The Dos & Don’ts to Keep Your Resolutions

Many of us have been there — allotting some time to actually think of a good list of New Year’s Resolutions, forgetting to do some of them a few days or months after the year starts until we just decide to completely drop the whole list. However, that is no reason to be demotivated and to stop doing the yearly ‘tradition’. In fact, did you know that writing a list of your resolutions can make higher the chance of you achieving them than those who prefer to make “mental notes” instead?

The real question now is: how do we make sure that our resolutions are kept throughout the year? We have rounded up for you below the common resolutions people make and as well as the dos and don’ts to keep your resolutions:

  1. Be more positive.

Why it’s difficult to keep: This is perhaps one of the most common resolutions ever.  Other than the fact that it’s generic, one reason why it’s difficult to keep a resolution like this going is because of how vague of a goal it is. It’s as if you are giving the advice

Dos:

  • Keep yourself healthy through having sufficient sleep, healthy diet, and regular exercise. It is no secret that the lack of sleep results to mood swings (worse, depression), decreasing motivation, and increasing irritability. Science would also tell us that exercising helps our body produce neurotransmitters, endorphin and endocannabinoids which are feel-good brain chemicals. It is also proven by various studies that what we eat greatly affects how our mind works and our moods; in fact, almost ⅔ of people who report having mental problems do not eat vegetables and/or fruits everyday.
  • Practice the art of decluttering. Start with your home. Get rid of the things that are of no more use or just make a mess out of your living area. It’s not easy to notice, but a cleaner environment. Apply this to your digital and your social life as well. Remove the unnecessary files and apps in your gadgets (laptop/phone, etc.), unfriend and unfollow negative people on your social media accounts, and surround yourself with positive people who will keep you motivated.

The Dos & Don’ts to Keep Your Resolutions

Don’ts:

  • Don’t beat yourself up over your mistakes and regrets in the past. Learn to forgive yourself and let go; nobody is perfect! Try reading on the teachings of Zen. We recommend Shunryu Suzuki’s Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.

  • Don’t burn bridges. Learn to forgive those who wronged you in the past. Likewise, learn to admit your mistakes and say sorry to those you have hurt. The more grudges you keep, the more negativity you are bringing to your life and your future. Call that friend you had an argument with and patch things up. It might not seem much, but it will definitely have a positive impact on your overall well-being.
  1. Take Physical Fitness more seriously.

Why it’s difficult to keep: There are many possible reasons — the lack of motivation, busy schedule, insufficient knowledge on health and workout routines, and others. However, whatever the reason it may be, in the end, there are no excuses; you can do it. The saying “if there’s a will, there’s a way” is not always true, but it is always true when it comes to physical fitness.

Dos:

  • Write down your fitness goals and research for the best workout routine to attain them. Do not forget to asses your current physical state and capacities before doing so.
  • Save some money by doing your workouts at home. You do not need to allot a massive portion of your earnings for a gym membership. You can buy your own equipment and do it at a spacious part of your home.
  • Have a workout buddy. Invite a friend or your partner to do exercise routines together. Remember, it’s easier to develop a habit when you surround yourself with people who aim and work for the same thing. It is more motivating to continue working for this fitness resolution this way.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t leave exercising tasks for next time. If you decide to do your exercise routine on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, don’t make it a habit to keep on moving it on the other days unless there is an emergency. Discipline yourself. Make a schedule, and follow it as strictly as you can.
  • Don’t set unreachable goals. Take it slow if you have to. Remember that when it comes to exercising regularly, you need to develop exercising as a habit. It’s difficult to do so if you attempt to do steps or pace yourself more than you can handle.
  1. Get better in your financial management.

Why it’s difficult to keep: Living in a world worked by continuous production and consumption, we, its inhabitants, are surrounded by a lot of temptations. What’s important is to learn to discipline yourself, to think logically, and to have proper organization skills.

Dos:

  • Organize your personal finances. Use a planner or a simple notebook. In here, write your mini-financial goals that you think would help in improving your overall financial management. Regularly check your progress and adjust accordingly.
  • Regularly budget your money. List your total income and expected expenses. Divide your income to savings, emergency fund, and cash for spending. Track your spending by listing them. You may use your planner or notebook for this as well.
  • Automate deposit to your savings account. This is especially suggested to those who have hectic schedules or just have the tendency to forget depositing their savings. This way, you will never fail to put that portion of your income for your savings, and you can also avoid spending the funds on something else.
  • Explore your investment options. In order to choose a good investment plan, you have to do your research and study the movement of the markets.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t overspend. What’s the point of budgeting and financial planning if you are not going to follow them? If you really want to improve your abilities to handle your personal finances, the first thing you should do is to learn to discipline yourself when it comes to spending. It also helps to keep your money in bigger denominations; this way, you will have to rethink whether or not the product you are about to purchase is worth breaking the bill for.
  • Don’t rely on your credit card. Using your credit makes it difficult to track your spending. We suggest that you pay with cash as much as possible as studies show you can save more money because you can feel the outflow of the cash more this way.
  • Don’t let fear take over when it comes to investing. True, there are always risks in investing, whatever plan you go with. Investing requires patience and perseverance; you might not be able to earn immediately, or you may even lose some money in the beginning. However, these risks can end up fruitful and worth it in the end.
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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).

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