7 Life Changing New Year’s Resolutions For You To Consider

New Years is a time of rebirth, a time for leaving our failures and shortcomings behind and to take up new commitments and embrace new challenges. Setting new goals and working to achieve them is a task we do throughout the year: we have new quotas to meet each business quarter, we try to get our beachside bodies back for the summer, and we start looking into healthy winter diets to help us maintain that extra holiday weight come fall.

Instead of using these times to set and start new goals, however, you can also use them as checkpoints for achieving the goals you task yourself for the duration of the year in your New Years resolutions. Checking in with your resolutions throughout the year is a great way to see how far you have come and also to know how much more you have to work in order to complete your task on time. If you are looking for some healthy, productive goals to accomplish throughout 2016, consider taking up one of these resolutions this New Years Eve.

1. Lose weight

This is a great goal to set during the December-January transition because it still allows you some time to get your beach body back before the warm weather rolls around and also lose the winter weight you have just put on even faster. Start by setting yourself a 3x/week, 30-minute exercise routine, mainly consisting of cardio (running, walking, swimming) and a diet plan. As the year continues, consider increasing your exercise regimen and monitor your progress to determine if you are in line with achieving your goal in the time you allot yourself.

2. Quit smoking

It is never a bad time to quit smoking, so long as you make a legitimate effort and do not get into the routine of saying you are going to quit and then taking it back up the next week. If you want to quit, make it known to others, and to yourself. Throw away your smokes and lighters and wash all of your clothes. Then look to the support of your friends and family to help get you through. You can make one of your new resolutions a new hobby to take up in order to help you drop your bad habit.

3. Save money

Saving money is much simpler than people tend to think it is. Like any other goal it really just takes getting started in order to motivate you to see your goal through. That being the case, go and open a savings account the day after New Years. You can begin with small deposits (between $5-25/day or week after the initial opening amount, which is usually $25) and then work your way up as you go along and get promotions at work and move up in your career. Quitting smoking will also do wonders on your bank account, especially if you are used to smoking multiple packs a day.

4. Drink less alcohol

Drinking less alcohol can help you achieve so many different goals: it helps you lose weight which promotes good overall health, it helps you get back into your summer swim gear, and, if you are a smoker, it helps eliminate a trigger that can ruin your hard efforts at quitting for good. Not that you have to give up drinking altogether; having one glass of wine or a craft beer each day can actually be healthy for you. But if you are one to have several drinks each day, and even more on the weekends, this is a perfect goal for you to set as part of your New Years resolution for 2016.

5. Volunteer

If you feel like you never get involved in your community, or volunteering for a cause is something you have always been interested in doing but simply have never started, making doing some volunteer work one of your New Years resolutions. You can find volunteer work to do throughout the course of the year via charitable organizations like the American Red Cross or through your local church or community center. There is always someone that could use your help any given time of the year, so get out there and lend a hand.

6. Travel

Given the chance and if money was no issue, everyone would put their life on hold for a few weeks or even a few months in order to see parts of the world they have not yet discovered. Most of us, however, for reasons that go beyond simply having a work schedule, cannot afford to take a hiatus in order to knock a bunch of places off our bucket list. But if traveling is a resolution you want to take up this year, you can definitely make it happen. Start by writing out a list of locations to visit (start with nearer and work up to farther) and then save accordingly to knock a new place off your list every month or two. Come next year’s New Years, you will have gone from wanting to travel to being an experienced sightseer.

7. Read

Reading is another hobby everyone says they would like to take up but seldom do; it is much easier to watch a movie on a rainy day or turn on Netflix to catch your favorite sitcom just before bed. Reading more, however, is just like any other goal: once you have started, the desire to keep going nearly becomes overpowering. Start with a short list of books and then think of your general schedule or routine, then think of which activities could be replaced with reading to help you reach your goal. For example, instead of watching Netflix or The Late Show before going to bed, read for 20 minutes. You can also take the bus to work and read during the commute (which also helps you save money), and read while you eat lunch at work instead of going out for a drink with co-workers everyday. As time goes on and you continue to scratch titles off of your list, you will find you have already succeeded in becoming a better reader.