My brother in law always joked: Gym memberships rise January 1st and are empty by January 3rd. The truth hurts! This year, let’s try to make some realistic goals- this way we’ll have more satisfaction and less disappointment.

1. “I’m going to work out every day”: If you haven’t worked out all year, then no, you’re not. Anybody who goes from couch potato to treadmill knows how difficult it is, especially when results aren’t instant. Start out with a plan- Make it a point to exercise twice a week, and add more days to your work out once you can handle it. Training with a professional or a friend will help encourage you to not miss your workouts. If your excuse is you don’t have time, try waking up an hour earlier (workouts prepare you for the rest of the day by boosting metabolism!), or try cutting out a couple of hours of TV time a week and replace it with a quick jog or crunches. Take the stairs instead of the elevator…you get the gist.

2. “I’m going to run my first 10k!”: Not gonna happen unless you’re practicing #1!

3. “I’m going to organize my closet/desk”: This goal attracts the most procrastination. You have a pile that slowly grew into a mountain of pure junk. Set aside a Sunday, or if you don’t have enough time, a few hours for reorganizing your stuff. The container store can help with most situations. Throw out anything you haven’t used in a year, or know you won’t be needing in the near future. Note: BE REALISTIC! Do you really need that broken pair of sunglasses that DEFINED you? Not if it’s just going to lie around and create clutter. Toss them, or take them to be fixed. Feel guilty tossing something valuable, but unnecessary? Donate a bag to your local charity. One man’s garbage is another man’s gold!

4. “I’m going to pay off all of my debt.”: This is realistic if done correctly. You need to be disciplined in spending, especially on unnecessary things- i.e. owning 6 pairs of sunglasses, new clothes every month, etc. It’s hard to keep up with trends, but using what you already have is a great alternative. Try and set aside a certain amount of money each week or month specifically for paying off any loans or outstanding payments. You can thank yourself with a new pair of shoes once it’s all paid off 🙂

5. “I’m going to spend more time with friends and family”: The most difficult of scenarios. While juggling work, school, and significant others, it isn’t easy to devote time yourself, let alone to others. Can’t make it to every family outing or girls night? Invite them over for dinner or drinks and catch up. Messy apartment? Go out to a restaurant, and when you get home, try #3.

Happy and a Healthy New Year’s to all!

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

-Patti, contributing elfette