Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

pexels-photo-24503 ANew Year’s resolutions are a wonderful tradition.  We always should be striving to improve ourselves and our lives with each passing year.  The problem with New Year’s resolutions is not our trying to better ourselves, but rather how we go about doing so.

Resolutions tend not to work when they are based on quantifiable goals.  “I will lose 10 pounds.”  “I will make X more dollars per year.”  “I will get 8 hours of sleep each night.”  Those are all laudable goals.  But the challenge is that achieving them isn’t necessarily within our control.

Your weight is certainly a product of your diet and exercise routine.  However, it is also affected by your metabolism, your stress level, and your sleep patterns.  Your salary is dictated in large part by how hard you work.  However, it is also affected by the economy and current job opportunities.  And you can try to get 8 hours of sleep every night, but sometimes job and family responsibilities can get in the way of that.  So trying to achieve quantifiable goals can be discouraging.

It is far better to make New Year’s resolutions that focus on changing your lifestyle.  For instance, last year I gave up drinking coffee.  That may not seem like a big deal to some, but I was drinking nearly a pot of coffee a day.  That one small change had a dramatic effect on my life.  The caffeine had been making me jittery, and it wasn’t good for my teeth.  Since giving up coffee, I feel much more relaxed, and my teeth are whiter!

There are lots of lifestyle changes that we can make which are nearly painless, but which can make a big difference.  For instance, you can improve your health by committing to taking the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible.  You can improve your diet by including a small salad with every evening meal.  You can improve your intellect by watching television only two nights of the week, and reading books on the other five nights of the week.  You can save money by making your coffee at home every morning, instead of buying it from your favorite barista.  The ways that we can improve our lives by making small lifestyle changes are endless.

The beauty of making these types of small changes is that they are easy to do, and they have a larger impact than we realize.  Just taking the stairs at work burns a surprising number of calories and tones your leg muscles.  No expensive gym membership required!  These kinds of changes eventually become habit, and they end up being lifelong, lifestyle changes.

As you consider your resolutions for this coming year, don’t work about your extra 10 pounds or the size of your bank account.  Instead resolve to make small, but meaningful, changes to your lifestyle.  You’ll find that those resolutions not only will stick, but they will allow you to improve your life permanently for the better.

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