Now that Christmas is over it is time for Colorado Springs’ to ring in the new year!
Do you eat black-eyed peas or lentils to ring in the new year? If you grew up in the South the traditional New Year’s Day meal would definitely include black-eyed peas but very common in Italian-Americans household, lentils and sausage or lentil soup might be your New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day meal. Because both black-eyed peas and lentils resemble little coins eating them is thought to bring good luck and prosperity to the new year.
Another new year’s tradition that is as popular as toasting in the new year with champagne is making New Year’s Resolutions. Did you know that half of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions? But unfortunately within six months only half as many that make resolutions have stuck to their resolution.
So why make a new year’s resolution? For many people it’s just become a fun annual tradition but for others it has become a yearly way to continue to improve their life, embrace new opportunities and achieve their goals.
We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day. Edith Lovejoy Pierce
As Pierce writes in the above quote, the blank page of January can be very inspiring!
The most popular resolutions include losing weight or getting more exercise, quitting smoking or another bad habit or planning a new purchase maybe a new car or a custom home. But what if you made more resolutions that were easier to maintain and involved others? Instead of being unsuccessful at the six-month mark you could discover the secret to maintaining your New Year’s Resolutions is to be more practical. Here are seven no pressure, feel good resolutions you might just keep!
Spend more time outdoors
Not only does this contribute to living a healthier lifestyle and/or losing weight but living in Colorado Springs with an average of 300 sunny days a year makes it easy to enjoy outdoor activities. There are currently 42 state parks in Colorado with the Top 10 listed here. Even if you’re not an outdoor sport enthusiast there are thousands of miles of trails to walk, hike, photograph and explore. Most likely this is why Colorado was ranked #11 in the 2012 Healthiest States rating, that’s up from #14 in 2011.
Involve yourself in your community by volunteering.
If you’re new to the Colorado Springs community there are hundreds of volunteer opportunities available. There are volunteer opportunities for kids, teens and adults. Here’s a good place to start.
Why buy local? According to elocal.com, “If the people of an average American city were to shift 10% of their spending from chains to local businesses, it would an additional $235 million per year to the community’s economy.” Shop at locally owned stores, restaurants, and farmers markets and benefit the whole community.
Learn Something new.
Maybe going back to school isn’t on your agenda for 2013 but they are many benefits to becoming a lifelong learner including finding more meaning in your life, meeting new friends and adapting to change easier. Locally you could take art or craft classes, sign up for a local food tour, learn about Colorado history at The Colorado Springs Pioneer’s Museum, attend the yearly film festivals, the art museums or invest some time at The Money Museum.
We had a tough year as a nation, a state and a city and sometimes the only thing that got us through was being grateful for what we did have. Giving back to the community members that weren’t as fortunate as us just feels good. Whether you use a gratitude journal or just check in regularly with your family about what they are grateful for allows you to think more positively and appreciate what you have.
Unplug more often.
While technology is great and can be time-saving if you don’t get a handle on it, it can take over your life. Setting limits for yourself and your family members can make the next resolution a little easier.
Spend more time with your family and friends.
This should be an easy one but with the average American worker spending 8.8 hours a day working or on working related activities the time spent on leisure activities with family is getting shorter. Add in eating, sleeping and taking care of others and you can see why so many families struggle with finding time for each other. What changes could you make in 2013 to get more family time?