Each January, roughly one in every two Americans pledges to participate in this self-improvement program called “Let’s Make a New Year’s Resolution”. Sounds familiar? (For comparison, about one-third of Americans watch the Super Bowl.) While 75% of these people stick to their goals for at least a week and less than half (46%) are still hanging there six months later, only 8% achieve their goals. We know how hard it is to stay on target and you are not to be blamed completely (yes, there is science behind all this – to add to all the excuses) but it is never too late to try and get started. After all, there are still 50 days left in the year, and you can still join the 8% champion club in 2014 if you wish! Here is how it works – we have selected a few healthy resolutions from the most popular wish list. Pick one for yourself and we will tackle it down together.

Lose weight

woman-working-out-music

Find a work out buddy or listen to some great playlists can get you pumped!

The fact that this is still among the most popular resolutions suggests just how difficult it is to commit to. However, this at the same time makes it a lot easier to find tips and resources – a work out buddy to shed a few pounds together, a specific healthy, delicious and low calorie meal plan to stick to, a great workout song list to keep you energetic, etc. Break down your goal to make it as detailed as you can so that it is easier to follow, and understand what you are willing to do can help you figure out an enjoyable path to reach your goal.

And do not forget to give yourself a reward after accomplishing each small step – be it that new dish at your favorite restaurant you have always wanted a bite or these cool fitness gadgets featured in the magazines… Go get it – you deserve it!

Stay in touch

Don’t miss out on what is really important here – stay connected with your friends and family!

When was the last time that you talked to your parents, had a conversation with your advisor or grabbed brunch with your best friend? If you find yourself staring into the blank space above you with your mouth curved into an “eh” shape, you have probably been too busy with your life that you are missing out on something important.

It does not surprise us when research into happiness shows that we are social creatures. In fact, social ties help us live longer, and a lack of social bonds can damage your health as much as alcohol abuse and smoking, and even more than obesity and lack of exercise, a 2010 study in the journal PLoS Medicine suggests.

With that being said… You were going to text someone – why not make a phone call instead? Your college roommate you are Facebook chatting with – how about inviting him or her out to brunch? The holiday season is coming up so do something heart-warming and get back in touch with these grown-apart relationships! If you have tried and enjoyed these gatherings, then it is time to start a plan and make it a habit to meet up with your friends and families on a more regular basis – and all of you will live a happier and healthier life.

Spend Less, Save More

Make wise decisions with money can be tricky but it is not impossible.

Make wise decisions with money can be tricky but it is not impossible.

If you live in a state like Pennsylvania with strange alcohol rules and zero tax on clothes & accessories, it is important to make a budget! Otherwise, you could end up with the false hope that if you buy several bottles at once you would have enough wine to drink for a while – these bottles could be gone before you realize it! And guess what? Consuming too much alcohol is not only expensive, but also results in poorly made decisions (which could totally add to unnecessary cost, especially if you decide to purchase some tax-free clothing right after) and contribute a lot of calories to your body. We are going a little to the extreme situation here, but it does not hurt to pull up your latest expense analysis and figure out where you can cut excess costs. A lot of credit cards do that for you automatically, but if not, Mint.com is a useful tool to check out.

Let’s hope that drinks and shopping aren’t the only devils causing deficit in your bank account. Take a look at this bible on how to save and learn tips on how to cut down costs on transportation, housing, utilities, groceries, etc. and still live a comfortable lifestyle.

Are you ready to get started? Remember, this is all about self-accomplishments that boost your level of happiness, so the key is to find what you enjoy doing and work them into your goal-reaching strategies – this is the easiest way to keep yourself motivated and keep the habit going! Even if you end up not accomplishing your goals completely in 50 days, do not feel defeated because you are still making progress. Focus on accomplishing the resolution you set in the beginning of the year so you will be prepared and aspired to set a new one this coming year. According to psychologist Lynn Bufka, “it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time.” Please feel free to share with us your thoughts and progress along the way, and best of luck in welcoming a healthier and happier lifestyle!

Christine Olley

Christine Olley is the Marketing Project Coordinator for Devon International Group where she handles blogging for Devon Medical Products, Social Media Management, and a variety of other creative and administrative tasks for the Devon Companies.

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