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Make new goals that are easy to accomplish

By Toi Degree

Rowan Cooperative Extension

Happy New Year! We are now a few days into 2020 and a new decade. I’ll let that settle in for a minute — it is a little hard to believe. However, it is certainly the case. My, how time flies!

On the first day of the year, many people are thinking of reprioritizing their lives and setting goals for the months to come. It’s quite easy to get wrapped up in the hype of “new year, new me.”

This year, let’s try something different — fill your resolution list with good and easy goals. Try one of these simple lifestyle tweaks each day and you’ll not only jumpstart a healthier body and mind, but you’ll also feel fantastic and psyched to make 2020 your best year ever.

There are tips here that will calm you down and ease your stress, help your skin glow, and organize the crazy in your life.

Build a better budget

If there’s one New Year’s resolution that will help you the most in the long run, it’s making a vow to save more money. Outline a budget that works for you, and make a plan for how you’ll stick to it. Apps like Mint and You Need a Budget (YNAB) can help you do this as painlessly as possible.

Cook one new thing each week

Everyone wants to eat healthier in the new year, but you should also try to eat more diverse foods. After all, variety is the spice of life. This year, choose an easy dinner recipe you’ve never tried before at least once a week. Pick up a copy of the “Good Housekeeping Cookbook” with over 1,200 triple-tested recipes. Also, don’t forget to add more veggies to those meals.

Read more books

January is the perfect time of year to snuggle up with a new book. Keep yourself accountable to this New Year’s resolution by opening a Goodreads account and reviewing each book you read. By next year, you’ll have a clear snapshot of how well you accomplished this goal.

Join a club

Starting a new hobby is one thing, but joining a club will help you meet new people in the process. Sites on the internet, like this one https://www.salisburypost.com/category/lifestyle/clubs/ can help you find a group of people with similar interests in your area.

Book all your doctor’s visits for the year

Open your calendar app, and make your appointments for the year in one sitting. Not only will you get the anxiety-inducing nuisance over with, but exams will be less likely to get squeezed out as life gets bonkers. Start with your general practitioner, and ask which screenings (e.g., mammogram, colonoscopy) you’re due for. Slot those in; then, move on to the dentist, etc.

Listen to novels while you work out

Exercisers who saved an audiobook for the gym worked out 51% more often than those who didn’t, per a study in Management Science. Sweat while listening to an intense thriller, and the treadmill time will fly by.

Explore new hobbies

Another sleepy Sunday? Today’s the day you tryEthiopian food, attend a ballet, or take a painting class — whatever feels fun. When researchers followed 7,500 people for 25 years, they found that those who complained of major boredom were roughly twice as likely to die from heart disease.

Do one thing at a time

Multitasking doesn’t make you more efficient, but it does stress you out, says mindfulness expert Pedram Shojai, author of “The Art of Stopping Time.”

“If your focus is fragmented, you’ll likely find yourself getting anxious as new items come up when old ones are still incomplete,” he says. Instead, he suggests to organize your activities into chunks of time such as kid time and cooking time and then “commit to being focused in those allotted minutes and see what happens.”

Switch up your routine

Any exercise is good for you but one study found that people who worked out in multiple ways were less likely to have shortened telomeres, the DNA segments on the ends of chromosomes that tend to break down as we age. Longer telomeres are thought to be an indication that a body is aging slowly. Sign up for tai chi, rock climbing, crew, and Pilates — so many choices!

These are just a few things to get you started in the right direction. Only you know what you need to do to start the year off right. You just need to establish your list of goals and go forward. I wish you much success with whatever goals you put into action. Here are more ideas that you might want to put in action as we begin 2020:




Toi N. Degree, Family & Consumer Education Agent, North Carolina Cooperative Extension – Rowan County Center, 704-216-8970 or toi_degree@ncsu.edu



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