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NO Year’s Resolutions.

The reason that most New Year’s Resolutions fail is because we don’t think all the way through the commitment to its logical conclusion. To DO something new (exercise more, spend more time with family, eat healthier, read more books, etc.) something first must be given up to make room for the new commitment. Before your 2018 resolutions derail, try giving something up to make sure they stay on track. You may need to focus on a DON’T or two before you can achieve your 2018 DO’s.

If you are struggling with your new resolutions, or haven’t decided on any yet, these 4 suggestions might be just the positive nudge you need to succeed this year.

  1. No Snoozing - Give up the Snooze button. The downside of the Snooze button is that once that alarm goes off you really aren’t sleeping any more, but you also aren’t up & at ‘em. It’s not a particularly good use of time. Consider placing your alarm across the room so you have to actually get out of bed to turn it off. Turn the light on immediately to help get you moving. Take the time usually spent Snoozing and allow yourself actual sleep for the extra 10, 15, or 20 (or more? ...really?) minutes. The best way to avoid Snooze Abuse is to arrange your life so that you get all the sleep you need every night.

  1. No PSBAs – This is also known as Pointless Screen-Based Activities. Social media has taken a lot of guff for wasting our time and making us generally feel bad about our lives. The truth is that many of us waste even more time on other sites, apps, and activities that aren’t Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat. Perhaps your poison is online window shopping, BuzzFeed quizzes, Wikipedia, Candy Crush, texting, or looking at baby sloths. If it isn’t putting more joy, health, or function into your life than it is taking away, consider ditching it. You be the judge.

  1. No Junk Food – Giving up all “junk food” or even finding universal agreement of what is or isn’t junk food would be a tall order, but that is no excuse for not making some positive changes. Consider removing just one big hitter from your diet as a starting point - Soda? Processed meat? Pastries? Or say so-long to a few specific items - Oreos? Big Macs? Mountain Dew? White bread? Doritos? Keep in mind if you have made a resolution to “eat more vegetables” you could very well be creating an even bigger problem for yourself if you aren’t careful. Unless you give something up first, not only will you be consuming what you always did, but now you have added calories to your diet. Let’s say you just read all the good things avocados can do for you so you decide eating an avocado a day is the way to go. If you eat an avocado every day of 2018 you will have consumed an additional 58,400 (160 x 365) calories by the end of the year. This will add over 16 pounds to your weight (58400/3500). Although this is an overly simplified nutrition example, I’m sure you get the point.

  1. Worthless People – Wow, does that sound harsh – allow me to explain. A person doesn’t actually have to be worthless, toxic, or dangerous to simply not be a good investment of your time. Every minute that you give to another person, whether it is as part of a long-term friendship or just stopping to chat at the water cooler, is a minute you aren’t doing something else. If you want more time with family, start by asking yourself who you will spend less time with to make that happen. Drinking buddies? People who always run late? Gossips? Complainers? Give serious thought to who does or doesn’t bring joy or purpose to your life. Chances are there are a couple of people that you could do without.

In isolation, these 4 changes will improve your life. To get the biggest bang for your buck, swap these negative habits for positive ones. Go ahead and trade your snooze time for workout time, switch your Big Mac for raw vegetables, replace your Buzzfeed addiction for reading great literature, and say no to time vampires in favor of genuine connections with loved ones. Find what works for you, but remember you have to give up something to make room for something better.

Every YES is just a bunch of little NO’s in disguise.

What will you be swapping out in 2018?

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