2016 is here and many are thinking about how they want to better themselves. Beginning anew in the first month of a new year is a symbolic time to begin a journey toward self-improvement. While the majority of goal-setters are making resolutions to live life to the fullest or to finally get in shape, there are still other aspects of life many can improve on in 2016.
Get Financially Stable
According to Nielsen, one-quarter of people set resolutions to save more and spend less. Even though the promise to pay down debt and begin saving money is made by many year after year, studies show that the majority of Americans are in debt. In fact, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts, 80% of people have some form of debt.
The most common form originates from mortgages, though student loans, car payments and credit cards all hold significant pieces of the pie.
Paying down debt takes a lot of hard work. It could mean sacrificing some of your more expensive habits. However, sticking to this resolution will be worth it in the long run. Getting out of debt can improve your credit score, make getting a loan easier and can significantly reduce stress.
Organization is key to achieving most goals and sticking true to your resolutions.
Without a game plan and a schedule, it’s easy to lose track of progress and forget about timelines. Furthermore, organization in your home and at work helps keep you on task with important deadlines, whether they are for projects at work or bills at home.
Many people aim for organization, but making it happen can be harder than it seems.
Becoming organized involves planning and a change of habits – two things disorganized people may struggle with. Forbes explained there are several common areas of disorganization. Some have problems with time management. Running late to meetings and appointments can be a harmful habit to fall into. To address this issue, set alarms and use calendars.
When you plan your day, set realistic goals for what you can accomplish and the time it will take to do them.
If your disorganization is more related to a growing pile of papers, files, electronics or other physical items in your home or office, it might seem daunting. In the end, your living or work space will have more room and fewer unnecessary items collecting dust.
Forbes suggested taking it slow. Pick a day to dedicate one solid hour to cleaning. Get as much done as you can in that hour. When the 60 minutes is up, stop.
The next day, do it again for 15 or 30 minutes. Do this every day until your clutter is gone.
Along the way, make sure you think critically about whether you will actually need or use something later on.
If you won’t, don’t hesitate to throw it away or donate it. When all this is over, set up rules to prevent clutter from building up again. For instance, have a system to go through mail right away or vow to get rid of one belonging every time you obtain a new one.
According to Nielsen, the most popular New Year’s resolution is to get in shape and stay healthy. Breaking unhealthy habits is difficult, especially if you’ve been forming them for years.
Jumping right into major lifestyle changes isn’t conducive to positive change. Oftentimes, people get overwhelmed and give up.
This may be why 80% of people who join a gym in January end up quitting before May, as reported by Credit Donkey.
The key is slow, steady changes. Eating healthier every day is a good way to begin changing your lifestyle in a manageable way.
Begin by avoiding prepackaged and fast foods. Instead, make meals throughout the week you can bring to work for lunch and eat for dinner. Preparing your own meals is a great way to be invested in your own nutrition and help you eat healthier.
Beginning a new year is an exciting time for many, along with the excitement of a resolution to stick to. However, it’s important to focus on what really matters to you this year.
This year, make a New Year’s resolution that will lead you to an ultimately happier life.