If you couldn’t wait to ring out the old year and ring in the new, now’s your chance to start making this year the best one you’ve ever had. But I’m not going to lie to you: making positive changes takes work. So if you’re really sick and tired of being stuck in a dead end job (or not having one at all), or you wonder why that relationship is still not going where you want it to be, or you just can’t get it together, and the life you long for just isn’t happening, here are some easy tips for making (and keeping) some New Years’ Resolutions that you can really accomplish. It’s never too late to start fresh and make positive change
|CLEAR YOUR MIND: Just like cleaning your closets and drawers (also not a bad idea), you need to clear your mind of the “old stuff” that keeps you “stuck” in patterns and bad habits, before you can replace it with more ppositive motivating thoughts and actions. Make a decision to cleanse your mind of all those negative thoughts and emotions that have been holding you back. Make a list of the positive things you want to accomplish this year and put them in the Advice Sisters Decision Maker Spinner that we published on advicesisters.com on January 1st, of simply post them as affirmations where you can see them, often.|
LOVE YOUR BODY: Start a new exercise program you can relate to. If you hate traditional exercise, try something new you will like better (e.g. dance, tai chi, yoga). You’ll not only feel better, you’ll make new friends, too. In fact, exercising with someone else is a great motivator so get a workout buddy. If you are even just a little more active each day, you’ll find it gets easier. Take small steps: walk one stop more from the train or bus; park away from the store and walk the few extra feet to the door; climb a flight of steps, get a bicycle! Exercise also produces a chemical reaction in your body which elevates your mood and makes you feel great!
STOP MAKING EXCUSES: If success in life and career are important to you, stop making excuses and start finding new ways to reach those goals. Don’t get stuck doing just one thing, like looking in the paper, or just applying for jobs online, because if those aren’t getting you where you want to be, you need to go further and work harder. Let’s face it: if you keep trying “A” and getting result “B” and that’s not what you want, don’t just keep trying “A”. Maybe now it’s time to think outside of the box and try “C”, “D” and “E” even if you didn’t think those things would yield results (because, obviously, “A” didn’t). It’s a new year, so try new things and open up new avenues to success.
GET OVER IT: You can’t move forward if you are consumed with grief, brokenhearted, or consumed with anger. So get over whatever is bothering you so you can more forward again. Living well (and being happy) is the key to a happy life, and frankly, it’s also the best revenge! To get yourself moving again, accentuate the positive in your life. If you can’t really think of what’s positive, create a “gratitude jar.” Every day force yourself to find something, anything no matter how small–even if it’s just that someone wished you a good day, or your cat jumped on your lap and purred) that is a good thing in your life. At the end of a month, empty the jar and you’ll be amazed at how many blessings you really have. Whining and excuses will no longer be acceptable!
EMBRACE BEING SINGLE: If you’re broken up over being broken up, embrace your new, single life. Write down all the things you like that your “ex” hated…and do every single one of those things he or she didn’t want to do with you!Go on that cruise and revel in the thought that you aren’t stuck on another vacation with the in-laws and their obnoxious kids. Shop as long as you like and never hear him whine: “are you done yet and can we GO now?” You can be alone without being lonely. Connect with old friends, and make new ones. Volunteer, indulge in a new hobby, join a book club, get a pet…the list of things to keep you busy and involved with others is endless.
|PACK UP THE PAST: Constant reminders of sad events keep you stuck in the past. You don’t have to throw away all those sentimental things (at least not right now when they still mean so much to you) but don’t keep them on view. Put them in the back of the closet where you will not be tempted to loo for them and “keep remembering.” Decorate your work and living space with new things that will reinforce the idea that life goes on and is still wonderful! |
CHANGE YOUR ROUTINE: Changing your routine is one of the quickest ways to change your attitude. If you are the type that gets up early every day, indulge yourself by going to bed early and staying there until you wake up naturally without the alarm clock. Splurge on a spa treatment or accept a challenge, or agree to a blind date even though you’ve been resisting that set-up your friend has been dying to do for you. Ask you new neighbor in for coffee. Talk to that guy who walks his dog every day that you’ve been too shy to say hello to.
TRY A NEW LOOK: Making a physical change can really help jump start other changes. It doesn’t have to be terribly drastic, but even a small change can make a statement that you’re moving forward. Try a temporary hair color, or go bolder with your makeup, if you’re up for it, get that tattoo that will remind you how fabulous you are, get a curling iron and start wearing your hair curly after years of stick straight….whatever you do, the idea is just to get out of your comfort zone a bit to a lot, and make an outward statement that you’re moving on and moving forward.
REACH OUT, TOUCH SOMEONE: No one is an island. Get in touch –with a friend you’ve lost track of, with that long-lost cousin, with colleagues that you really like and should be networking with anyway. Warm up an old friendship or perhaps ignite a new flame under an old love! There are so many social media sites now (I don’t need to tell you where to go, do I?) that make it easy to find and reconnect with someone even if you don’t know exactly where they are now. JUST DO IT!
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS: . If you find yourself truly at the end of your rope, literally wash those troubles right out of your hair. It worked pretty well for Nelly Forbush in “South Pacific. Take a tip from Nelly, and sing at the top of your lungs: “I’m gonna wash that man/woman/boss/two-timer/nagging kid/obnoxious neighbor/co-worker/colleague RIGHT OUTTA MY HAIR!” over and over. Your tension will be relieved and your troubles will seemingly go down the drain, by the time you’re rinsing out the conditioner! Bonus: clean, shiny hair!
START A JOURNAL: write a happy ending to your own story. Ask anyone who keeps one: writing in a journal is very habit-forming! Once you start writing you may find yourself rushing home, eager to put down all the details of your day. Read it over from time to time and you will have undeniable proof of all that you’re doing to reach your goals. Bonus: you get to learn a lot about yourself, and it’s a permanent record of your achievements.
OPENLY VALIDATE YOUR GOALS: Self affirmations and positive thinking can really help. Close your eyes and repeat over and over again (until it really sinks in and youbelieve it): “I feel good – this year will be great…I feel good, this year will be great…..
Copyright 2014, Alison Blackman, THE ADVICE SISTERS