Make a New Year’s resolution that matters

Every New Year’s it’s the same thing. You tell yourself that you’re going to make a change this year that will really make a difference in your life. And in the lives of others. Well, if you’re going to make a resolution this year, make it one that really matters. Here are some great ideas for New Year’s resolutions that can have a significant positive impact and work towards the greater good.

Volunteer – There is something in the act of helping out others with no expectations that is really rewarding and enriching. Expand your personal horizons by donating an hour or two each week to a local charity. Consider volunteering at your local hospital, enrolling your dog in a pet therapy program or getting involved in an outreach program through your church.

Donate money – If you’ve been fortunate enough to do well financially in these tough times, consider donating money. Your financial advisor will know the best strategy to maximize the tax benefit of your donation and you’ll feel good knowing your dollars will help those less fortunate.

Lose weight – With an obesity crisis in the U.S., it’s no wonder our culture is obsessed with losing weight. But how many of us stick with it and make the lifestyle changes needed to drop weight? Make this the year you commit to getting your weight down to a healthy range. The benefits you’ll enjoy will have a long-lasting impact on your health.

Exercise more – None of us really exercise as much as we should. Well, not most of us anyway. March yourself over to your local YMCA and ask for a tour. Seriously consider getting a membership. Government guidelines recommend at least 30 minutes a day of exercise and up to 60 minutes of exercise if you’re looking to lose weight. Exercise also helps alleviate stress and depression — what’s good for the body is good for the mind as well.

Stop drinking – Admittedly, this resolution might be tough to pull off. So let’s just suggest that maybe you scale back your drinking some in the New Year? They say that wine, when consumed in moderation, has many health benefits … Hmmmm, we’ll drink to that!

Learn how to be mindful – While mindfulness is a practice that is Buddhist in nature, more and more non-Buddhist psychologists are recommending their patients learn the practice. It’s about being present in the moment and training oneself to experience all the beauty life has to offer right here, right now.

Create less waste – There are hundreds of ways you can reduce the amount of waste you create. Reuse, recycle and repurpose. Don’t buy new stuff; look for it at second-hand shops and garage sales. Turn your waste into compost. However you go about it, creating less waste will benefit us all.

Stop drinking bottled water – Instead of plunking down for bottled water, invest in a water filtration system such as Brita and refillable water bottles. Take the money you save and put it into a savings account and watch your little next egg grow over the next 12 months.

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