Published: December 31. 2012 3:37PM
Written by Ann Hicks
Photographed by Cindy Hosea
Oh, those pesky New Year’s resolutions.
Why do we even bother? According to research, only 8 percent of us are successful in achieving our goals, yet 45 percent of us persist in giving our willpower one more try.
After years of setting resolutions, then failing after a short time of unhappy deprivation ourselves, we decided to take a different approach this year. We came up with some actually doable goals and have high hopes that this could be the year we keep them.
About that waistline
We knew it wasn’t a good idea to eat all of that holiday food, yet is seems that excess is all a part of the season. Normally we would steel ourselves for just the opposite now that the new year is here, resolving to eat only low-calorie meals with anything remotely resembling pleasurable eating strictly forbidden.
Not this year. This year we are going to scratch the resolution to simply “lose weight” and instead give up one bad dietary habit at a time. Instead of no more sugar ever, we’ll try saving dessert for a Saturday treat. Instead of eating out six days a week, we’ll plan ahead for some healthier options at home.
While we’re at it, maybe we’ll invite friends over to sample the goodies with us, or sign up for a healthy cooking class together. Experts suggest cooking enough to divide and freeze some of the food and at least twice a week taking a portion for lunch instead of hitting the drive through.
Add more exercise
Every year gyms are more crowded in January than any other time of the year. While we would like to believe that this would be the year we would actually attend the 5 a.m. classes they offer, we’re going to try to think of working out as something fun.
Why not start by asking a friend to join us for a walk or ride on the Swamp Rabbit Trail on a regular schedule? Sign up for a local walk or run to get some motivation or join a class with an alternative to the usual weights and aerobics like Zumba or barre exercises. Devotees of both say they almost forget they’re exercising.
Resolve to be punctual
No matter how hard we try, it seems that we spend the first 10 minutes of any gathering explaining why we got there 10 minutes late. 2013 is the year to overcome this bad habit once and for all. The easy trick here is to set all your clocks and watches 10 minutes fast. You’ll be surprised how quickly you will trick yourself into forgetting all about it and will start impressing yourself and others with your newfound puntuality.
Nurture your inner self
It’s so easy to find plenty of things to do in the Upstate, but how many of us actually take advantage of all that is ours for the asking?
This year, we encourage you to choose one event a month that you would do on vacation, but never try right here at home.
Love art? Refresh your visual cues at First Friday’s monthly, downtown art-crawl. Ask your friends to come along: enjoy the art, sip wine and appreciate all of the talent surrounding us right here.
Theatre your thing? We have an abundance of local venues for some of the best shows anywhere, almost any time of year. Laugh or cry; it’s up to you.
Dreaming of a vineyard tour but can’t afford it? Wine tastings abound a several local restaurants, some with a paired menu as part of the experience.
When it comes to money
It’s not anyone’s favorite topic, so we saved finances for the last thing on our list.
If it’s your bank account that needs tending, consider having a certain amount drawn automatically out of your account each month and put into savings. Chances are you won’t miss the money and will be amazed at the end of 2013 at what you’ve managed to put away.
Try budgeting a certain amount of money for each week’s expenses and withdraw that amount of cash at the beginning of each week. You might be surprised how much harder it is to part with cash rather than the impersonal debit card. The deal is that you can spend the money any way you wish, but when it’s gone, no more until next week.
So there we have it, a kinder, gentler resolution list — one with guaranteed success for a very happy new year.
|What will your New Year's resolution be?|