10 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Change Your Life

Ross Quade | Tips | 29 Dec, 2015 | No Comments

3D render of a golden Happy New Year top hat

It might be an old cliché to make New Year’s resolutions, but if this is the year you want to take charge and make the most out of your life, what better time to start than at the very start of the New Year? Sure, you can vow to lose weight, save money, or spend more time with your family, but those are standard resolutions that will not change your life – what you need to do is set a few resolutions that can have a profound effect on your life today and into the future. Here are a few ways to get started.

1. Take Time for Yourself

If you want to change your life, you have to take time for yourself. If you are like most people, your schedule is jam-packed with appointments, places to go, and people to see. In all of the rushing around, we tend to forget about ourselves. This year, make it a point to schedule downtime for yourself, doing something that you love. It could be time to get a manicure, read a book, go for a run, or anything else that you find enjoyable and that helps to lower your stress levels. Even if you schedule 30 minutes a day for yourself, it is more than you got before and it will have a beneficial impact on your health.

2.  Contribute the Maximum Amount to a Retirement Account

If you have multiple retirement accounts, you might not be receiving the greatest tax breaks because your money is split up among accounts. Next year, choose one account and contribute the maximum amount allowed to receive the best tax breaks as well as to enhance your retirement benefits. In 2016, the maximum IRA contributions are still $5,500 unless you are over 50, then it is $6,500.

3.  Invest in Life Insurance

Investing in life insurance changes your life not now, but in the future. If you are young and want something inexpensive, you can secure term life insurance to protect your family in the event of your untimely death. If cost is not an issue or you are older, you can invest in whole life insurance with cash accumulation benefits that you can use the benefits of when you are older, should you need to, and leave the remaining portion for your family upon your death.

4.  Commit to Trying X Number of New Things a Week

This resolution is customizable to your desires. Pick a number, say 50, and then assign it to a goal, such as read 50 new books next year or drive to 50 new National Parks or something along those lines. Think of things that can broaden your horizons and that would feel like an accomplishment at the end of the year. You will not only feel accomplished, but also you will learn and/or see a lot more than you would if you lived your ordinary life.

5.  Increase your Income

Increasing your income does not rely on you finding a second job or a higher paying job any longer. The Internet opened up a large number of possibilities for the creative type. Make a resolution to seek out new opportunities that will help you earn more income to put away in your retirement account or to invest in your life insurance to double up on several resolutions at once and truly change your life.

6.  Volunteer your Time

Volunteering does something for those you are helping as well as yourself. If one of your standard resolutions every year is to get healthy, volunteering is a way to get you on that track. When you give to others, you feel better about yourself, which in turn, can lower stress and decrease the risk of various diseases throughout your body. As an added bonus, you may meet new people that may change your life in other ways too, making it a win-win for everyone.

7.  Develop Organizational Skills

If you are not the organized type, now is the time to get started. When your home is in order, your bills easily found, and your finances are intact, life just seems simpler.  This translates into lower stress levels, more time for fun, and more time for yourself. Find a book that resonates with you or take a class on organizing. If you don’t have time, take to the Internet where there are thousands of websites willing to help the unorganized get their life back on track.

8.  Step out of your Comfort Zone

Make it a resolution this year to step out of your comfort zone “x” amount of times. If you are more on the timid side, maybe set a goal to do something that is completely unlike you twice next year. If you are more daring, make that number larger to really enhance the experiences you have in your life and to cross things off your bucket list. Life is short – you have to make the most of it!

9.  Go to College

No matter your age, you can go to college or back to college at any time. People in their 80s are still going back to get that degree they never got just to say they did it or to explore career opportunities. It does not matter the reason you want to go, just make this the year to do it. You never know the possibilities that will open up for you once you accomplish this goal, giving you even more resolutions to make and meet in the years to come.

10.  Take a Trip you Have Put Off

Go over your bucket list and look at the places you want to visit but kept putting off because of time, money, or any other reason and make it a reality this year. If money is an issue, go during off-peak seasons; search Groupon for deals in that area; or find other ways to make it affordable such as driving instead of flying. If time always gets in the way, schedule it during your slower time of year, but do it now so you do not change your mind because you are too busy. Find a way to get around every excuse and make that trip happen this year.

 

Making New Year’s resolutions is a great gesture, but unless you follow through with them, they are pointless. This year, print out your resolutions and post them somewhere where you can see them all of the time. Then take small steps toward reaching those resolutions every day. As you meet them, cross them off your list. The accomplished feeling you get will empower you to keep going, giving you a completed list before next December rolls around and it’s time to make more resolutions.

 




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