6 Non-Traditional Resolutions You Need to Make in 2015

We’re all guilty of falling victim to the unrealistic expectations we set for ourselves year after year. But this year, maybe we should try something a little different.

Maybe we should set goals that go against the grain — goals that aren’t the same old same old? Maybe we should step out of out comfort zones and away from those “Eat less! Diet more! Call my sister six times a week!” rules that we inundate ourselves with?

Because, let’s be honest: It’s not that those goals aren’t good. They’re just impossible to keep up with. And the instant we “fail” at them, we feel like failures. Like we can’t even keep on pace with the handful of things we’ve tried to do to make ourselves better. The domino effect sends us into a downward spiral, which leads to us eating more, dieting less and calling our sister zero times a month.

So before you clink your glasses together and toast to the new year and all the things you promise to be better about, do yourself a favor and don’t. Give yourself the freedom to approach your resolutions a little differently in 2015, okay?

Don’t make crazy rules to help you cut costs.

Instead of creating an impossible-to-follow doctrine that dictates how and when you can spend your money, be realistic about your expenses. And while you’re at it, be honest.

Think about where the majority of your cash went last year. Rent? Shopping? Eating out? There are ways to cut back on how much you’re spending – and how often you’re spending it – without cutting spending out of your budget entirely.

People who believe that you’ve got to “cut all the financial fat” are the ones who find their crippling plans the hardest to follow. It makes sense, too, because they’re not factoring any room for living into the mix.

Ditch that fad diet once and for all.

Want to change your life around for real? Toss whatever fad diet you’re planning to kick-start at the beginning of the year right into the toilet and repeat after me: “This diet isn’t going to work.”

It doesn’t matter how disciplined you are; you’re inevitably bound to mess up. You’ll turn your cheat snack into an entire cheat day; you’ll accidentally serve yourself .3 extra ounces of starches when you really should be serving yourself .3 less of everything in sight.

If you want to change your eating habits, lose weight and be a healthier, happier version of yourself, change your lifestyle. Think of working out, eating healthier and taking care of your mental health as a cyclical relationship: in order to maintain one thing, you have to take better care of all of the others, too.

Stop trying to meet The One.

Do you know how much pressure you’re putting on yourself by insisting that this year — this year — you’ll finally find The One? It’s enough to make someone go absolutely crazy.

Instead of force-feeding all your eggs into the proverbial basket, why not liberate yourself from feeling like you’ve got to get your act together this year and stick to meeting lots of different people? Maybe they won’t be The One, but is that necessarily a bad thing?

Plus, it’s a known fact that once you stop looking, you start finding all the right answers.

The gym isn’t the answer to your weight-loss problems.

The idea that the only way you can get fitter, be healthier and be happier is by slaving away at the gym week after week until you notice drastic changes in your mood, your mind and your body is as dated as that ab workout you’re still doing. You don’t need a gym membership to take charge of your fitness. Does it help? Sure, sometimes. But it’s not the end all, be all of weight-loss routines.

Broaden your horizons. Take risks. Try to use what you already have (for instance that PlayStation, your Wii, your walking shoes, your Lean & Chiseled workout DVD) and use it to your advantage. Not only will you spend less, but you’ll probably like yourself more because of it.

Eat more of what makes you happy.

If you completely toss all of the foods that you love and look forward to eating from your diet, you’re going to find out just how disappointing your meal choices are going to become. So do yourself a favor: Eat what you want. Eat all of it. Eat it as often as you want.

Any good dietician will tell you that the key is moderation; it’s having a really good thing – and knowing when to stop eating it. It’s having a really, really delicious thing and knowing that you can have more of it later, or tomorrow, or the next day.

Setting reasonable, livable expectations are better than completely nixing your palate clean of everything that makes eating fun.

Stop making rules for a “better” you.

Here’s the problem with crafting an ill-fated list of rules that dictate how you’re supposed to be living your life: Rules get broken. Rules sometimes suck. So adhering your life to them, and spinning blindly in their orbit, isn’t exactly going to be the thing that changes your life.

If you want to be better, make small, actionable goals to get you there. Make an effort to be nicer to a colleague you didn’t really like, try to pack your lunch three times a week – or, at the very least, two. Aim to drink at least one glass of water. Do your best to tidy your room when you have time.

You’ll beat yourself up less when you inevitably “fail,” and you’ll feel much better about the small processes that you make. Baby steps, after all, lead to leaps and bounds eventually.By Kylie McConville

HAPPY NEW YEAR

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