Can We All Not Resolve to Lose 20 Pounds?

It’s a new year and the potential for a new you is everywhere.  I’m already tired of the ads for diet systems and tricks, memberships and home gym offers.  How about doing something different this year to get to a new you?

Challenge yourself to become a better, smarter version of you: become more involved politically by advocating for issues you care about, take control of your finances and learn how to prepare for the future, learn a new skill or take up a new activity, read something that challenges what you believe.

At brunch on New Year’s Day my boyfriend and I were discussing Resolutions.  My boyfriend was trying to explain the need for something quantifiable.  The only thing I could come up with that was quantifiable was to lose 15 pounds.  I don’t need to lose the weight.  New Year’s is always a time when women to decide how much they’ll try to lose that year.  I’d rather focus on what I can gain.

I plan to read more, and read books I’ve been putting off reading, books that will teach me something about the world, myself or change my views.  I want to challenge myself, whether it is on the yoga mat or in the kitchen (two places where a lot of my fears come out).   I want to learn to knit, get back into rock climbing.

Here are my recommendations for getting started:

Want to become more politically involved? This is a great time to do so.  Go to a rally, volunteer for a candidate stuffing envelopes or handing out yard signs, make a donation, write a letter to your representative, write an Op-Ed.

Want to take control of your finances or find a new job?  There are so many resources out there to help you.  Here are a few books that can give you the kick start you need!

Finances:

On My Own Two Feet by Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar

Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach

The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman

Career:

Knowing Your Value: Women, Money and Getting What You're Worth by Mika Brezinski

Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers by Lois Frankel

Looking to release your creative side? Try an art class, or learn to knit of make jewelry. Start a blog a get writing.

Hoping to release some stress?  Try picking up a new routine to keep you active: yoga and Pilates studios usually offer free initial classes or a discount on your first week or month.  Plan a hiking trip for after the thaw, or hit a gym with a rock wall.  It doesn’t have to be all about losing weight.  Just stay active and find something you enjoy!

Having trouble keeping up with friends?  Pick those most important to talk and set a regular coffee, breakfast or drink date.  Don’t live in the same city? Set up a regular phone date.  Every other Saturday at 10am you and said friend(s) will eat breakfast, get coffee, Skype, Facetime, talk together.

Starting on these activities now not only helps you set a routine for the year, it helps fight those winter time blues.  Find a friend who is also trying to get into a new routine or is trying something new to partner up with.  It doesn’t have to be the same activity as long as you ask each other how it is going, or trade skills learned.  Most people forget about or abandon their resolutions by mid-February!  Can you survive more than two months into your resolution?

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