We are preparing to say goodbye to 2011, and now the time of reflection is upon us. What did we accomplish during the year? What major life changes were there? Did we follow through on our resolutions? In addition to looking back, it’s also a time to look forward to 2012. What do you plan to accomplish this year? Here is a list of five common New Year’s resolutions and tips for following through with them.

New Year Calendar

A Healthier Lifestyle

A healthier lifestyle is something worth striving for, and there are many changes you can implement to help you achieve this resolution. The changes can start out subtle — a little goes a long way when it comes to your health. You could start with your diet. I’m as guilty as anyone else when it comes to eating candy and junk food over the holidays, but the holidays are over and you can put the candy aside. Try to pack your lunch more rather than eating out for lunch. Buy more fruits and vegetables for snacking and throw away the potato chips. Getting exercise is another good way to become a healthier you. Try some classes at a gym, start training for a marathon, or even just grab a friend and go on walks. After watching the Dear 16 year old me video, sun safety has been on my mind. Protect your eyes with a quality pair of sunglasses and remember to use sunscreen. Check out the Sun Authority to learn more sun safety tips. This is one of the most important resolutions to follow through with; your body deserves it.

Volunteer 

Life is busy and it’s hard to find time to volunteer, but making it a priority and scheduling it into your routine will help. Giving back to your community is important and doing so will make you feel better for making a difference, so it’s a win-win situation. There are many places in need of your help. Find the place where your talents will be most useful. Ideas include serving once a week at a soup kitchen, walking dogs at an animal shelter, or coaching a youth sport.

Save money

Now is the time to start a budget, especially after holiday spending. Create a realistic budget of what you make and the money you need to pay your bills, put gas in the car, and bring food to the table. Once you do this, you will know how much money is left over for spending and saving. Allow yourself a little bit of money for fun if you can, but choose an amount you wish to save each month. Tips for saving money include eating out less or controlling impulse buys. If you’re in debt, consider financial counseling.

Start a hobby

I can spend hours browsing Pinterest, but I can honestly say I have yet to take on one of the DIY challenges or one of the mouth-watering recipes I have pinned. If you’re with me on this, then make it a point to pick up a new hobby. Learn to crochet, start scrapbooking, or dust off an old sewing machine. Having a hobby is a very healthy way to spend free time, helps you relax and unwind, and can save money if you start making gifts or your clothes.

Read more

Does anyone else have an ever-growing reading list in which you’re ready to make a dent? Shut off the TV and grab a book from the shelf. Strapped for time? Take 10 minutes before bed each night to spend with a book. Reading helps expand our imaginations and enhance our minds. It keeps you sharp. If you’ve forgotten the pleasure a great page-turner can bring you, now is the time to hit the bookstore or library. Check out these books to look forward to in 2012.

Those are just five of the many resolutions you and I will possibly be making on the eve of a new year. Do you have any tips to keeping them? Let me know about your New Year’s resolutions and how you intend on following through with them throughout the year. Happy New Year! We wish you many blessings in 2012.

Photo from: health.com