We're just a few days a way from ringing in 2016. I'm always excited for a New Year as I think it brings new beginnings. One thing I do participate in is taking on some New Years resolutions, because, why not? It's fun. One thing I don't do is make them these big grandiose things. Thehe bigger the resolutions are, and the more likely you'll be to abandon them. If you keep your New Years resolutions simple, you'll actually be more likely to come out ahead.
One thing to realize is that New Years resolutions don't have to break the bank….though the certainly could. Here are some common resolutions and some ways to consider taking them on with a frugal mindset. And for many, that right there could take care of one resolution!
Eat Healthier / Lose Weight
Come soon, you'll start seeing ads all over the place for Weight Watchers and other types of dietary options that can help you lose weight. These can definitely work, but they'll set you back big time in your pocketbook. Consider other options like keeping a food journal, cutting back or eliminating snacking, using a smaller plate, or actively avoiding going for a second helping.
We all sit on the couch too much, right? And we'll stop that right after January 1st rolls around. If you want to get fit, you can certainly join expensive gyms or buy some fancy workout equipment, but there are cheaper ways. Join a cheaper gym (Planet Fitness is $10 per month which is much cheaper than most), do something simple like add a daily walk, an activity that won't cost you a thing.
Nobody needs to be told what an unhealthy and expensive habit smoking is, but if you really want to quit, the best thing is to do some research. There are forums where people talk about quitting, and they'll be frank about what motivates them, what works, and what doesn't.
You can also find people that might have some of the same triggers, or experienced some of the same failures in trying to quit that you may have. The key is to avoid the simple approach that involve running out and buying the latest product that will help you quit. If you are serious about this one, then instead of writing down “I want to quit smoking”, instead write down, “How I want to quit smoking” and make sure you have a well thought out plan. This can make all the difference and can save you a lot of money and frustration.
Spend quality time with loved ones
Life whizzes by, that's for sure. Nobody wants to hear the song “Cat's In the Cradle” and think that it was written for them, right? If you want to spend time with your loved ones, that's great! But coming up with a plan and involving the loved ones that you want to spend time are important. Instead of going all Clark Griswold and planning a big trip, sit down with your loved ones and come up with some ideas. Your quality time might be different than their quality time. Therefore, it's a good thing to know and understand this up front. This understanding can lead to doing some things that will make everybody happy. Talking about them together often brings out ideas that you might find cost nothing.
New Years is a great opportunity for a fresh start, but remember, it's just a day on the calendar. Regardless of your resolutions, just make sure that if you miss the mark that you don't quit and wait until the next year to start over.
Readers, what resolutions are you planning to tackle in 2016? If you've succeeded or failed at any of the above, what advice can you give?