Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions – Try These 4 Changes Instead

Resolutions

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Whether you’re pro or anti-New Year’s resolutions, this time of year is all about starting fresh. You can’t escape it. About 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, according to the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology. Yet, only about 8 percent of us reported keeping them for any length of time. Not willing to declare a New Year’s resolution, especially in light of such a low success rate? Ditch the resolutions and change your mindset. You can still use the new year as an opportunity to refocus on your goals. Start with the following four lifestyle changes.

Weight Loss: Pay More Attention in the Kitchen

Have you learned to live with a few extra pounds? Don’t settle for another 365 days. If you’d like to shrink your midline and boost your health, for real this time, you need to change your norm–starting in your kitchen. Exercise is important, but increased focus on calorie consumption will make it easier to drop those pounds.

The amount of calories we burn through exercise is relatively small, according to the health and fitness blog Vitals. And most of us overestimate calorie expenditure and underestimate calorie intake. Check out Ali Maffucci’s Inspiralized phenomenon and how spiralizing vegetables into noodles can cut calories and promote health benefits.

Style: Limit Quantity for Quality Wardrobe Pieces

While slimming down and toning up, revamp your wardrobe for a stylish new you. You don’t have to deplete your savings account to update your closet. Limit shopping to once a month, for example, but spend more for higher quality. The art of building up your wardrobe within your budget is to focus on a few versatile clothing items and timeless staples. Flexible items diversify your closet for different outfit options. Wardrobe essentials like a classic shoulder bag and basic black blazer can pull together looks that never go out of style. Use the Strut app (the Tinder for clothes shopping) to inspire your style and build outfits.

Money: 52-Week Savings Challenge

As you trim your waistline, expand your savings account. One way to save money (specifically, $1,378) in one year is with the 52-Week Savings Challenge. The challenge works by saving $1 in week one, $2 in week two, $3 in week three and so on–until you’re eventually saving $26 in week 26 (total savings $351) and saving $40 in week 40 (total savings $820).

This challenge will not only maximize your savings, it’ll turn you into a practiced saver with a healthy financial habit. Want to save even more money automatically without thinking about it? Check out the SavedPlus app. Specify a percentage of how much you want to save with every purchase, and every time you spend you’ll save, too.

Social Detox: Tighten the Circle

Sometimes the negative or even irrelevant people we allow into our lives have more of an impact on us than our loved ones. These people can include toxic friends, family members, co-workers or even Facebook friends you haven’t seen in years. If someone always brings you down, let him or her go–or create better boundaries. If social media leaves you feeling envious, lonely or unhappy, ditch your Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Invite your most meaningful relationships (including your relationship with yourself) to take center stage and positively influence your well-being, even if you have to eliminate frenemies with whom you have a long history. Surround yourself with people who support and uplift you, and support and uplift them in return.

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