least one moment from every day that made you break out in a smile. Capture the kisses of each day that would otherwise pass you by so that by the end of the year you'll have a complete ledger of happiness.

+ Pick up a strange hobby
One of my close friends, as seen above, is an insane yo-yoer who somehow managed to pick up all of these incredible tricks in just a six month period. Through this strange and curious hobby, he's discovered an entire yo-yo subculture that thrives off of loud music, cool tricks, and video proof of it all. It just goes to show you that you can pick up just about anything in a mere six months! (Plus, you get to look super cool while practicing all of your tricks!)

+ Learn something new
Read a book, learn a new language, take a night class, attend a lecture - do one thing different and see what you learn from it! Be willing to try new things and open your mind to the possibilities that it can incur! If you've never had sushi before, trek to the nearest Japanese restaurant for dinner. If you've never seen Star Wars, rent all six and have a movie marathon in your living room. If you've never been out of the country, put some money aside and start buying the travel books for your dream vacation.

+ Become an expert at something
Perfect your skills at something you've always wanted to be great at, whether it be playing Tetris or C++ coding. If you're super brave, try taking on something completely new that you've never tried before and try to become a master at it by the time 2010 rolls around.

Photo by Jenny Holiday

+ Get organized
Expunge all unnecessary clutter from you life - it'll make you feel so much better in the long run! Clean out your closet, rearrange the furniture, paint the walls a new color, and have a stoop sale. Clear a path for the new you!

+ Make new friends
Open yourself up to the possibility of making new friends and get to know those brief acquaintances a little better, too. Introduce yourself to strangers with funny hats, ask those distant friends of yours out for coffee, make it your goal to shake hands with everybody at a party, or just strike up a conversation on a whim! Everybody out there has something to contribute to your life - make it your goal to welcome all of those contributions with open arms and give something back to your new friends' lives, too!

+ Write a novel
Sit down and finally write that Great American Novel you've been planning since high school. Buy a sleek pink typewriter, brew a cup of coffee, and get to work right away creating your sci-fi dreamworld or film noir heartland or 20th century prairie or lavender-scented French countryside. Looking for an even bigger challenge? November is National Novel Writing Month - a time when brave writers  from all over the world push themselves to churn out an entire 50,000 word novel in 30 days!

Penelope ♥


scimmy said...

Some great tips there. I think the trick is definitely to have just one or two new year's resolutions. It's easier to keep track of and to achieve.
Take care

Rachel Moore said...

OMG your friend's yoyoing is to Infected Mushroom! Here I am hooping to a different Infected song back in the day:

We could be gravity-defying circus soulmates.

telephone snow said...

Go Nanowrimo! I finished a novel for the first time four months ago. Also, my brother-in-law's little brother is yo-yo obsessed. I'm so glad to see someone else has discovered the yo-yo subculture!

I agree that learning something new should be tantamount in everyone's resolutions. This year I wanted to learn cable knitting, Esperanto, and three songs by Yann Tiersen (from Amelie soundtrack) on piano. One down, Esperanto and 1 1/2 songs left!