reactivating new years resolutions

Restarting old New Years resolutions (and planning ahead for upcoming New Years resolutions)

Remember the beginning of year and those New Year's resolutions? If you're like most of us, you probably threw in the towel before July. There's no reason to feel guilty, however, because the coming year allows us to wipe the slate clean and begin again.

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Here are 5 "end-of-the-year" suggestions which should help set you up for success in the coming new year.

Eat better
It sure sounds easy now, but as we ramp up for the holiday season, the plates of food seem to get bigger and our sense of judgment shrinks. You don't need to short-change yourself from all of your favorite holiday foods as long as you watch portions and minimize in-between meal snacking.

Exercise more
As temperatures start to drop, it's tempting to play "couch potato." However, there are easy ways to stay active, whether it's a brisk mall walk, going to the community recreation center or simply creating an "in home" workout. All you need is a mat, a couple of resistance bands or hand weights; exercise balls are also very effective.

Forgive someone who angered you during the past year
Old grudges often resurface, especially during holiday get-togethers. Isn't this the perfect time to bury past resentments and release this enormous burden off your shoulders? This also applies if you are carrying a grudge at work or toward a friend.

Nothing gives more satisfaction than giving your time to help others in need. The possibilities are endless. Practically every community has soup kitchens or food banks that would welcome you. Volunteer drivers are often needed to deliver meals to home-bound people. Animal shelters can always use your help. Also, look around your neighborhood and you might find a lonely neighbor who would appreciate a friendly visit.

Schedule that annual physical exam you've been putting off
If you haven't yet seen your physician for your annual physical, then now is the time to make it happen. Small medical problems can often be diagnosed and resolved before they become much bigger at your annual exam. Don't forget to arrange appointments with your dentist and eye care professionals. Also, make sure you use up the funds in your flex spending account.

Ease off the electronic devices
It's easy to let phones, texting or email replace real human interaction. Of course these methods are completely necessary if you are many miles from the person you're trying to contact. However. nothing beats real human interaction, and resolve today to make it happen. Many happy families are rediscovering the joys of conversation by discouraging texting at the family dinner table, restaurants or in social situations.

According to, here are the most popular New Years resolutions1, year in and year out:

  • Lose Weight
  • Volunteer to Help Others
  • Quit Smoking
  • Get a Better Education
  • Get a Better Job
  • Save Money
  • Get Fit
  • Eat Healthy Food
  • Manage Stress
  • Manage Debt
  • Take a Trip
  • Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
  • Drink Less Alcohol

Care to share your new years resolutions or suggestions? Please post them in the comments section below.

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Join in our discussions:
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March 12, 2015
Thanks for the useful information. Just this week, the NY Times published 7 tips for success in terms of New Years resolutions that I thought were helpful:

The three that resonated most with me were: 1) rather than relying on a dogged determination to practice willpower, set yourself up for success by removing the temptations to cheat, 2) know that you may need extra resolve when under stress, and 3) that old adage "everything in moderation" doesn't apply for everyone. Some of us may find it easier to abstain entirely from sweets, for example, than allowing ourselves just a little every day.
Alice at
March 14, 2015
Those are wonderful tips, Ross. Thank you for sharing them. Perhaps the one I find most interesting on that list is that, in some cases, we may have the greatest chance for success if we start our resolutions at the same time we are undergoing a major life change, such as starting a new job, moving to a new city, or other life changing events that force us to break old habits and establish new ones. Of course, as you pointed out, managing stress, which is probably hightened at times like these, is important.
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