For a long time, I had very concrete, attainable resolutions. Actionable items. Practice yoga. Read more fiction. Start writing for public consumption. Done, done and done. I never resolved to "lose weight" or "be healthier" or "be nicer" (although trying out that last one wouldn't kill me, now, would it?).
But for the past couple of years, I have not been able to come up with anything worth saying out loud. After Henry, my whole life seemed out of proportion with my earlier goals. What was I going to resolve to do? Not kill my newborn? Get more sleep?
As a classic over-analyzer, I love philosophical articles about how to be happier and calmer. These two pieces, for instance, grabbed my attention recently.
- The Habits Of Supremely Happy People offers counter-intuitive ideas like smiling only when you mean it as well as some obvious ones like getting more sleep and exercise.
- In his June 2012 op-ed in the New York Times, The ‘Busy’ Trap, Tim Kreider argued that being "crazy busy" is more a state of mind than an invariable truth. He advocates choosing to let go of some so-called "musts."
But the truth is I need more than philosophy. I need practical strategies for making it through 2014.
That's why I love The Manilla New Year's Toolkit: A Guide to the New You. The Guide is a free e-document designed to help you improve your life in 2014. It includes 20 pages of great, actionable advice on getting out of debt, saving for retirement, budgeting, getting in shape, getting a promotion and more.
Small, incremental changes can add up to real transformation.
- To be greener, start by always carrying a reusable bag. (I am obsessed with these Envirosax Oasis Shopping Bags that fold up into a little nothing you can throw in your purse or diaper bag.)
- To save money, try doing one thing a month (a calendar is provided by Good Housekeeping).
- To get in shape, register for a couple of short races in the spring.
- To de-stress, try eliminating one word (which I will not divulge!) from your vocabulary.
You get the point. So what are you waiting for?
Download Manilla's New You Guide here: A Guide to the New You.
I'd love to hear your resolutions (sometimes making them public helps you keep them!) and thoughts about the Manilla guide.
I'll go first. This year, I'm back to
Woah, woah. Not on the blog or in my head. Let's not get carried away....
Disclosure: I have teamed up with Manilla to promote the toolkit for a chance to win $1,000. I absolutely do not promote anything I do not believe in nor do I pull punches for products I do not like. For proof of the latter, see my review of the book Maxed Out for the Brilliant Book Club.