January 1st is right around the corner, which means it's once again time to start thinking about self-improvement. For many, this is an annual ritual that lasts no longer than a couple months (being charitable) and sometimes labours to last the first week of January. Why is it that resolutions are so difficult to keep?
Well, you can probably point to three key mistakes that most people make in compiling their resolutions: one, the resolutions are too vague; two, they're often dour and boring; and three, the resolutions are unrealistically big. Consider the classic kind of resolution, to get in shape by going to gym every other day and eating only green vegetables in the hopes of losing 20lbs a month. That resolution is vague, punishing and unrealistic. It's a recipe for failure.
A far better alternative is to choose resolutions that are fun, resolutions that allow you to get in shape, or focus on your wellbeing, without being a slog. These are six New Year's Resolutions that are specific, fun and - importantly - realistic. You may not lose 100lbs with any of these resolutions, but you will ensure that 2019 is a healthier, happier year.
Take Up Boxing
Here's a great way to get exercise that can also be exciting and rewarding. Boxing mixes cardio and muscle building, but also allows you to get out your competitive side. You don't have to spar in order to box (in other words, you don't actually have to fight), and can instead reap the rewards of boxing by simply signing up for a training class. Play your cards right and you could be running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and throwing your hands in the air.
Join An Axe Throwing League
An even more fun way to get some exercise in 2019 is by joining an axe throwing league. When you sign up for an 8-week league, you'll learn to throw like a pro before competing in an axe throwing tournament to see who's aim is supreme. Not only is it a great workout, but it's exciting and engaging, and the community surrounding the sport is very welcoming. If you want to test the waters, BATL (the Backyard Axe Throwing League) offers a drop-in schedule and party bookings.
Travel To A New Country
Sometimes wellness isn't just about physical fitness - it's also about taking care of your mind and soul. There's no better food for the mind than travel. Whether you hike the trails of Machu Picchu in Peru, navigate the bustling markets of Casablanca in Morocco, or simply lay on a beach in Thailand, the simple act of leaving the ordinary can be enough to make you feel better.
Get A Four-Legged Friend
Medical studies actually show that having pets can improve your health. Having a four-legged companion can reduce stress, improve your mood and blood pressure, and, because of the more active lifestyle associated with pet ownership, improve your overall physical health. Whether it's a cat or dog (this article isn't about to wade into that argument), getting a pet might just be the perfect New Year's Resolution for you.
Jump Off A Bridge (Attached To A Bungee Cord!)
Facing your fears, doing something extreme and trying new experiences are all amicable resolutions, and you can tick each one off when you go bungee jumping. Sure, this resolution might not overtly benefit your health, but it can help you broaden your horizons and gain confidence.
Take A Cicerone Course
Who would've though that "drinking beer" could really be a New Year's Resolution? But while wine gets more attention for being a connoisseur's drink, there is a growing industry of beer connoisseurs, called "Cicerones" - an equivalent to wine's sommelier. Learning a new skill, even if it is sniffing the grain profile of an IPA beer, is always a good thing. It helps your mind stay active and engaged. Just make sure you don't overindulge in the product - too much beer can have a adverse effect on your overall physical health.
To summarize, New Year's Resolutions don't need to be big and punishing. They can be small, specific and fun - as exhilarating as throwing an axe or as comforting as cuddling with a new puppy. This year, make resolutions that you know you can keep, and improve your wellbeing and happiness.