New Year’s Goals: Why Stop at One?

Elizabeth Joyce


Making a Resolution can seem daunting — but it doesn’t have to be.

Firstly, there is no reason they cannot be made further into the year.

Secondly, be realistic and specific. Choose something you truly can and want to do; you probably will not run a marathon if you have never run a step in your life, but a 5K is totally within the realm of possibility. Finally, make a plan. Writing it down will make you accountable to yourself now and three months from now.

Here are a few optional (not to mention realistic) alternatives for a better New Year.

Food Dieting in the traditional sense can be incredibly drastic to start all at once. Try making small changes in your diet by adding one serving of fruits or vegetables each day, or by only eating whole grains instead of processed ones.

Snack healthy Pack emergency snacks in your backpack and car that won’t be just empty calories. Try nuts, dried fruits, rice crackers or seaweed snacks for a healthy energy boost. Or make your own trail mix from the bulk bins at the grocery store.

Plan ahead Schedule all of your appointments in one go and mark them on a calendar you will see regularly.

Adopt a dog Not possible for everyone, but a dog requires exercise which will allow you to get your 10,000 steps every day. And they will love you unconditionally!

Add some green to your home: Plants are easier than a dog but still require some care. If you don’t have a green thumb, consider a cactus or succulent — which are very hard to accidentally kill.

Exercise Adults are recommended to get 30 minutes a day. Taking three 10-minute walks is an easy way to get your steps. Also, you don’t have go it alone: get an exercise buddy so you are accountable to them, too.

Make a playlist that you like It will make chores and exercise a touch less grueling.

Decorate and/or Organize Frame those pictures that are getting damaged and collecting dust. Check out thrift stores for inexpensive frames. Declutter your life. Choose one category of items per month to go through and get rid of what is not important. This could include your clothes, medicine cabinet or Facebook friend list.

Travel Find a new park, cafe or museum in your city, or plan a vacation further away. Can you only afford to drive? Grab a map and draw a circle of around your city that marks one, three or five hours away and find a new place to go within that perimeter.

Start a new hobby Glass blowing? Interpretive dance? See what classes are offered by museums and hobby shops and search around on Groupon for deals. Some places have standard discounts they offer to new customers, and many have deals geared towards students.

If you’re not a huge social-butterfly and lean more towards solitary activities, there’s also bullet-journaling, reading or meditation.

Take a multivitamin every day We need to make sure we take our vitamins during the winter, especially here in the Pacific Northwest. Increasing Vitamin D and C alone may help brighten your mood.

Set an alarm for bedtime A key part of productivity is sleep, and at least six to nine hours of it. Get some zzzzz’s and you won’t get C’s.

Unplug, even in the city Try turning off or silencing your phone after business and class hours and take some time to be screen-free. Engage with people or read a physical book or check out a newspaper, like the Ebbtide.

Spend and save with cash Set a realistic budget for the week and take that money out in cash. Not only will this make it easier to stick to that budget, but any leftover cash can be stashed away to save for a trip or a new pair of Birkenstocks.

Reduce stress in small ways Add more blues and purples to your home and use scents like jasmine or lavender to produce a naturally calming effect.