All Articles Tagged "new year’s resolutions"
At the beginning of the year, we all set out to achieve a laundry list of goals. Something about a new year forces us to reflect on our lives and want to make small changes for a better lifestyle, be it applying for grad school or throwing our hat in the ring for a promotion. But whether you jot them down mentally during a New Year’s Eve champagne toast or craft an entire vision board for your annual objectives, some intentions simply get lost in the shuffle of everyday life. Before you know it, those resolutions to do and live better become an afterthought. But don’t waste time beating yourself up about only reading two out of the 10 books you promised you’d have finished by the summer solstice. Instead, pretend you’re LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, down 3-1 in the series, and reboot your goals to make a stellar comeback in the second half of 2016.
Start by assessing all the targets you’ve already bulls-eyed. Pat yourself on the back for finally saving money like you said you would before scolding yourself for not developing better eating habits. In regards to what you’ve bested so far, take it to the next level. Started that new job you wanted? Make plans to stand out among your co-workers while working on a new project or set early sights on a new opportunity being offered.
After that, zero in on the things you didn’t get to accomplish. The leftover items on your year-long to-do list are where the real work begins. To get those forgotten items back on track, first change the deadlines and conditions. If you didn’t make that solo spring trip to Spain happen like you’d hoped you would, try rescheduling and flipping it into a fall vacation with your girls. Also, list every action that leads to each achievement. For instance, if you still need to find a new apartment, write down each place you need to call and visit, then make note of how much each place costs, including the costs for transporting your stuff. By including step-by-step actions into your plans, you won’t feel so overwhelmed because you will have a strategy. You will also be surprised by how quickly you knock out a goal when you’re thinking of it on a smaller scale.
With that being said, your marks may require a little downsizing. Often, the hype of a new year results in bloated, unattainable (at least within a year’s time) intentions. Things like buying a new home or reaping a considerable profit from your new business should probably be in your five-year plan, not a six-month window. That’s not to say your dreams are too big. They just may need a bit more time to materialize. It’s better to be realistic about certain aspirations instead of betting against your own success.
Lastly, find an accountability partner who understands your plan and purpose, and will be your cheerleader to the finish line. Some of your ambitions are just right, but you’ve been too busy, or maybe even too lazy to see them through. For the second half of 2016, have a friend or family member keep you on track, so by next New Year’s Eve, you can toast to getting everything you wanted out of the last 365.
Unless you missed a hard deadline for something you have no control over, recalibrating your goals to ensure success for the rest of the year is possible. You just need a nice dose of motivation and a few hours (or days) to map out a new plan for what’s left of the year. It’s nowhere near too late to make things happen. The question is, what will you do to see the changes you’ve been pining for before 2017 creeps up on us?
Start the new year off right and tackle one of the most common resolutions–vowing to finally get in shape–head on. First things first, you need to look the part! Stylish workout clothes will help motivate you to hit the gym, take a class or dust off a workout DVD.
Say farewell to your old college T-shirt and ratty oversized sweatpants and check out four different ensembles for four different types of exercises.
Show them what it really means to “hit like a girl.” When choosing stylish workout clothes, be sure to pick pieces that require minimal adjusting. Trust us, pulling up your shorts while wearing boxing gloves is as hard as it sounds.
Get a customizable fit with drawstrings and tanks featuring built-in bras. Also, seize the opportunity to mix it up with prints–who gon’ check you, boo?
Looking to change your financial situation this year? Make these fiscal New Year’s resolutions to put yourself on the right path in 2016.
The year 2015 was a particularly hard one on the Black community, but one thing we saw consistently were Black women stepping up and demanding justice for our brothas and for ourselves. We showed the world we matter and as we move into another year, we have to remember to show ourselves that same care. With that in mind, we put together a list of 10 things every Black woman should resolve to make a priority in the next year. As you can see, society and our community can’t thrive without us, so we must put ourselves first for a change.
With just hours to go until 2016 kicks off, we are all starting to take a mental inventory of all of the things you would like to implement in the new year. From starting a business to being more organized, these things don’t just happen for us without proper planning.
While normally the holiday season is a time to wrap down and enjoy friends and family, use the down time to start implementing some of the smaller items on your checklist that will make it easier for you to hit the ground running on the larger task items once the new year is ushered in.
Here are a list of 10 task items to tackle now to really kick off the new year in a major way.
1. Get Organized: With new goals come new manners in which to manage those tasks. Keeping yourself organized while running a business will look much different than just keeping tabs on personal obligations. What planner will work best, which apps are beneficial are just a few things to research and implement before the new year.
2. Start De-cluttering: Most of the world is intent on de-cluttering in the new year. Why wait. If you are going into the closet to grab a gift throw away one piece of unnecessary clutter while you’re in there. If your plan is to de-clutter be intentional daily about getting rid of the things that no longer have a home or you no longer need. Those few seconds will make your life easier when the dedicated day to completing that task comes around.
3. Create a Vision: Whether it be in your mind, on Pinterest or in the form of a vision board create imagery around what you want your space and life to look like. Want that pantry to be super organized or your life to be full of happiness create something tangible that you can refer to over the year.
4. Create a timeline: Nothing amazing happens over night. Set a realistic time line for getting things accomplished. Don’t push yourself or set unrealistic expectations.
5. Find an Accountability Partner: Find someone just as passionate as you are about moving toward greatness and will call you out when you miss the mark. Approach someone you are inspired by and can learn from. A little productive competition never hurt anybody
6. Purge your Inbox: Go through your inbox and get rid of unnecessary emails. Make folders to keep those things you need and discard the rest. Unsubscribe from mailing lists that no longer serve you or your needs.
7. Create a list of organizational items you need to purchase: An organized space begins with making sure all things have a home. Take inventory and purchase those items you will need to ensure you start the year with a clean and tidy space.
8. Create a Cleaning and Laundry Schedule: Set a realistic plan of what you need to clean and wash daily and stick to it. Get your significant other and children that are of age onboard to assist. It takes a village to maintain a home.
9. Ask for Help: If you were struggling to get things done this year, start reaching out to individuals who may be able to assist you in the new year. You never know if you don’t ask.
10. Take Care of You: Last but certainly not least. Start with personal care, get your nails done or spend time with a friend. Make a conscious effort to keep up these small details in the new year. Not only are they fun but remind you to keep yourself in the forefront all year long. If you aren’t taking care of yourself none of the other things will fall into place.
I’m stressed out about underwear. To be specific, I’m stressed out about the color of my underwear. And not just any underwear, my New Year’s Eve underwear.
It’s a Latin New Year’s tradition — or superstition, depending on how you think of it — to match the color of your skivvies to the thing you desire in the coming year. Yellow for prosperity, white for happiness, blue for wellbeing and so forth. Since I began observing this tradition, I’ve always chosen new red or pink dainties to bring love and/or passion to my life.
The one year I wore a bright red bra and panty set, within months I’d begun a passionate love affair. Now I’m convinced that there is power in the red panties and have chosen to wear the shade again for my New Year’s underwear. Which brings me to my predicament.
My money is a little funny right now (which probably means I should focus on yellow knickers) and I hadn’t planned for any new clothes for another month. Least of all a set of New Year’s underwear that, according to my past behavior, will only be worn once. I wondered if I could recycle the good karma from the red set that I already had, but one of my Latin girlfriends assured me that they must always be new and that she would spot me a bikini. Very nice of her, but I declined.
Now, I’m stressed out about finding a set of red underthings in my size and at my price point before Thursday. I believe that my chances for love in the new year will be summarily thwarted if I don’t accomplish this quest successfully. And that stresses me out for many reasons, not the least of which is the guy I’m seeing with whom I’d like to kick things up a notch.
You might be thinking, hey this is a superstition, why take it so seriously? In my bipolar mind, it’s not really about underwear but rather about setting my choices for the coming year. I worry a lot about choices, mostly because I can’t make them very well when I’m becoming depressed. I also worry a lot about making the wrong choice and ruining my life. That’s a factor in my bipolar too, catastrophizing little molehills into insurmountable mountains. Like when I think that not being able to get the right underwear will ruin my chances at love forever, therefore finding it must become the most important thing I will do this week.
Looking forward into the future is likely a difficult proposition for everyone, but more so for those of us with a mental illness. What could be something fun like New Year’s Eve could turn into a needlessly stressful obsession over the right color brassiere. I know I’ve spent too much time over the last few days thinking about New Year’s Eve superstitions. I should probably spend my last few moments of this year planning how to be a more prolific writer or how to keep my bipolar in better control. And I will do those things. It’s just that if I do them on December 31, I’ll be wearing red underwear.
Tracey Lloyd lives in Harlem, where she fights her cat for access to the keyboard. You can find more of her experiences living with bipolar disorder on her personal blog, My Polar Opposite.
We’re right in the middle of the overindulgent, wonderful, stressful and unrelentingly festive holiday season. It might seem like a slightly weird time to think about budgeting, but it’s also almost the start of a new year, which means resolutions.
It’s important to make an intentional shift toward creating better spending habits to ensure that your new goals are not only aspirational, but realistic. And the first step is avoiding overspending this shopping season.
“Keep your holiday budget manageable. You don’t have to impress your friends and family with the gifts that you can purchase. Take care of yourself and your budget so that when you have an emergency, you can take care of those,” said LaTisha Styles of YoungFinances.com, pointing out that overspending on holiday gifts today can equal not having enough money to cover an emergency, next month.
MyFabFinance founder Tonya Rapley said one of the best ways to keep holiday spending in check is to avoid “guilt gifting,” which is where you stretch past your limits in order to buy gifts that you feel obligated to purchase, even if you can’t afford them.
“If it’s not on your list, then it’s not on your list,” Rapley said. She also suggested buying “small and less expensive gifts that will have a big impact,” like gift cards for online classes, for example.
As far as making plans for 2016 goes, Styles suggested avoiding using the term “resolution” because “you won’t feel bad when you break those resolutions because everyone around is you is breaking their resolutions.”
“Call them goals and you just happen to be starting Jan. 1 — really if you can start before then, that’s great,” she noted.. “It’s a tiny thing, but it’s a mental shift that helps you reach financial goals.”
Styles also suggested writing down one specific target, like “I want to save an extra $50 from every paycheck,” twice a day, in a goal book, in order to help you stay focused on reaching your goal. She also cautioned that goals should be “measurable and reachable.”
For example, don’t commit to saving an unrealistic amount of money at one time (i.e. half of each paycheck), especially if those dollars are already earmarked for necessities, like rent and groceries. Instead, Styles said to “start taking the steps to rearrange your budget, cutting out your expenses.”
Ginger Dean, founder of Girls Just Wanna Have Funds, prefers to call budgets “spending plans.”
“Some of us think budgeting…means that we have to deny ourselves everything that we love.”
Her advice is to use tools like the one-page budget that she will be publishing on her site at the beginning of the year. It allows you to enter your income as well as all of your expenses and what you’ll have left over at the end of each month.
“It encourages you to give every dollar a job,” Dean said. “If you still have $800 at the end of the month when you’re putting in all of your expenses, that’s $800 you could blow. Even if you are just going to put it toward your vacation fund, it needs to have a job.”
Rapley, whose blog began as an “accountability partner” to help her get her own finances under control, suggested starting by “committing every day to not creating debt.” She also advised cutting out unnecessary expenses (like getting professional pedicures in the winter, for example), committing to saving 5 percent of your income and creating new, good habits.
“Sometimes, it’s not necessarily a direct financial habit, but it’s something that impacts it,” she said. “Research shows that people who regularly go to the gym or have another habit that they’ve created become more disciplined in other parts of their lives.”
Using budgeting tools can help make it easier to assess the financial damage you’ve done in the past, pinpoint your bad spending habits and make a plan for starting fresh. One popular tool that Styles suggested using is Mint.com. “Mint has a great way for you to review your transactions and review where your money went. Then, you have the opportunity to rearrange your expenses and be intentional with every dollar and figure out where you want them to go,” she said. The site also can send you notifications when you’re spending more than you’d planned on takeout food, for example.
“I like how innovative their budgeting functions are, because they’ll give you a different perspective on your money. Hellowallet will tell you, ‘Here’s what you spent your money on, outside of your mortgage or rent.’ It’s eye-opening. What were the other competing expenses?”
Of course, with anything like budgeting or starting a new fitness plan, there’s going to be some backsliding. “Accidentally” blowing $300 on a purse, racking up a higher-than-expected bar tab or forgetting to close an unnecessary account are all examples of financial slip-ups that can knock you off course.
“Traditional marketing works really hard to make us fall off of the wagon. It’s a multi-million dollar industry that works really hard at getting us to spend money. Everything is conspiring to get us to spend money,” Rapley said.
But instead of beating yourself up about it, Rapley suggested you forgive yourself and move on.
“We have to realize that these are long-standing habits. It won’t happen overnight. Habits are ingrained in us and you’re working against time and what’s comfortable for you.
“You’re changing your belief systems, the way you’ve done things and how you gratify yourself. It’s a process and you’re going to face setbacks, so you have to have plan for how you’re going to bounce back from those setbacks.”
In a few short weeks, we will be greeting a New Year with open arms. Regardless of what happened in 2015, the New Year always comes with an opportunity to change things and make your life a little bit sweeter (or a lot sweeter).
But creating the life you want is no easy feat. It doesn’t just happen when the clock strikes 12:00 on January 1st. Moving into a New Year and expecting a new experience requires a lot more than a new attitude. It requires developing new habits and getting rid of the old ones.
So how do you determine what you need to cut out of your life as your prepare to enter the New Year? It’s simple, really. You need to cut out anything that doesn’t serve you or move you closer to the life you want to live.
Is doing that going to be easy? Maybe, but probably not. Unfortunately, we often become attached to the people and things in our lives that do not serve us. We start to feel like we need them, failing to realize that they actually drain us and bring us further and further away from what we truly want.
Here are 12 things you should considering removing from your life in the New Year. It may be hard, but doing so will help you create the kind of year you’ll want to shout about from rooftops.
1. Hanging out with the wrong people. The people you keep in your circle have a huge impact on the quality of your life. Make 2016 the year you stop hanging out with all those negative “friends” who bring drama and doubt your dreams. Surround yourself with people who are supportive and encouraging.
2. Neglecting to make your health a priority. Putting everyone first, while your health falls apart, is a bad habit that many moms have. To be the best possible version of yourself, you have to make your health a priority. If you fall apart, everything in your life will, too.
3. Telling the whole word your dreams. You can’t let everyone in on your plans. Unfortunately, everyone can’t be trusted and some people are just not rooting for you. Share your dreams with the people who deserve to hear them. Everyone else can fall back.
4. Overspending. We often spend for the wrong reasons and it can snowball into a pretty big problem. Spending to keep up with appearances, or manage your pain doesn’t serve you well. Cut back on spending and you cut back on the stress that comes with it.
5. Ignoring your depression. Depression doesn’t just get better without any work on your part. If you feel sadness settling in and you realize that all your efforts to feel better are not working, make 2016 the year you stop ignoring your sadness and take steps to get the help you need.
6. Being disorganized. I used to refer to myself as an organized mess. Now I laugh whenever I think about it. Being organized is critical and when the space around you is a mess, so are your thoughts. Organize your day-to-day life, and your thoughts will surely follow.
7. Failing to plan. I love the idea of going with the flow, but I also realize the importance of planning. Make a plan for what you want your life to look like by December 2016 and take steps to make your plan come to life.
8. Watching too much television. When I need a good dose of funny drama, I love The Real Housewives of Atlanta, too, but too much TV can become a problem. Think about all the other things you could be doing in that time. Just remember that the people you are watching are chillin’ in their wealth, while you are neglecting to create yours because you are busy watching them.
9. Abusing your hair. I am not trying to convince anyone to join #teamnatural (although I am a very happy member), but I do want you to think a little bit more about what your put your hair through. Heat, chemicals, the wrong products, and the list goes on. Regardless of how you wear your hair, give it the love it deserves.
10. Worrying. I loved it when 50 Cent told Oprah that you have to either worry or pray—you can’t do both. Leave the worrying habit behind because it doesn’t solve anything and it causes stress. Instead, use your energy to do something that will move your life in a better direction.
11. Overusing technology. I love my iPhone, iPad, Macbook and every other gadget in my life, but I have learned that I need to take a break. Using technology too much can take away from your ability to truly be present with your family. A day away from your phone every week won’t kill you. If anything, it will make your life better.
12. Not sleeping well (or enough). We need sleep. And not only that but we need quality sleep. Eating in bed, sleeping with your smart phone near by, working on your laptop in the wee hours of the night—these are all habits that prevent you from having the peaceful sleep you deserve. Make 2016 the year you get the rest your body needs.
Martine Foreman is a freelance writer, lifestyle blogger, speaker and coach. To follow her journey as a busy mom, wife and honest chick from Brooklyn, NY (now living in the burbs), check out her personal blog, CandidBelle.
I will stop procrastinating.
I will work out consistently and for longer than a week.
I will be energized, nicer, and filled with gratitude.
Heck, I’m even going to keep a gratitude journal. I think 2015 will be my year.
These are only a few of the proclamations I made at the top of this year. They were my New Year’s resolutions, and despite the fact that statistics show that only eight percent of people stick to their resolutions, I was determined to be in that small percentile.
It’s been almost a month, and to date, nothing has changed. In fact, I think I’ve gotten worse.
So I’ve decided to reset my resolutions in hopes of actually achieving them this year.
Many times, we give up on resolutions once we realize that we’ve fallen short. At least, this is how it usually goes for me. But this year, I’m simply doing a reset instead of giving up. I’m re-evaluating the goals I set and reflecting on why I haven’t come remotely close to starting and sticking to them. After this, I am doing either one of two things: ditching them or developing a strategy to tackle them.
Ditching your resolutions after reflecting on them isn’t a sign of giving up, it’s more about prioritizing. I am choosing the things that will have a bigger impact on my life this year, as opposed to setting tons of goal I know good and well I won’t remember to stick to.
In this case, less is more. I’ve chosen three words to live by and will allow them to govern my life this year. Love, health and prosperity. The words are actually broad, despite the fact that experts recommend that New Year’s resolutions be specific. But at this point, hardly any expert advice has worked for me, so I’ll do my own thing.
I will instead focus on my thoughts and spiritual health. By doing so, it will hopefully allow me to focus more so that I can follow through with my goals. And if things don’t fall in line with my ‘new year’s motto,’ I won’t entertain it. In addition to that, I do have a few specific new goals, but they are simply to plan every day by setting small daily goals and also reflecting on my 24 hours when it’s over.
Experts say that March is the month where New Year’s resolutions, unfortunately, die, and three things seems to happen to us in March: We accomplish a goal, give up on a goal or totally forget we even set a goal in the first place. It is recommended that you read your New Year’s resolutions often so that you won’t forget them. In my case, I wake up reciting the three words that I hope will govern my day and year: Again, they are love, health and prosperity.
For at least the last 10 years of my life, my New Year’s resolutions have fallen through the cracks. I started out with strong momentum, only to be disappointed around this time, every year. So I’m opting for this remix as opposed to the traditional resolutions. I’ve also created a vision board to supplement my positive thoughts. But instead of me writing down laundry lists of pounds to lose, books to read, and people to apologize to, I’m simply trying to live a better life each day. I’m planning, reflecting and hoping that 2015 will be a great year.
What’s the progress that you’ve made with your New Year’s resolutions? Are you keeping them or have you forgot that you even made them?
A good relationship shouldn’t require too much thinking. On autopilot, things should run rather smoothly but that doesn’t mean that being conscious of a few little things couldn’t boost even the best of relationships. Here are 8 New Year’s resolutions that will seriously help your relationship.