It’s February already!  Never mind that.  How are you going with your New Year Resolutions?  What did you resolve to do this year?

Maybe . . .

*  Get organised . . . of course you did!
*  Give up smoking . . . a very common choice?
*  Spend more time with family and friends . . . more relax time!
*  Get out of debt, save more money . . . it’s a tough one in today’s economic climate!
*  Loose weight and get fit . . . yep, made this one over the years!
*  Travel somewhere new . . . me, I’d love to be travelling six months of the year if I could!

This year I did not make one Resolution, NOT one!  “Why”? you may ask.

Let’s look at the above statements.  They are one short sentence, a very rigid statement that allows for no flexibility or change.  For all of us life happens and we can’t avoid that.  We need to learn how to role with the punches, good or bad.  Let our new plans for the year revolve around life events.  I definitely don’t like to feel like I have failed, or not achieved what I set out to do.  It can lead to negative thoughts, which can lead to more negative feelings.  Ugh!

So for this year, I have chosen a word.  SIMPLIFY!  I’m going to break things down. Smaller steps at a time.  I’m the kind of person that wants things to happen immediately.  I don’t like to take a break from one task before starting the next.  It has to be perfect!  And this is where I fall down.

Let’s look at the above statements and simplify!

Get organised:  start small.  Look at the junk drawer . . . every home has one!  Empty one shelf in your closet, throw out or donate the clothes you don’t wear.  Grab a basket and put all the items that don’t belong in one room in the basket and take them to the room where they do belong.  They don’t have to go exactly where they belong, just in the room.

Give up smoking:  this is a toughie!  I know, I’ve done it!  It took about five or six different attempts. Think about if you are really, truly ready to give up smoking.  If yes, look at the different resources available to assist you in your journey, explain to family and friends what your are trying to do and would really appreciate their support. And most importantly, don’t make this resolution on a whim, or because people are trying to talk you into it.  Be honest with yourself.

Spend more time with family and friends: phone your friend.  I don’t like Facebook or text messaging.  It’s a little impersonal.  Put a time in the diary. Lock it away and stick to it.  Unless absolutely life threatening, don’t change the plans.  Trust me, you won’t be disappointed, and neither will your friend. There’s nothing better than spending time with a catching up for a coffee and chat.

Get out of debt: again not an easy one.  Trying to develop a family budget is difficult.  Save yourself the stress and possible miscalculations and employ an accountant to look after all the figures.  This can give you a weekly budget and you know exactly where all your money is going.

Loose weight and get fit:  This runs along the lines of wanting to give up smoking.  Are you ready to make the commitment? Are you doing it to please other people?  Find an exercise buddy, whether a friend to walk with, join the gym or find a personal trainer.

Travel somewhere new:  A friend and I was recently discussing my love of travel and all the places I have on my bucket list.  He said to me “Have it in your Bucket List but again, cross off time in your calendar”.  He explained that this action makes it more real and gives you a timeline to work towards for booking tickets, saving spending money, finding carers for the kids, or pets and takes the stress out of all the things that need to be thought about.  My friend must be right.  He and his wife travel to far and exotic places regularly.

Break it down.  Now for all of you who are struggling with your New Year Resolutions, take a step back and SIMPLIFY!!