Making New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep by Brett Clawson

Photo by Tamarcus Brown on Unsplash

The past year may have seemed like months of confusing information and lost hope, but the future promises to be bright. Make yourself ready to go out into the world again with a few worthwhile New Year’s resolutions so that when it’s time to emerge into the sun, you won’t look (or act) like you’ve been living in a cave.

Set an Activity (Not a Weight Loss) Goal

You may have found yourself stress eating or binge-watching TV over the last few months. Forgive yourself. Now is the time to set some realistic goals to get yourself moving again. Start off light, especially if you haven’t moved from the sofa since the summer. Don’t set your sights on running a marathon if you hate to run because you’ll likely fail. Instead, remember what kinds of physical activities you loved doing as a kid and buy yourself a bike, find a local non-competitive adult soccer league, or contact pool builders in Charleston. Your focus should be on moving. Plan to spend 200-400 minutes doing something active each week. Make a chart and work towards your goal. When it becomes a habit to be active, then you can start adding in specific body image goals such as losing ten pounds or adding muscle mass.

Add Healthy Habits

Instead of focusing on what you’re not going to do in the new year, instead focus on healthy habits to add into your life. For example, don’t declare you aren’t eating any more sweets for the rest of the year, rather focus on adding a vegetable portion to your lunch or dinner every day. Don’t swear off beer, promise instead to drink a full glass of water before each beer. You may inadvertently replace unhealthy habits with healthy ones, but even if you don’t, you have upped your number of healthy habits.

Update Your Wardrobe

There wasn’t much reason to get dressed up in the last year, but better times are coming, so make sure your wardrobe is up to snuff. Make a vow that whether you leave the house or not, you are going to get dressed as if you are at least once a week. This little change in your routine has a two-fold positive effect. First, wearing pants with a belt will help you remember what it feels like to be the professional you used to be (and will be again soon). Second, it will give you a chance to review your wardrobe piece-by-piece and determine what can stay and what needs to go. After so many months in sweatpants, you may notice that you have broken your emotional bond with certain pieces of clothing that your girlfriend has been begging you to give away for years.

Learn a New Skill

While you’re waiting out your last few months of confinement, take this time to learn a skill. Put aside the YouTube videos of hilarious pet haircuts and find one that teaches you something you’ve always felt you should know. One day soon, you’ll be out in society again, mixing and mingling, and wouldn’t it be nice if you had something to show for your time? If you were never a Boy Scout, learn to build a fire. It’s a skill, just like changing a tire, that every man should know. Learn to tie a bow tie and practice it over and over until you can do it without the aid of the instructions. Take online dance lessons and learn to waltz or two-step. Vow to never be a wallflower again at the next in-person wedding you go to.

Instead of creating a list of harsh New Year’s resolutions that you probably won’t keep up with, focus on just a few new positive habits to create. When your life finally returns to normal, you will have something other than a scraggly beard and potato chip crumbs on your belly to show for your time.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash