really have no idea how many people make New Year's resolutions. I have even less of an idea how many people actually succeed in achieving their resolutions. Although there's no hard and fast number on how long it takes to form a new habit or break an old one, "they" say it can take anywhere from two to four weeks. So whatever resolution or goal you may be setting, you need to give yourself some time and space to achieve it.
Like any goal, I'm sure that your resolution success depends largely on how you plan to achieve your resolution...assuming you make a plan at all. Personally, I think that a good game plan involves establishing a tangible goal, setting up baby steps to help you achieve that, and being accountable for your efforts.
So to help you get 2013 off to a good start, here are some tangible goals for the next 30 days. In case your own personal growth isn't enough of an incentive, I'm offering a chance to win a $50 charitable donation to the charity of your choice. Here are the ground rules:
- Sign up for one or more of the 30-day challenges by entering the following information in the comment box below or in an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org: first name; email; your chosen challenge(s); and charity of your choice. You must sign up before Monday January 7, 2013.
- You must pick a challenge that you are not already doing. For example, if you're already doing yoga, don't pick the yoga challenge.
- Begin the 30-day challenge on Monday January 7, 2013. The last day of the challenge will be Tuesday February 5, 3013.
- By 5:00 p.m. EST on Thursday February 7, 2013, email me or post a comment below letting me know if you successfully completed one or more of the 30-day challenges.
- If more than one person successfully completes a 30-day challenge, I will hold a drawing for the winner of the charitable donation. You can have one entry for every 30-day challenge you successfully complete.
- This is the honor system, so be honorable!!
- Practice yoga for at least 30-minutes a day.
- Meditate, pray, or engage in a spiritual practice for at least 30 minutes a day.
- Become a vegetarian (giving up all animals and seafood) or vegan (giving up all animals, seafood, dairy, and eggs).
- Go to bed no later than a certain time every nite. This does not mean being in bed watching t.v. Be in bed, lights out, before a certain set time every nite. The idea is to get into a pattern of going to bed around the same time every nite. There will be days when you're more tired and need to go to bed earlier, but try to go to bed at the same time every nite. You'll get in a rhythm soon...
- Don't tell a single lie. That means no white lies too. So if your friend asks "do these pants make my butt look big," you need to tell her the truth (tactfully)! That also means that if you're in a bad mood and someone asks how you are, you have to be honest.
- Devote 1-hour a day to researching, planning, or practicing a long-term goal. If you want to find a new career, spend an hour a day working on your resume, networking, or researching new career paths. If you want to learn to play guitar, practice one hour a day.
- Hand-write a letter every day and send to someone via snail mail. Letter writing is a lost practice. Everyone loves getting mail, so write a letter of at least a couple paragraphs to one person each day and send them in the mail.
- Go for a walk for 30-minutes every day. I am not encouraging people to establish an exercise program because I cannot know everyone's fitness levels. But walking for 30-minutes every day should be safe for just about anyone. Again, however, make sure to consult a physician first and make sure you are in good enough health to walk 30 minutes a day.
- Track your nutrition every day. Tracking your nutrition on a daily basis can be very eye-opening and let you know if you're getting enough protein, carbs, fat, vitamins, etc. The best way to do this is with a smartphone app like My Fitness Pal or Daily Burn that include label scanners that automatically input all the nutrition information for foods. You can also make hand-entries.
- Limit yourself to 30 minutes of electronic media per day. That includes Facebook, personal email (not work email), personal internet browsing, television watching, and podcasts. Listening to music or talk radio is not included. The goal here is to unplug a little bit.