By Janel Martinez
Want to get fit? Establish better "work-life balance?" Those "personal promises" top many of our New Year's resolution lists. And while we are perfectly capable of accomplishing these goals, the annual "new year, new you" ideas come right after the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Difficult, I know.
But an answer to achieving your resolutions is to set smaller, more realistic goals that make a big difference. After achieving these goals, you can kick it up a notch. Here are three reasonable resolutions to keep in mind for a happy and healthy 2016:
This sounds like a broad (or obvious) goal, but many resolutions boil down to it. Self-care, which includes any intentional action taken to care for your physical, mental and emotional health, is challenging because, let's face it, it involves setting aside time for you. One way to approach it is by holding yourself to good habits and goals daily.
Try these five ways for better self-care:
Keep a journal. Lots of things happen throughout the day and sometimes you may want an outlet to release any tensions or stress. This allows you to do that.
Meditate. It may sound weird, but if you stop each day for a few minutes to focus on your breathing, you'll reap the rewards. Practice meditation or relaxation exercises for a better you.
Exercise often. You've heard it before, but it's true: Exercise can do wonders for your stress levels and mood. It helps you blow off steam and releases endorphins to help you improve your mood. Instead of exercising 1-2 times a week, try at least three days per week. You know your schedule, so be realistic when setting your goal. Also, pick an activity you like such as swimming, dance or running.
Get rest. A full night's rest may not be necessary, but make sure you're paying attention to how much sleep your body needs.
Do what you love. Once a day, do something you absolutely enjoy.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
You probably hear this term a lot: "Work smarter, not harder." This is about productivity. You can work really, really hard and only get 1-2 items on your to-do list completed. Or, if you were working smarter, your entire (or the majority of) your to-do list would be finished.
Time wasters are a very real threat. With each second being valuable, there's no time to waste. Try these five productivity-boosters:
Protect your calendar. Spend your time completing top priority items. Since you may consider several things high priority, narrow it down to three.
Respond to emails and calls quickly. Even if your response is"I'll respond to your request shortly" it's better than nothing and you've handled the email. Same for phone calls.
Get an early start.
Have an end time. Know when to stop working. Create a habit of ending each workday the same way.
Get off social media. Unless your job includes checking your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts regularly, don't check your social media accounts until you're on a break or done for the day.
Set Financial Goals
Many of us have a very hands-off relationship with money. But it doesn't have to be that way. Tell yourself that you can (and will) tackle your financial goals this year.
Here's how to keep those financial resolutions:
Get specific. Instead of saying "I want to save more money," a more specific goal might be to save an extra $1,000 by the end of 2016. If you're looking for a new job, declare "I'll send out at least five resumes each month until I secure a higher-paying job."
Automate your savings. You're intentionally saving, versus saving from what is left.
Use tech. Use a web or app-based financial management services.
What's your reasonable resolutions list this year? Let us know in the comments section below.