2019 is here with its promises of a better, happier year than last year, and of course promises of being a better you. Yes, this is the time of year when we are full of hopes and good intentions... As we all know, comes February, and all these good intentions remain just that: intentions. So let's take a look at what we hope for and get tips to finally make 2019 the year when it HAPPENED! when we MADE IT!
So, what are we hoping we will get better at this year comparing to last year; the usuals:
1/ Losing weight
2/ Having a healthier lifestyle
3/ Changing jobs or making more money
4/ Being a better parent
5/ Getting out of debt
6/ Quitting smoking or alcohol drinking
Before we figure out how to achieve these seemingly unattainable goals, let's look first at the main reason why we fail to reach our goals year after year.
The main reason is not that we cannot actually do it, the main reason is that along the way, we get side-tracked. Some get side-tracked by stress, others by financial budget being too tight, by lack of support, and by not knowing how also oftentimes.
So, let's quick one issue by one and get actionable, easy ways to attain results so 2019 is the year we can be proud of.
1/ Losing weight - the first thing I have discovered after many diets is that diets never work, at least not long term. To lose weight and not find it back around the corner, we need to put into place a long-term strategy. A willingness to change how we eat forever. I believe starting small and by increments is key to success. Take away the coke for example or any other sodas. Usually, the less you drink them, the less you crave them. Personally, I do not like water alone so much, so I found a good trick; having tea. Of course, without caffeine. Herbal options are great. Try several so you find one that you enjoy. Another great trick is to eat things that are tasty but not packed with sugar, salt, fat or flour. Using spices is a good way to not eat bland food, which no one likes.
2/ Healthier lifestyle - besides eating better, which we saw in point 1 "Losing Weight" because when you eat healthy you will automatically lose weight, you can also improve your health in 3 other easy, cheap ways. The first one is to just walk around the neighborhood with one of your good friends. Walk a brisk walk while chatting about fun stuff. Instead of doing so on the phone, you get the same fun but do something beneficial for your health. Moving is not necessarily a way to lose weight but definitely a necessary step in being healthier. The next two will make you smile; a couple of visits to the dentist - yep, that's the way to get a great smile and to pay the least amount of money at the dentist, going regularly when problems are caught when small - and getting a subscription to your toothbrush to make sure you replace yours at least every 3 months as recommended by the American Dental Association instead of the average 9 months in the US (Yuk!). The best way to maintain your smile intact is to have an optimum oral hygiene at home and changing toothbrushes helps you achieve that without even having to think about it, it arrives at your door automatically and for $2.50 a piece, you pay less than at the store. Check out here how to make your first 2019 resolution happen.
3/ Changing jobs or making more money - that one will take a bit more research and efforts as you will need to check what will make more sense with your set of skills and qualifications. We have a couple of tips for you. Never get discouraged, especially by nay-sayers, friends and family can be really unsupportive sometimes, do not listen to them. If you think you can make it, go for it. And if you are not sure you can make it, go for it regardless. Those we achieve anything in life are those who try. My second tip is value yourself. Finding good employees is never easy, so do not sell yourself short. If you bring value to a company, they will appreciate it and if they don't look for one that will. If you want to start your own business, do your homework as everything is possible, you just need a way to find "how".
4/ Being a better parent - spending time with your children with something that interests them is the best way to be a better parent and an easy way. Cook together, that will teach them life skills and it can be fun, let them do something of course. Watch an episode of their favorite show... sometimes you drop dead at what they watch but be a good sport, that will teach them also to do things just for the other person, which is the basis of sharing. Be creative!
5/ Getting out of debt - only 3 ways: making more money or spending less or both. Many people feel that they cannot live with less but there is a big difference between needs and wants. So, first list all your expenses for the month (they are usually quite similar... use bank accounts and credit card statements... Excel is great to make a spreadsheet if you know how to use it, if not, paper, pen, and calculator are perfect). Then make another column with what you make. Subtract. Anything left should go to paying your debt. Then take another look and check where you can make cuts: maybe dye your hair yourself, use an internet a bit slower to cut corners. This does not need to be done for ever but just the time to clear the debts you have. A great way I found to get out of debt and I made it was to make envelops. I had money in cash, would make an envelope at the beginning of the month for each expense I had and would put the amount on the envelop and subtract as I would spend. That helped me not be over budget. It was not fun but very efficient. I was out of debt in 6 months!!
7/ Quitting smoking or drinking alcohol - oftentimes we drink or smoke because everyone does it around us or because we are bored. If this is your case, stopping will be easy. If you think you have an addiction, then you will need professional help. If not, then you just need to understand that your health is more important than social pressure. Your true friends will not leave you when you stop drinking or smoking and you can even try and get more people on board. Those that make it difficult for you are just not your real friends. Real friends want what is best for you and should support you. Change friends, we are millions on the planet, no reason to stick with people that do not truly care about you! If it is a case of boredom, think of something you can do to replace this habit. You will notice that oftentimes if you resist the first few minutes of the craving, then it passes.
Starting small, not getting discouraged, pushing through is the way to attain results. Everyone that has achieved something will tell you that. So, when you are too frustrated and feel like abandoning, just thinking of how happy you will be when the result will be attained and how that small feat will give you the confidence to tackle bigger challenges.
So, for 2019, I wish you a lot of success and especially persistence to get where you want to get in life! Happy New Year! Happy New You!