By The Whatleys
New Year, new slate. As 2017 rolled in, opportunity came with it. The new year gives a chance to set resolutions and make changes, big and small. People set resolutions based on what is important to them. It is a time when you might think about making changes to feel happier, lessen your stress, or improve your family and work lives. Some common resolutions are covered in this article.
One of the common New Year’s resolutions is to spend more time with family or doing what you enjoy. January acts as a time for schedule changes to free up hours to play or visit. Depending on goals, you may decide to change your schedule completely or drop activities to gain free time.
Whether you wish to give more attention to parents, spouse, friends, or children, time you save may be spent doing fun things with the people you love. Or, you might resolve to give yourself time to relax or pick up a hobby. Thinking of what you enjoy, and finding a way to do it more often, may not only increase your enjoyment but could also relieve stress. In these ways, the time you gain can pay back in positive ways more than you think at the outset.
Taking time to organize paperwork can make finding things easier throughout the year, giving you more time savings. Spend a few extra minutes to put things in their place — if you feel you are not well organized yet. If papers seem overwhelming, consider buying files and keeping them organized. It takes time, but can also save time later on.
Tough economic times since mid-2008 have taken their toll on many households. Using January 1 as a “reset” to revisit income, budget, and expenses may give you insight into how to lessen any financial strains.
Small financial changes may include minimizing existing bills or changing where home supplies and food are purchased. Big changes may mean dropping services that are perceived as “wants” rather than “needs”. Reviewing banking arrangements, setting up automatic savings accounts, and tweaking insurance may be a part of your resolutions aimed at saving money.
Work is a big part of a person’s day. Having a job you enjoy can make life happier. Not liking your job, or working in a high stress or negative culture, can make life seem much harder. Negativity at work can spread into home life. The new year may be a good time to begin seeking a new job — even your ideal job. Starting a job hunt while continuing at the “bad” job can not only eventually lead to a better workplace, it may also relieve stress by helping you to feel less “trapped” in the negative place.
New Year’s resolutions may be a decision to improve yourself by picking up new skills — either for enjoyment or to improve your job options — or doing old things differently. It might include letting yourself move away from “sweating the little things.”
Learning new things gives you an opportunity to challenge yourself, have fun, or gain confidence. This type of resolution may also give you a chance to change your attitude or focus. Depending on your circumstances, this type of resolution may mean big changes to your work, relationships, or living arrangements.
If being green is important to you, take steps to do more recycling and use more environmentally safe products. Making a difference for the planet may help you to feel more positive. Small steps might include growing food organically, using less electricity, or reclaiming rainwater for yard use. If money is not a problem, adding solar power or replacing inefficient windows may net even more “green” return on efforts.
Helping others by volunteering or improving community resources can give you positive benefits too. Some benefit may be indirect, such as a sense of doing good and feeling good. Direct benefits may come through immediate feedback from those helped by your efforts.
Perhaps one of the most common resolutions is to get fit. This might include exercising and eating better, either to feel healthier or to lose weight.
A wide variety of fitness offerings in the five county area range from walking trails and open gyms to organized exercise classes.
Changing diet may mean cutting out junk food. Or it might mean eating a specific diet or taking vitamins. For you, it could mean cooking only natural foods that have come directly from your garden or local farms. Changes in eating habits are many and varied, and can depend on the budget available for food too.
What about dropping a bad habit? Perhaps there is something you do regularly even though you think it harms your health or family life.
These choices are individual, and only by examining your life can a possible change be found.
After January 14, 2017, you can check out Part 2 of this “Resolutions” article in The Grey Area News. Resolutions are tough to make, and to keep, so this series is designed to help you keep it in your mind.