As we ring in the new year it’s natural to reflect on the past 365 days and think about the improvements we want to make to our lives as we forge forward.
It’s customary to announce an official New Year’s Resolution, and if you’re like many of us here at Legend Boats you’re struggling to decide on how to hit the ground running.
To make it easier, we’ve put together this list of the best and most common New Year’s Resolutions.
Dropping a few pounds (especially after all of the holiday meals) is a great goal to set. Just don’t lose sight of the true purpose. Getting ready for bathing suit season can’t be a bad thing, but your true aspiration is getting healthy.
Rather than binging on the latest fad diet, plan of a balanced approach. Combine exercise, hydration, and a sensible diet. Skipping a few meals will help you shed a few pounds, but this is usually temporary and leaves you drained of energy and irritable. It’s far more productive to make a few healthy changes to your daily habits that you know you can stick to.
Quitting tobacco is universally considered one of the most difficult things to accomplish on the planet.
There’s no surefire way to quit. Some can do it cold turkey while the majority of others will require support like the patch, gum, or other medical supports. Remember, it’s not the nicotine that your brain is craving, it’s the dopamine which can easily be replaced by food or exercise. Once you find the system that works for you, here’s what you have to look forward to:
After 20 minutes: Blood pressure and heart rates drops to normal levels.
After 12 hours: Carbon monoxide in the blood drops to normal levels.
After 5 days: Most nicotine is out of the body.
After 2 weeks: Circulation and lung function improve.
After 8 weeks: Smoker’s cough and shortness of breath start to disappear. Lungs (cilia) begin to filter and clean normally.
After 1 year: Risk of coronary heart disease is reduced to half.
After 5 years: Risk of mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder cancers are reduced to half.
After 10 years: Risk of dying from lung cancer is reduced to half.
After 15 years: Risk of heart disease is equivalent to a non-smoker.
In plain terms, within the first 2 weeks you’ll breath better, have more energy, have the colour return to your skin, smell better, think better, better muscular performance…...life’s just better. If that’s not enough, a pack-a-day smoker will have saved $4380 the first year.
Find a New Job
You spend half of your waking life at work, sometimes more. For those who are unhappy with their jobs, it’s understandably very stressful. You wake up dreading the commute, you struggle through the day, and you bring unhappiness home with you.
It’s time for a change.
When it comes to searching for a new job, there’s no magic recipe. Depending on your education and experience you may find it a struggle to find ‘the perfect job’. Your best bet is to appeal to your personal network and to get yourself hooked up with a recruitment agency.
Through the process, keep in mind that there are 3 segments to the job that you should consider.
The job itself. Look for employment where you get to exercise your existing skills and go home feeling that you’ve accomplished something. Also, look for employment where you can learn something new and take on more responsibilities as time goes on.
Compensation. It’s obvious, but it’s not uncommon for people to sacrifice their income to take on a job that they like. You may be happy for a short while, but sooner or later the bills will start piling up and you’ll find yourself in debt. This is an extremely stressful situation which needs to be avoided.
The people. A dream job can quickly turn sour if you don’t like the people you are spending 8+ hours a day with. Before you make any commitments, check websites like glassdoor.com or LinkedIn to get direct feedback about the employees to see if there are any red flags to be concerned with.
When you’re happy with your job, you’re not exhausted at the end of the day. You’re happy from sunrise to sunset, and you have the disposition to enjoy your evenings and weekends. Good luck with the hunt!
Reading a good book is associated with mental stimulation, stress reduction, increased knowledge, increased vocabulary, memory improvement, better analytical thinking skills, better writing skills, and improved focus and concentration. Whatever your personal reasons, reading more in 2019 is always a great idea.
The 2 biggest obstacles to overcome is not having enough time and not being sure where to start. The first one is difficult but, like anything else in life, you just need a little discipline. It’ll be hard to turn off Netflix a little earlier than you normally do, but you’d be surprised at how many pages you can turn with 20-30 minutes a night.
The second obstacle can be fun. The path of least resistance is asking your colleagues, friends, and family what they're reading. Trying to keep pace with someone else reading the same book as you can be good motivation. If you’re not into the whole ‘book club’ thing, check out this great scratch-off poster covering all the classics. We’re not expecting you to read an entire book every 3 days, but it’s a great place to start.
Drink Less Alcohol
Excessive alcohol consumption is never a good thing. All-too-common consequences include alienating your friends, losing your family, losing your job, losing you car, and losing your health. Even on the lighter slide you’re not sleeping as well as you could be, you’re spending too much money, and you’re probably missing out on a little bit of life.
Regardless of your how much you drink or your personal reasons, here’s what you have to look forward to throughout the first 30 days of no alcohol.
Week 1: Sleep patterns are improved. Enjoy 5-6 additional REM cycles each night, improved learning and problem solving, more creativity, better eating patterns, and better decision making. Hydration improves too which means less headaches, better physical performance, and more energy.
Week 2: Stomach functions are improved. The stomach lining and acid production becomes normalized, and acid burn is relieved.
Week 3: Blood pressure is reduced resulting in reduced risk of stroke and other heart problems, improved vision, and better kidney health.
Week 4: More water is absorbed preventing the premature aging of skin and increased cell reproduction.
All of these life improvements are no-brainers but wait, there’s more! If sleeping better and looking younger isn’t enough to compel you to drop the sauce, think about this. After only 30 days you’re looking at a savings of (if 24 pints of beer is a reasonable amount for a 30 day period) and 4300 calories and $172.08. If you drink less or more, do the math and see what’s in store.
Better Financial Decisions
Maybe you’re struggling from month to month, or maybe you find yourself being shocked at your credit card bill at the end of each month. For these reasons and many more, making better financial decisions are topping many people’s list of New Year’s Resolutions.
We’re all in different stages of our financial journey, but in general this is the natural progression to financial freedom.
Eliminate Your Debt
Build an Emergency Fund
Save for the Future
Invest and Diversify
Regardless of what stage you’re at, the trick is to give each dollar you make a purpose - like saving up for a new boat ;) - and to plan your spending ahead of time. Once you get into the habit of spending less than you earn and chipping away at debt, saving and investing is not too far away.
Learn Something New
Learning a new skill feels amazing! If this is your resolution this year, try to choose something that’s either highly useful or highly enjoyable….ideally something that’s a little bit of both. If you don’t enjoy the process you’ll never finish.
Here’s how to choose the right new thing.
Choose the way you want to learn. Do you want a self-taught skill? Do you want to take a class? Do you want to study online? Different versions of learning appeal to different people for different reasons. How you choose to learn will naturally eliminate some of the options.
Determine the reason WHY you want to learn. Is it to enhance your career? Is it to be more social? Is it take on a task yourself where you normally would have paid someone for a service? Is it just for fun?
Set a timeline and clear definition of success. With things like changing your own motor oil, it’s pretty clear when you’ve done it successfully or not. With other things like painting, there’s no real finish line to strive to. If it’s learning a new language you’re after, set some initial goals like being able to read a book or hold a conversation. Setting tangible goals like a certain amount of time applied or a specific product allows you to track your progress and feel good about yourself.
If you’ve come this far and still haven’t settled on the perfect New Year’s Resolution for you, something on the rest of this list may have your name on it.
- Reduce screen time
- Take a break from social media
- Find a relationship
- Get rid of clutter around the house
- Cook more often - less takeout
- Spend more time with friends and family
It’s important to set a realistic goal and mentally prepare for the change. A lot of people passively make a resolution or set the bar too high and end up losing focus. January 12th is the average date that people begin to lose their resolve and life proceeds as usual. That’s not what we want for you, we want the best for you. You can do it!
Yours In Boating,