'Tis the season for New Year's resolutions, a tradition that marks Jan. 1 as the first day on a path to self-improvement. While some people don't make or follow resolutions, it's an interesting ritual that reveals correlations across generations and backgrounds.
USA.gov listed the most common New Year's resolutions, which range from financial to professional goals. Many have to do with leading a healthier lifestyle, such as eating better food and exercising more. Taking a trip, becoming more eco-friendly and losing weight were three of the most popular choices. If you've considered committing to any of these New Year's resolutions for 2015, here's some advice on how to take the first steps.
"Start 2015 strong by making these small eco-friendly changes to your daily habits."
1. Go on a trip
When you think of traveling, you may be imagining lengthy trips to exotic or tropical locations. However, you don't need to spend hundreds of dollars or stay somewhere for weeks to enjoy a bit of time away from home. If your goal for the new year is to go on a trip, begin by determining what the barriers are.
2. Reduce, reuse and recycle
Start by planning a "staycation," a short trip to a destination in your home state. If you don't want to travel alone, this is a great opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones who want to come along. To save money when you're exploring this new town, ask staff at museums, theaters and other attractions if they have discounts for AAA or AARP members.
Going green can seem daunting when you hear statistics about how much energy is used worldwide, but if everyone takes small steps, the impact could be great. Start 2015 strong by making these small changes to your daily habits.
- Reduce: Unplug appliances when you're done with them because many use a small amount of electricity even when they aren't on.
- Reuse: Make the switch to reuseable shopping bags when you buy groceries or head to the mall.
- Recycle: Place a separate bin for recycling next to your trash can so there aren't any extra steps. You'll be less likely to throw recyclables in the trash if their proper receptacle is within reach.
3. Lose weight
Several of the most common resolutions lend themselves to this important goal - shedding pounds. Most people look to a healthier diet and more frequent exercise to lose weight, but it's essential that you talk to your doctor before you make significant lifestyle adjustments. With your physician's permission, consider following these four steps for healthy weight loss, presented by the Weight-control Information Network.
The first step to slimming down is mentally committing to your goal. It can be easier to stick with your diet and exercise plan if you set reasonable goals, track your progress and reward yourself when you succeed. See if any of your friends want to commit with you for their New Year's resolutions, or simply ask a loved one to give you support and motivation.