This post contains the five most common New Year's resolutions. If you've made any of these resolutions, I strongly recommend you break them ASAP. Instead, try my alternative resolutions, which will actually improve your quality of life.
1. "Lose Some Weight." (Break This One)
Bad idea. The thought of "losing" something isn't motivating. It's demotivating. Especially when losing weight means going on a diet (ugh!), giving up rich foods (say whut?), and depriving yourself of pleasure. Who needs that?
Resolve This Instead: "Eat More Chocolate."
I am dead serious. Buy the highest-quality chocolate that you can find. Eat it. Savor each wonderful bite. Use the intense pleasure of that experience to kill the craving for those greasy mass-manufactured candy bars that really do pack on pounds. The general principle here is to upscale your food and focus on the experience. Eat mindfully, and you'll weaken your cravings.
2. "Get More Organized." (Break This One)
Being organized just to be organized is crazy. So what if your office is messy? Mine is and I'm getting plenty done. Now, obviously, you don't want your office looking like an episode of "Hoarders," but, as a general rule, futzing with plastic bins and storage systems isn't productive work. It's busywork.
Resolve This Instead: "Get More Comfortable"
The more comfortable you are, the more you'll get done and the more fun you'll have doing it. Clear away the debris once in a while, but don't stress about the mess because frankly you've got better things to do. In my experience, people in sterile offices come up with stale ideas
3. "Spend Less, Save More" (Break This One)
The intention behind this resolution is good, but the way it's stated, it takes away something fun (spending) and turns into a chore (saving). That's demotivating. I'm not saying that you shouldn't have some kind of budget, but this resolution isn't the way to get it balanced.
Resolve This Instead: "Make More, Save More and Spend More"
Devise ways to increase your income, sock away some of the extra and have a good time spending the rest. Make it your goal to have such a fabulous 2015 that you'll spend WAY more than in 2014.
4. "Exercise More Often" (Break This One)
Even just typing the word "exercise" makes me feel tired and bored. I don't know about you, but whenever I'm exercising--just for the sake of exercising--after about five minutes, I'm like "Will it NEVER end?!"
Resolve This Instead: "Watch More TV"
Once again, I am 100% dead serious. We live in an age of insanely great television. And you can stream it!! Do yourself a favor. Watch more TV. Just do some of that extra TV watching while you're also doing something active, like walking on a treadmill or around a track.
5. "Enjoy Life to the Fullest" (Break This One)
At first glance this resolution sounds like a wonderful and even enlightened concept, but if you really think about it, it just sounds exhausting. If you actually tried to follow this resolution, you'll be like those people who cram so much into a vacation that they come home more weary than when they left.
Resolve This Instead: "Enjoy Being Alive"
Rather than attempting to attain this "fullest" nonsense, appreciate and feel gratitude for the mere fact you're alive, regardless of what's happening in your life. Whether your day contained a million dollar deal or a two hour root canal, think of it this way: "Every day above ground is a good day."