With the New Year comes the tradition of setting resolutions. About 40 percent of U.S. adults set New Year’s resolutions every year. The largest demographic, at 59 percent, is young adults aged 18-34. Research shows that 95 percent of our New Year’s resolutions are fitness-related, inspired by the desire to “look better.” Despite those good intentions, after one month 43 percent will have given up their goal; after three months only 10 percent are still at it.
Fitness also makes you feel better and even the fittest of the fit want to be more fit. But if we are to improve the longevity of our resolutions and how they make us feel better rather than how they might—or might not—make us look better, perhaps we should be focusing on finding new passions, new routines and new thinking that are easier and certainly more fun to stick with through the new year and even the years that follow.
These resolutions could make you feel better, and if you feel better—mind, body and soul—you’re going to look better in any number of ways.
Resolve to help a community effort by volunteering at one of the Otsego County not-for-profits that currently address numerous community needs. Make new friends while making an impact. Helping organizations that help others greatly magnifies your individual contribution as well as your personal satisfaction.
Resolve to establish a schedule to visit some or all of Otsego County’s outstanding public parks, trails, forests and lakes. Take notice and be inspired by the natural beauty that is all around us.
Resolve to consistently support local businesses and do your part to ensure a healthy local economy. In doing so, you help create jobs for your friends and neighbors, contribute to improved public infrastructure, and invest in your community, both socially and economically.
Resolve to read a book each month. Alternate between fiction and non-fiction. Enjoy a good story one month and learn something the next.
Resolve to visit your local historical society. An understanding of your community’s past gives you a fresh perspective on guiding its future.
Resolve to make someone’s day better. A smile, a compliment or a small act of kindness can be an antidote to the onslaught of the world’s bad news and will make you both feel better.
Resolve to resist gossip and negativity so you have more time to focus on the important and positive things.
Resolve to swim in one of Otsego County’s beautiful lakes every week in summer. There’s nothing like water to comfort the body and soothe the soul.
Resolve to get your national and world news from sources with differing perspectives. Listen to what the people who might disagree with you have to say. Don’t be told what to think; look at varying opinions and make up your own mind. What you discover may surprise you.
Resolve to lighten your mind and open your heart by letting go of grudges and settling differences with friends and family. The health of your body and soul will thank you.
Resolve to always remember that normal bodies are normal, that fitness of the mind and soul can be a greater benefit than you realize, and that purposefulness in your life, your impact on the lives of others, and the life of your community are promises you will want to keep.
Happy New Year.