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Every year, many of us find ourselves trying to find ways to make the next one better. We set goals, hoping to make improvements in different areas of our lives, but many of our efforts never see the end of January. Here is a list of resolutions I have found to be more sustainable.
- Find ways to save time. Time is precious, and who couldn’t use a little more of it to get all of our tasks done? I constantly find myself trying to save time to fill it with other tasks which may not be as productive as I like to think. Here are a couple of ideas I have found to be useful.
- Cook pot meals and freeze them in meal-sized servings. You can search Pinterest for crock pot meals or just increase the quantity of some of your favorite meals. You may even choose to do a couple of meals for the week. That means one set of pots and pans to clean up per pot meal. If you saved a little from the previous week, you can start to have more variety since your meals are frozen.
- If you are trying to get in some exercise during the day, try jogging in place while doing chores or other little tasks to get through the day. It may be a slow pace, but if you are trying to stay active and can’t find the time, this may be a solution for you.
- Exercise. Speaking of exercise, if you’re like me, it’s hard to find time to fit in exercise during the week. Jogging in place, marching, or even stepping side to side while you do chores can help you stay a little more active. You may also jog or pace the living room while you watch your favorite TV show or movie.
- Cut a few calories.Many of us would love to lose some weight, but the thought of most diets is overwhelming. Start by making small changes such as replacing soft drinks with tea or lemonade (just don’t increase the quantity). If you can’t cut out dessert completely, try cutting your portions to smaller sizes. I have found calorie counters such as MyFitnessPal and LoseIt helpful in keeping me on track with my goals.
- Read the whole Bible. You can find Bibles that break Scripture into 365 daily readings that take about 15 minutes per day. Some of them are chronological such as The One Year Chronological Bible NIV. If you still find it difficult to commit to the assigned readings or if you want to spend more time on a passage, you can start in Genesis or Matthew and read a chapter per day or even just a few verses. If you keep up with it, you will be surprised by how far you get.
- Don’t set goals you know will fail. Many times when I think about New Year’s resolutions, I set the bar too high and end up burning out quickly on the goals I set. Try making small changes. If you are dieting, trying cutting back just a little bit at first instead of completely changing your entire diet. If you want to get more exercise but know you don’t like the gym, figure out a way to fit in some active time at home. You probably know if your resolution is sustainable. It’s okay to set smaller goals to help you eventually reach a bigger one.
- Remember that God is in control. I find that when I set goals, I am often trying to control an area of my life. He is constantly reminding me that I don’t have the control that I think that I have. These tools can help us save some time or be a little healthier as long as we don’t become obsessive or take our resolutions to unhealthy extremes. Anxiety from unfinished goals never helped anyone.
No matter your goals, I hope you have a great year!