If you routinely make New Year’s resolutions, but have a hard time keeping up with them, it may be time to reconsider what you are adding to your schedule, and what you could possibly remove from your schedule. Resolutions aimed at making your life healthier, happier, and easier may be doing the exact opposite if they require additional time commitments on top of an already hectic schedule. If you have a resolution to do more yoga or exercise to reduce stress, maybe also take a look at the stress-inducing activities in your life and how you can work towards reducing those as well. Yoga and exercise are great ways to combat stress, but if carving out an extra hour out of your day induces even more stress, the benefits may not outweigh the additional commitments.
One example how to reduce a stress-inducing activity and replace with a healthy one is to look at the time of day you plan on being more active. Many of us spend too much time in our morning commute; perhaps leaving early to avoid traffic and exercising closer to the office could be a good way to reduce a stressful activity (sitting in traffic) and increase a stress-reducing activity (exercise).
Another example would be to incorporate two resolutions. If you intend to spend more quality time with your kids, you could incorporate that into either eating healthy or exercising by letting them join you in planning/preparing healthy dinners or join them in play at the park for exercise. Involving kids in these activities is an excellent way to model healthy habits for the entire family.
Another example is to pair a resolution with an activity you already do; one popular resolution is to read more books; perhaps incorporating audio books could help feed your thirst for knowledge while you are stuck in traffic. This would add value to your life while helping make a stressful situation such as traffic more enjoyable.
The bottom line is to make time work for you; simplifying activities and schedules help make room for the important things in life. And remember, that even though the new year is a great time to set goals and plan for the upcoming year, anytime is better than never; so if you don’t succeed with your resolutions on first try, it’s OK to step back and evaluate things and try again!
Judi Natareno is the Owner and Lead Consultant of Clutter Free Families.