I have grown to love winter. It is a time of being home and laying low. A time of making soup and catching up on my ironing. A time of long, indulgent hot baths and slow starting mornings in bed with a cup of tea and a good book.
During February I will be sharing articles about Domestic Queens, Introverted Queens, Privacy Seeking Queens, Self-Loving Queens, and Literary Queens. And as always, I ask you to please share your stories on these themes.
Making New Year’s Resolutions You Actually Keep
It’s a new year and a fresh beginning! For most of us, it’s a time when we feel compelled to turn over a new leaf and resolve to do things better and different this year. We want to develop new habits and rid ourselves of the unhealthy ones. We want good change, but a whopping 88% of resolutions fail, and most by the end of January!
Why is this? We usually set ourselves up with vague and unrealistic goals that we really aren’t committed to accomplishing. We think we should do things differently, but we don’t really have the resources to follow through with them. With this in mind, why not make resolutions that serve your health and well-being while eliminating the guilt and overwhelm? Here are ten resolutions that will improve your outlook on life over time and are easy to keep! With little effort and no guilt, you’ll see positive changes by the end of the year.
Eat more chocolate. Studies show the consumption of dark chocolate has a positive affect on blood pressure and provides important antioxidants. In addition to health benefits, most of us view chocolate as a delicious and guilty pleasure. Resolve to indulge yourself. See it as your promise rather than a weakness!
Sleep in every day. Ever feel guilty about hitting the snooze button? Make it a new discipline to sleep more! Sleep helps regulate your metabolism, improves mood, mental acuity, appearance and may even help you lose weight if you need to. Simply go to sleep ten minutes earlier every night, and set your alarm ten minutes later every morning. See how you’re feeling at the end of the year!
Lose one pound a month. That’s right, just one pound. Most Americans could benefit from losing weight. It seems doable, even easy to lose a pound a month–1/4 pound a week–with healthful eating and a little more exercise. And at the end of the year you’ll be 12 pounds lighter. You just might exceed this goal and feel great about it, but at the very least you’ll be twelve pounds lighter than today. Of course you can skip this resolution if you don’t have weight to lose, or modify it to suit your needs.
Drink more (water, that is.) Sometimes we forget to hydrate. It helps with weight loss, it makes our skin glow, it helps flush toxins from our system, eases digestion and may even lower the risk of certain cancers. Start with a cup of water in the morning when you get up. Add a squeeze of lemon if you wish.
Finish something. Anything. Do you have a lot of unfinished projects around the house? A letter or thank you note? A book you’ve been meaning to read? A half-painted bathroom? Pick the smallest and easiest project and finish it. You might even choose a project to finish every weekend. No matter how small or mundane, the act of completion clears the way for new ideas, new actions and new energy in your life!
Save $1 every day. How would you like to be handed a jar containing $365 right now? That’s what you’ll get by simply putting a buck in change or a bill in a bucket, shoebox, or container of choice every day this year. Apply it to Christmas presents, your favorite charity, a facial or weekend away. You’ll feel rich, at least for a day! And you’ll know it really is possible to save money.
Spend 5 minutes entirely alone. This one’s simple. Choose five minutes in your day when you’re alone and relish in your solitude. It can be time in the bathroom, five minutes before rolling out of bed, sitting in your car or on a park bench at lunch. Call it “alone time” and enjoy!
Meditate every day for 3 minutes. Many of us feel like we should meditate more often. We know it reduces stress, helps us connect to our source and benefits our overall health. How about starting with 3 minutes? Combine it with your “alone time” if you want to. Just close your eyes and follow your breath. At the end of the year you’ll have spent 1,080 minutes –that’s 18 hours!–in meditation.
Walk around the block every day. You don’t have to join a gym today or buy any expensive equipment. Just resolve to walk a short distance every day. A quick stroll around the block clears the mind so you can hatch new ideas or solve problems as well as strengthen muscles, improve circulation and encourage weight loss. Combine it with your meditation resolution and call it “alone time” if you want. If you don’t have access to a city block, choose your own destination. Walk to the curve of the road, the length of the parking lot or even to your mailbox.
Keep the resolutions you like, ignore those you don’t enjoy. Life is supposed to be fun! Choose habits that enhance the quality of your life without stress or guilt. No one is keeping score so do what works for you!
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.