Welcome back to the day-to-day routine. After over-indulging during the holidays, I relish a return to simple routines in January. I don’t really make resolutions, but I usually set goals – even if I don’t write them down. Like most everyone else, I want to lose a little weight, get a better handle on my finances, and improve my physical and mental health. In other words, to get it together.
People’s top resolutions: improve physical, mental, financial health
Statistica posted the top New Year’s resolutions for 2019. Most US survey respondents had similar goals to mine. Diet/exercise, money, learning/reading, and time with friends and family topped the list.
You will find more infographics at Statista
I looked back at the research I did on these topics during the past year. Here are a few posts that will help you set and follow through on your goals for 2019.
Get it together: lose those pesky pounds
Healthy eating is a subject I’m always learning about. I wrote an article in 2018 about the best diets for midlife. A “midlife diet” is one that emphasizes consistently good nutrition. It values long term heart and brain health vs. quickly losing weight that will likely come back when you stop dieting.
Much of the information in this post is drawn from US News & World Report’s article on the best diets for 2018. They’ve updated their recommendations for 2019. And the good news is that diets I identified as best for midlife are this year’s Best Diets Overall:
- Weight Watchers
- Mayo Clinic
You can learn the specifics by reading US News & World Report’s 2019 Diet Rankings. For additional context, check out this post:
Get it together: take control of your expenses
January is always a depressing month. Cold, wet weather. Not enough sunlight. Bills to pay. You want to practice frugality, but it can be hard to know where to start.
That’s why it helps to use a budgeting app. Earlier in the year, I investigated various apps that would help me determine how much I was spending on different categories. Then I could use the data to make changes in my spending habits. I was really excited to introduce more discipline to my personal finances.
I even forked over the money to purchase a couple of apps whose paid versions looked promising. But truth be told, I haven’t done anything with them. Clearly, I need to review my own post. Time to get it together! Review the info alongside me and choose a budgeting app that works for you:
Get it together: practice being
There are lots more expectations you can put on yourself besides the usual goals to lose weight and spend less. You might set a goal to read more, take a class, organize your cabinets, or entertain friends more often.
But this year instead of making all your goals concern things you want to DO, what about making a goal to BE? Yes, I know it sounds strange. And it isn’t measurable. But practicing being will help you get better at doing, too.
So check out these posts on meditation. The main thing to keep in mind is that you’ll learn just by trying it. You won’t do it perfectly. You might not even get better over time. That’s why they call it meditation practice.
I’ve been meditating off and on for several years. I don’t really know why I’ve had periods when I stopped meditating. I could say I’ve stopped because life got too busy. But that’s not really an excuse: meditation takes very little time – certainly less time than I waste watching TV or checking social media.
And stopping to be quiet and focus on your breath actually helps you feel better.
Like other things, meditation is a habit you can build. Learn more about meditation and midlife here:
Don’t be so hard on yourself
As you’re resolving that this will be the year when you finally get it together, be patient with yourself. Don’t set yourself up to fail. For example, just because you don’t exercise every day in January doesn’t mean you should stop trying to achieve your goal of getting more exercise. Small progress is still progress.
In fact, small advances are probably better than major leaps forward. They’re easier to incorporate into your life, easier to build on. By midlife you’ve spent a lot of years doing things a certain way. Change may not come easily,
It’s never to late to make a change for the better. Just don’t judge yourself so harshly that you give up trying altogether
People may tell you that the tone you set for yourself in January will make or break your whole year. I doubt it. Don’t misunderstand me: there’s no harm in setting big goals. But make sure to celebrate even small progress toward them.
Only you can be the one to decide what it means to live your best midlife. Make 2019 your best midlife year yet!
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