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New Year's Resolutions

I personally dislike January. I mean, it can be nice enough--aside from the frostbite attack launched on my nose--with Snow goggles  and leg warmers  in fashion, coldness creating calmness, and overall, settling into the New Year. However, this is with the exception of one very big annoyance: the January gymmer. One would not come to the conclusion that my bleak New Year is the result of an unbearable gym environment, but alas, it is so. In January, all the people who have vowed to lose weight/get fit/be healthy for their New Year's Resolutions flock to my gym and buzz around the equipment that I use throughout the year. Rooms are packed, danger levels are high, unwanted social activity is inevitable, and my iPod  cannot always save me from an approaching newbie chock-full of unwanted conversation. Note to all you out there, don't drag me into your plot of exercise avoidance; although your mere presence in a gym may spur muscle tissue growth, I do not feel accomplished unless I pick up a dumbbell.

In the case of the exercise procrastinator, I can usually avoid conversation by stating, "I am sorry, but I cannot hear you above the Immaculate Collection  track number 6," but there are those who persist. You can tell the true devotees come mid February--this is because they are still there. At that time though, peace has been restored and it reigns until May or June--when the beach house renters need to fit into their super-expensive Versace swimsuits  that were bought a size too small for motivation.

Moral of the story: when making a resolution, resolve to finish it. 

Tips for Seeing It Through

 
  • Don't go in blindly: Research what you need to do in order to achieve your goal, and make a plan (hint: if you write it down, you'll be more likely to follow through). Your resolution should not be an impulse, and it should be set well before New Year's Eve .
  • Start simply: It's important to aim high and push yourself, but also recognize your limits. Don't set a goal that is too complicated or you will only get discouraged. It may be helpful to set mini goals that build up to a larger one. The more detailed your plan, the easier it will be to follow.
  • Pros and cons: Before you start, make sure you understand the pros and cons of your plan. This way, when you start to lose motivation, you can consult your list and find the determination to continue.
  • Plan for the whole year: If you truly want your resolution to be a part of your life, indicate this on your plan . Where do you see yourself by this time next year?
  • Get started immediately: The more you procrastinate, the less likely you are to follow through with your goal.
  • Get others involved: Don't keep your things secret; the more your friends and family know about your resolution, the more you can count on them to provide support when you really need it. Who knows, you might even find a workout buddy!
  • Don't be discouraged by unexpected change: More often than not, things happen that we have not anticipated, and this can be very disconcerting if you are not prepared for it. Don't let changes discourage you; expect that change will occur and make sure your plan is adaptable.
  • Keep track: As we said, keeping an eye on your short-term goals will allow you to feel good about your progress. It's all about milestones!
  • Stay positive: Don't beat yourself up if you have a bad day. You always have a chance to start fresh tomorrow. (But don't let that become a continuing excuse to avoid the work!)
  • Keep at it: Experts have found that it takes 21 days for an activity to become a habit, and 6 months for it to become part of your personality.
  • Don't give up: Just because you fall off the wagon doesn't mean you have to wait until the next New Year to make a new resolution. Who says you can't have March resolutions, summer resolutions, birthday resolutions, etc.?

Common Resolutions

Here are some useful tools for carrying out common New Year's Resolutions.

Lose Weight

Weight Loss Programs 

Choose the right program for you with the help of our Guide to Weight Loss Programs.

Bathroom Scales 

Health Food Books 

Consult books to help you learn healthier alternatives to your favourite recipes, and perhaps some new recipes too!

Exercise Videos

Diet Aids 

Get Organised

Wall Calendars 

If you write things on the wall, you will notice them more often and be less likely to forget them. It is a good idea to attach one of these babies to your mirror.

Desk Organisers 

If you dig into the pencil case only to find a wad of gum stuck to a chewed up pencil, it may be the right time for this. 

Cupboard Organisers 

Nothing is scarier than an overflowing cupboard. If monsters are living in there, this is a bad sign. 

Seat Back Organisers 

A little organisation in the car never hurt. People with small children and animals would greatly benefit from this device.

Smartphones 

A technological version of an agenda but much, much more. PDAs can do everything, short of dressing you in the morning. 

Daily Planners 

If you still like to plan out the day on paper, this item is perfect. Personally, I cannot live without my agenda. 

Shower Organisers 

Living with more than one person is difficult when it comes to the many shower products in the tub. Eliminate clutter by attaching them to your wall with this handy organiser. 

Tool Organisers 

If you insist on fixing everything, at least keep your tools in one place so we can hide them more easily. 

Organising Books 

Learn how to organise anything with one of the many "how to" organising books on the market.

Storage Containers 

Just throw your junk in these containers and slap on a label; it is much cleaner than your present method of detection by musty smell. 

Quit Smoking

Nicotine Patches 

Slowly releases nicotine into your bloodstream to satiate your craving and eventually eliminate it. Awesome. 

Guides to Quitting 

Learn how to cope with living nicotine-free.

Air Purifiers 

Chances are, you have done some heavy air damage with all that puffing. May want to invest in one of these. 

Chewing Gum  or Mints 

Oh, Nicorette . The same functions as the nicotine patch, but in minty bursts of freshness.

Get Fit

Weights  or Dumbbells

Increase your strength by doing exercises with these tools. 

Exercise Balls 

Exercise balls can be used for stretching, weight lifting, and yoga exercises. They are very useful to have around. 

Athletic Apparel 

 Heart Rate Monitors 

Your heart rate indicates the different levels of exercise you are reaching (i.e. cadio, fat burning, etc.) by measuring your heart rate. A good way to make sure you are in the correct zone is to get a heart rate monitor. 

Cardio Equipment 

For some people, an exercise machine in broad site can be very motivating if they are consistently self-guilt-tripped. If you are one of these people, you may want to purchase a machine. 

Learn Something New

Sports 

Learn a new sport throughout the year. Taking a class will motivate you to finish. Sports like surfing ,martial arts ,kayaking , and rock climbing  are just a few. 

Knitting  and Sewing 

Learning how to knit or sew is not only fun, it's a useful skill (and it's been known to burn 100 calories per hour!). It'll save you money and time getting things tailored or fixed. Make sweaters and scarves for cold weather! You'll appreciate not having to wear Grandma's self-knit Christmas sweater gifts.

Languages 

Learning a new language is not always easy but the benefits are boundless. It's helpful for travellers, advancing in your career, and for your overall knowledge and understanding of the world. Some popular choices are: Spanish ,Italian ,French ,Chinese ,Japanese ,German , and Russian . 

Cooking 

If you don't know how to cook there hasn't been a better time to do it. It's often fun to experiment with new flavours. An added bonus is that your home-cooked meals can be tailored for your New Year's diet.

Instruments 

Be honest. How many times did you dream of starting a rock band but you never got around to it. Stop the procrastination and start rocking out! Guitar ,bass ,drums , and keyboards  are all worth learning.

Dancing 

Whether it's something saucy and sexy like the tango  and rumba  or something proper and classy like the waltz , it doesn't matter. Get on those dancing shoes and go, go, go!

Writing 

Okay, so not everyone will be like J.K. Rowling. It doesn't mean that you can't put your ideas down on paper and get published. Even if you don't get published, you still have an outlet for creativity.

Acting 

If you start your performance by saying, "to be or not to be," someone is going to throw a tomato at you. Avoid this by taking some professional lessons and getting a book or two.

Computer Programming 

Seriously, if you're not at least somewhat computer savvy in today's world, you should get on that. Even if it's not as intense as creating video games , it's valuable to be able to conduct basic activities on a running system.

Drawing  and Painting 

Drawing, like anything else, requires a mix of talent and practise. Get a few instructional books and art supplies like a canvas, markers , and pencils  to begin.

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