3 Reasons Why You Need to Make New Year’s Resolutions

Each year 45% of the American population makes New Year’s Resolutions. Yet, only 8% successfully meet or achieve their resolutions. The most popular resolutions fall in self-improvement, weight loss, finance, and relationships categories.

Have you ever stopped to think about why you make resolutions? Is it a family tradition? Because everyone else is doing it? Or because society expects you to make resolutions? Either way, making New Year’s Resolutions is good for you.

Below are my three reasons why you should make New Year’s Resolutions this year.

New Year’s Resolutions Give You:

 Closure

  Hope

   Direction

As you begin to think about what New Year’s Resolutions you will make for 2017, you are forced to reflect on 2016. This will help you identify things you want to end or people you want to eliminate from your life. Reflecting on the past year will also help you see what or who held you back from achieving your personal and professional goals. Saying goodbye to toxic people, unproductive activities, unpleasant situations, and bad habits will provide you space and time for new opportunities and activities. Closure is good. It provides you hope.

Hope is not toxic. Hope gives you peace of mind, drive, and motivation. Can you think of a better feeling to have as you start 2017? When you have hope, you can set a new direction for 2017.

You are in the driver’s seat of your life. Make time to chart your direction for success in 2017. Each new year’s resolution should have its own roadmap to success. I encourage you to take the time to create a vision board showing the resolutions you have already achieved. Then, in a journal or on a white board, write step by step directions on how you will achieve success. I recommend using the SMART acronym when designing the directions for your resolution achievement. We all follow directions every day to achieve results. When you have directions on how to achieve your desired results and you follow them, you will succeed.

Research has shown that when you explicitly make resolutions, you are 10 times more likely successfully complete them than those who don’t explicitly make resolutions. Hang your vision board where others will see it and comment. This will motivate you to keep working towards your goal. Sadly, only 14% of people over the age of 50 reach or achieve success with their resolutions. In the first week, 75% of resolution makers work towards their goals, however the number decreases with each month that passes by. Don’t be the statistic that does not achieve success. In my next article, I will share tips on achieving success in 2017. But for now, make time to reflect on 2016, on what worked and what you will no longer tolerate in 2017.

New Year’s Resolutions provide closure, hope, and direction. These three items work together to help you reduce stress and achieve success in 2017. You can be one of the 8% who achieves resolution success.

Five Tips to Controlling Summertime Chaos

newsletterCHAOSkidsRegardless of your age, marital or socioeconomic status, at one time or another, you will experience stress and anxiety. Each changing season produces different stressors. Summertime has the pendulum swinging from how to keep children from fighting and saying they are bored to keeping them free from sunburns to an upcoming move to a new neighborhood. The body’s initial reaction to stress is fight or flight. Symptoms of excess stress include feeling mentally and physically exhausted, problems sleeping, tension headaches, bowel disturbances, a lowered immune system, and irritability.

Here are five tips to control summertime chaos:

1. Laugh. You have probably heard that laughter is the best medicine. Research shows that laughing produces endorphins which cause you to relax, experience joy, and ease pain. When feeling stressed picking up the telephone and speaking with a friend can often bring a smile to your face that will aid in producing the feel good endorphins. Also, turning on the television and watching your favorite sitcom can aid in reducing stress and anxiety.

2. Evaluate your diet. Limit caffeinated products because caffeine is a stimulant. Alcohol consumption should also be restricted since alcohol is a depressant. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables over commercially processed items. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables are easier for your body to digest than commercially processed foods such as cookies and chips. However, there is nothing wrong with occasionally indulging your chocolate craving.

3. Exercise. Engaging in exercise is another way for your body to produce endorphins. Taking time for a walk after dinner or meeting a friend for a game of racquetball can raise your level of feel good endorphins while getting you in shape physically and mentally.

4. Have a MAP (Master Action Plan). When you stop to think about what is causing anxiety such as an upcoming move or the absence of a spouse during a deployment you can develop strategies to cope with the stress. Creating a step by step plan on how to walk through the action will allow you to empower yourself by taking charge of the situation. If you are experiencing stress on how to keep the children entertained during summer vacation you can develop a daily schedule so that the child knows what to expect throughout the day; children thrive on routine. Having a Plan A is great but having Plan B and Plan C will ensure you have covered whatever may be thrown at you with minimal disruption.

5. Increase Productivity. Productivity creates an atmosphere of positive change and is more fruitful than worrying and doing nothing.

It is impossible to ignore or reduce all stressors from our lives. However, when you are able to recognize your limits of stress and know how to use practical strategies to reduce stress you will control summertime chaos. Therefore, laugh and exercise to raise your endorphin level. Be productive and design your MAP to navigate stressful situations. Lastly, don’t forget to occasionally indulge your chocolate craving and enjoy your summer.