UTAH, Dec. 30, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) — A new year is right around the corner, and for 45 percent of Americans, that means making resolutions.
According to findings by Statistic Brain Research Institute, people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t.
The Top 10 resolutions run the gamut from super-practical; “Lose Weight,” “Get Organized,” “Quit Smoking,” to the more potentially spiritual; “Enjoy Life to the Fullest,” “Learn Something Exciting,” “Fall in Love”and “Help Others in Their Dreams.” Rounding out the top 10 are “Spend Less, Save More,” “Stay Fit and Healthy” and “Spend More Time With Family.”
All fantastic ideas, in theory. But in practice, how does one even take the first step?
We at Gephardt Daily took seven of these Top 10 resolutions and broke them down into bite-size, digestible chunks by consulting with experts on how they could be achieved. Here’s what we found:
Learn Something Exciting
Stacy Palen, an astrophysicist at Ogden’s Weber State University, was inspired to love learning by someone without a diploma.
“My grandmother had an eighth grade education,” Palen said. “Before she could start high school, the war began, and she went to work instead. By the time the war was over, she was married, with a child on the way. Yet my gram was one of the most well-educated, most well-read people I have ever known.”
Palen’s grandmother pushed herself to learn exciting things. She kept her house full of books on far-ranging topics, and she joined a group that took educational trips to museums, lectures and libraries.
“Watching her do this taught me a really important lesson: School is just the beginning, and if you can read and you can write, then you can learn anything you set your mind to, and have fun doing it,” Palen said.
So Palen pushes herself to come up with new learning projects, and said it has enriched her life.
“Every single day, there is something new to learn, and all those things, stacked up over a lifetime, make a brilliant education.” ─ Nancy Van Valkenburg
Enjoy Life to the Fullest
Getting the most out of life isn’t something that needs to wait until you have enough money or free time. Enjoying and appreciating life is something that can start right now, said Annette Koga, assistant minister at the Ogden Buddhist Church.
It’s about attitude.
“As a Buddhist, we are taught to live a life of gratitude,” Kogan said. “We have been given so much as humans, but it is hard to open our eyes and see it.
“I love the commercial on TV now with the electric company showing that it’s not as simple as flipping a switch to get the lights on at your home. So much was done behind the scenes to get that current into our home, yet all we see is the light.
“If our awareness of life was as complete as the process it took to get that light on, how much more appreciated we would be for our life as it is. Just take the responsibility to be fully aware of our own actions, and the results that happen due to the action we take would be a big step in getting the most out of life.” ─ Nancy Van Valkenburg
Fall In Love
This may be an admirable goal, but it’s also an intimidating one. Life, love and business strategist Baya Voce said there are plenty of different angles when it comes to taking the plunge into the dating game.
“I think of dating like I think of trying a new hobby,” said Voce, of Salt Lake City, answering questions by email.
“When I’m trying something new I’ll sign up for a couple of different classes and stick with the ones I like. When it comes to dating, try a few different outlets; meeting through friends or work, online, Tinder/Bumble, etc. and see which one(s) resonate(s) most. Try not to put too much emphasis on how you’re meeting someone and put more emphasis on the kind of people you’re meeting.”
Voce said keeping a positive attitude is essential.
“I’m always so surprised by the amount of clients who come to me wanting to find love, but who are so cynical when it comes to dating,” she said. “We’ve all been burned, but getting back on the saddle with the right attitude is a sure fire way to start attracting the type of people you want to be with.
“Falling in love isn’t too lofty, but the trick is knowing when you’re unrealistic about what a real relationship looks like versus the picture you see painted in movies/social media. For the longest time I battled with what the difference is between settling and an unrealistic expectation of love. It’s so important to know your gauge on this and how you personally define love because it’s definitely not one size fits all!”
Help Others In Their Dreams
An effective way of helping other people move forward in life is to volunteer. Alison Smith, who works in volunteer services for Salt Lake County, said there are many different ways to start. “Salt Lake County has over 100 different opportunities to volunteer,” she said. “Many of our programs offer services not only during the standard work day but also in the evenings and on weekends. Opportunities are available for all types of interests and all types of schedules.
“Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity, intended to promote good or improve human quality of life, but people also volunteer for their own skill development, to meet others, to make contacts for possible employment, to have fun, and a variety of other reasons that could be considered self-serving. Volunteerism is the act of selflessly giving your life to something in which you believe, free of pay.
“In 2014 over 700,000 volunteer hours were donated. This volunteer movement saves the county millions of dollars and helps buttress vital programs in an effort to serve, enhance and add quality of life services to more than one million Salt Lake County residents. We see and feel the results of volunteer service every day. Volunteers truly enhance our entire community.”
To sign up to volunteer with Salt Lake County just complete the online form at https://slco.org/volunteer/
Stay Fit and Healthy
It may be surprising, but flat track roller derby is the fastest growing sport in America, according to the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. And it’s a great way to get fit and grow as a person, participants said. We spoke with representatives from two Salt Lake leagues, competitive league Wasatch Roller Derby and recreational league the Red Rockettes.
Spokesperson for the Red Rockettes Jenne Parsons, aka Jammy Dodger, said you don’t have to have skated before to give the sport a go.
“Most teams will train even absolute beginners from the ground up,'” she said. “We have several competitive leagues along the Wasatch Front, which require practices several times a week as well as travel games. Some people are ready to dive right in with the big kids. If you just want to get your feet wet and have fun, the Red Rockettes (Salt Lake) or Bridal Veil Dolls (Utah County) are good options. These are both recreational leagues that train beginners—also known as fresh meat—and include skaters of all skill levels. They can also assist with purchasing equipment, including skates and safety equipment.”
Kristi Parrish, aka Riot Atcha, is the spokesperson for Wasatch Roller Derby. “I would definitely start on the web or Facebook,” Parrish said. “When I started derby, I literally googled ‘derby near me’ to find a league to learn more about the sport. Most leagues have a website or facebook page with contact information.
“Wasatch Roller Derby has teams for any level of competition ─ home teams that primarily compete here in Salt Lake, as well as travel teams who play teams from across the country for rankings. We’ve also got solid training programs for people who have never skated before, and of course I can’t forget the men’s team and junior’s team.”
Parsons said that even though the sport can be intimidating to begin, that fear quickly dissipates.
“It takes some time to get used to the pace and action of roller derby, but once you do, that fear turns into exhilaration,” she said. “Derby gives back to you whatever you put into it. It’s not easy, but the return on your investment is clear. The social aspect of derby also provides emotional and mental support, while the physical component boosts mood and energy, and releases stress and anxiety. It’s an interesting circular interplay of mind and body.
“I’ve know so many people who have come to derby at unhappy times in their lives, and found it to be incredibly healing. Whether it’s divorce, illness, post-baby blues, or just tackling your fears, roller derby provides both an outlet and an answer to some of life’s greatest trials.”
Parrish adds: “The great thing is that you don’t have to be a five-star athlete to join. There literally is a place for everyone. The way you see yourself and your body completely changes. Most sports you have to be tall or skinny or whatever to be able to succeed. In derby it doesn’t matter how big or small you are.”
Wasatch Roller Derby is having open evenings on Jan. 6 and Jan 20. For more information visit their Facebook page.
Other leagues: Recreational: Bridal Veil Dolls (Utah County)
Competitive: Ladies of the Lake (Salt Lake City)
Junction City Roller Dolls (Ogden)
Happy Valley Derby Darlins (Utah County) – Daisy Blake
Getting home and office organized is a common goal throughout the year, but lots of people make a special effort to start the new year with with a clean slate. Vicki Winterton, owner of Organize Utah offers a simple way to help start the New Year off with the acronym SPARK….
S: Sort items into similar general category types.
P: Purge anything that is no longer needed or loved.
A: Assign a “home” (space on a shelf, within a drawer or cupboard) to the items you choose to store.
R: Round up containers that fit within the room’s storage shelves, drawers, or cupboards.
K: Keep up your newly organized spaces by investing maintenance of 5 to 10 minutes per room per day.
– Jennifer Gardiner
Spend Less, Save More
Saving more and spending less can seem overwhelming especially for those on a tight budget, but when you cut corners in several different areas it can really make a big difference, according to Instructables.com .
The website advises that you sit down with your budget. Look into different companies and really compare. For instance, take your phone bill. Many carriers now offer very low rates and no contracts, they even offer to pay off your old contracts to make the switch.
The website also advises readers to compare car insurance rates. It’s free to get a quote from any company. A lot of people stay loyal to one particular agent or company because they are comfortable. Often staying in that comfort zone can end up costing you thousands of dollars a year in savings.
The key to lowering your spending is to cut back a little everywhere. Learn to shop for what you need instead of what you want and, in time, you can reward yourself with something you want.
For more tips on how to spend less and save more Business Insider has 35 things you can do right now to start spending less money. – Jennifer Gardiner