The New Year is a great time to incorporate healthier habits into your life, but what’s the point of a monumental change if it is only going to to discourage you from actually doing it?
These are four New Year’s Resolutions that you – yes YOU – can actually accomplish. And the payoff for some of these can be huge! Happy New Year all: let’s make 2016 the best ever! No more excuses – I know you can do this.
1. Eat vegetables for breakfast.
According to the CDC, less than 9% of Americans actually have enough vegetables in their regular diet. Although we tend to think about eating healthy in terms of cutting out things like fats and carbs, we also need to focus on putting in the right foods – and vegetables are the best way to get essential vitamins and minerals, while most also tend to be low in calories.
After watching a few of my favorite bloggers do the Whole 30 challenge this past year I realized that one place we could -but usually don’t – eat veggies is breakfast! This year, try to incorporate veggies into your breakfast at least once a week – and then maybe more!
2. Save up for Christmas.
I know Christmas is just barely behind us, but it will be here again in just a year! Even though we always know it’s coming, most of us don’t think about saving money all year to buy presents for people we love.
This year, Massimo and I saved up all our cashback rewards from our credit cards, and all our Amazon credit from selling back law school books to use for Christmas presents. Although it didn’t cover all the gifts we bought, it took A LOT of the stress out of shopping. This year, I hope to do the same thing, and put aside a little each month so we can freely buy gifts next holiday season.
3. Use a personal budget app.
The beginning of the year is the PERFECT time to make better financial choices. Massimo and I made some big changes last January, and I’m so glad we did! Keeping track of our household income and expenses helped in a million ways – everything from taxes to buying health insurance to putting more in savings!
But if treating your household finances more like a business scares you, don’t bite off more than you can chew: start with a personal budget app to track and limit your regular spending. We use Goodbudget, which has a website and app. The app syncs across our phones, too – so when Massimo spends money on gas, groceries, or aluminum foil, it shows up in my app, and I know exactly how much we have left! How it works is that you set up virtual “envelopes,” with labeled categories, which you fill regularly or whenever you want. And don’t worry if you have no idea how much to put in – you can (and will) adjust them all the time. The point is just to start!
4. Speaking of money, what if you gave away more of it?
Nonprofits consider the holiday season as their most important – because many of them get up to half of their annual contributions between October and New Years! I’m not complaining that we give so much away during the season of joy and hope, but what if those charities could rely on your contributions all year long? How much more could they do?
What can you do? Think of giving away as a regular household expense – after all, it is better to give than to receive, right? Every week, every month, every quarter – give something away! And try to make it a regular thing, so you stay in the habit and so that the nonprofits can rely on your contribution.
What are your New Year’s Resolutions? Is it big or small? How did you do with last year’?