How many New Year's Resolutions have you made? How many have you kept?
If you're like me, the answers are, "Too many to count," and "Not very many."
That's why, a few years ago, I decided to change the way I think about New Year's Resolutions. Instead of declaring that I will lose 15 pounds or cut sugar/gluten/alcohol from my diet, I make resolutions that will lead me to eat smarter and exercise more. Instead of vowing to work no more than 40 hours a week, I make resolutions that lead me to spend more time with family and friends. Here are some suggested New Year's Resolutions to consider for 2016.
Find a form of exercise you look forward to doing
If you dread going to the gym, find another way to break a sweat. Take a Bollywood dance class, or try your hand at Taiko drumming. Train for a century ride on your bicycle, or sign up for a triathlon prep class. Join an adult sports league or outrigger canoe club. Host a wii fit tennis tournament or dance party. The key is to try anything and everything that looks like it might be fun. When you find something you truly enjoy, you'll be more likely to find a way to work it into your regular schedule.
Try a new fruit, vegetable, grain, flavor, recipe, or cooking technique every week
Eating healthy requires eating a wide variety of foods, and I find that the bigger my culinary repertoire, the less likely I am to fall back on carb-heavy go-to dishes. As a result of experimentation with grains, I have discovered that my kids like quinoa at least as much as I do, and farro is delicious in almost any hearty stew. Omnivore Salt has become our family's new favorite condiment, and my husband will eat any vegetable I sprinkle it on. And when I use the Zoodler, my kids go gadzooks for zucchini.
Make a Play Schedule
If you truly want to work less and play more, schedule playtime on your calendar and treat it as you would a work meeting or deadline. A friend who loves to cook and spend time outdoors resolved to host 15 picnics in 2015. The final picnic is scheduled for the afternoon of New Year's Eve. Another friend signed up for a 6-week solo performance workshop and loved it so much she ended up writing and performing three one-woman shows before sold-out audiences. Yet another friend launched a weekly Happy Hour club, in which she sends out a group email each Wednesday with the name and address of a bar in the City. Anyone who wants to join her is invited to show up at that bar between 5 and 7 pm. No RSVPs are allowed, and the later you arrive, the more likely it is that the Happy Hour Club has disbanded or moved to a better bar.
Whatever you resolve to do, may all your New Year's Resolutions come true.