2013

5 New Year’s Resolutions I Can Make and Keep (that don’t include dieting!)

By Leslie Harpole

“Here we go,” you’re saying, “another list of yet more things I should be doing.” As if you don’t have a list a mile long already. Or multiple lists, even! I know mine is several years’ worth of accumulated wishes and desires. I don’t know who came up with this concept of resolutions to begin with and why the new year must be the harbinger. There have been a few years when I turned my cheek to the call from all quarters that the New Year meant. You know: “Hello? Get Going!!!” Some years just came in like another day on the calendar. That was good enough then… and sometimes, quite an accomplishment in itself. But that’s another story altogether.

This year, however, I seem to have had a change of view. I think the end of a very, very tough year deserves a bit more recognition. So I decided to think of a few resolutions that would be fitting for me, and make a good beginning to 2013. What I came up with has a positive spin I hope bodes well for the year to come. See if any of these might be something you agree will start this year off with a bang. (Yes, I meant to say that!)

Buy yourself a present. After you’re done paying those credit card bills for all the Christmas and Hanukkah presents you bought for other people, buy something for yourself. Whether it’s for your house to make it more like home or just a new sweater in a color you never dared try before but always wanted to, make it something just for YOU. I’m thinking of something right now!

Take the time to pamper and take care of yourself. Instead of jumping out of the shower and hurrying through your morning routine, take an extra 5 minutes to lather on that fragrant and luxurious body lotion that’s been languishing in your linen closet or sitting neglected on your dresser. I have quite a collection. Scents are powerful and for a lot of women, the feeling of soft healthy skin and a new scent can make one feel very feminine. Nothing wrong with that.

Forget the fancy savings suggestions. Some of us are better with our finances than others. The routines that might work for one, may not work for others. I know I’ve struggled. So I decided to take a simpler approach. I’m going to buy a piggy bank that I can only access when I break it! If I put in $20 each paycheck for 6 months, I’ll have a nice chunk of money to start a savings account with. By that time I will have gotten in the habit of setting aside that $20. Try a high interest savings account or start an IRA at your bank. There are a lot that have no minimum opening balance. Cool!

Speaking of retirement, with the economy on the upswing (hopefully) and most of us used to getting by with less, I’m going to rethink my 401K. The “experts” suggest having the highest percentage taken out. I’m going to up it a few percent gradually, but I can’t be too slow. I’m not a spring chicken anymore!

Get a Mammogram. Just as I’ve heard other women voice their opinions on the subject, I am going to follow my own instincts and have a test whenever I decide it’s necessary. Countless women have said that regular and early testing saved their lives and that’s all the incentive I need. We have this one body, ladies, and it’s ours’. No one knows better about what feels right for the body than the one who lives inside it.  If you don’t have a doctor who is supportive of you, you may need to find a new one.

I guess the point of my list is to have things on it that are realistic for my personality and habits. If I make the resolutions fun, rewarding and tailored to me and not adapted from someone else’s thoughts of what I “should” do, chances are these will be resolutions I can keep! Good Luck and Happy New Year!

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