9 New Year's Resolutions to Become the Best Version of You

Identifying the right resolutions and a plan on how to keep them is the key to success.

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The start of the new year is a perfect time to turn a new page in your life. That’s the reason why so many people make New Year's resolutions.

Statistically, over one-half of all resolutions fail – usually before the end of January – but there is good news too. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, people who make New Year's resolutions are 10 times more likely to change their behavior than people who didn't.

Are you making resolutions this year? Some of the top resolutions from past years were to diet and lose weight, stop smoking, and to spend less money or get out of debt. But making huge, vague, and possibly unrealistic New Year's resolutions can be setting the bar too high. There is a better way.

The path to keep your resolutions is to plan ahead and don't wait until the last minute as the clock is striking midnight. Pick a realistic goal and keep it simple; it's OK to have only one resolution. Pick achievable goals, instead of saying I will lose 20 kilos, go for 5 and keep them off long term.

Create a plan on how to keep your resolutions and track your progress. Begin with baby steps where you can see progress because that will boost your confidence and make it easier for you to be successful.

Here is a selection of meaningful resolutions that will help you improve yourself in the coming year.

1. Learn Something New

Choose one item that you have always wanted to learn and then choose a path to make sure you accomplish it. You can sign up to audit a college class, do online learning, buy a language program, watch YouTube instructional videos, take part in a webinar, or attend a lecture.

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2. Get More Exercise

Don't make plans to run a marathon by years end but resolve to walk more. Get a fitness tracker app and count your steps every day. Start with a small increase from where you are at now and plan gradual increases. Or commit to do one type of exercise a day, five planks or five squats and build from there. Choose to use the stairs instead of taking the elevator.

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3. Volunteer

Resolve to do more good this year. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen once a month, teach computer skills at a senior center, walk dogs at a rescue center, and if you are handy, to do home repairs for the elderly. Even if you can only give a small amount of time, there are countless good organizations that can use your help.

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4. Eat Healthier

Start small instead of trying to change all your eating habits at one time. Resolve to eat one plant-based meal a day. Use olive oil instead of other fats. Replace starch with veggies in meals. Load up on superfoods. Replace one fast-food meal with a healthier alternative like a soup and salad restaurant.

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5. Take Back Your Lunch Break

If you are skipping lunch or eating at your desk, take back your lunch break. Eat in the park or take a walk outside if you don't want to eat or have lunch with a friend. Even if you start with one lunch break a week and increase when ready.

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6. Visit a Place You Have Never Been

Instead of saying you want to travel more, resolve to visit a place you have never been in the next six months. You don't have to choose somewhere exotic or expensive. Plan to take a day or weekend trip to a bed & breakfast, a spa, or even a camping trip. Book your reservations as soon as possible to make your resolution a reality.

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7. Read More Books

Make a list of the books you always wanted to read and check them off one by one. Join a book club. Go to a book exchange party – you can plan one yourself – or visit the public library or a bookstore every month. Reading is great for your soul.

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8. Strengthen a Personal Relationship

Have a better, stronger relationship with your partner, children, parents or a friend. Plan a weekly or monthly one-on-one activity with that special person. Telephone or text encouraging messages daily. Be more kind. Lend a hand. Give more hugs.

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9. Be Kinder to Yourself

Self-kindness is also important for your own well-being. Resolve to give yourself 30 minutes of me-time a week, to meditate, listen to music, write, take a bubble bath or do anything that makes you feel good.



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