Some New Year’s Resolutions involve starting something. Starting a new diet. Starting a new workout plan. Starting a new family tradition. Starting a new budget. Starting a new career. Starting to go to church more often.

Some New Year’s Resolutions involved stopping, or quitting, something. Stopping a bad diet. Quitting a smoking habit. Leaving a career that makes you miserable. Ending a toxic relationship.

My New Year’s Resolution? In 2016, I will STOP trying to live a life that pleases everyone and START living a life that I enjoy and one that pleases God. Why? Ya’lllllllll, I’m so tired, exhausted and drained from trying my hardest to please my friends, my family, my peers, my coworkers, and later find that my effort and intentions are unappreciated or undervalued. This is definitely not to say that I will stop putting my best foot forward in school, at work or in my relationships. In 2015, and the years leading up to it, I’ve learned that the more I take on, the more my mental abilities, emotional health, and physical health diminishes. I am one of those people who will suppress emotional pain until it manifests into chronic physical pains that force me to take a much needed break. You just can NOT please everyone all the time, and I’ve learned this the hard way. So this year, I have to make sure that I am happy with myself, the amount of effort I give, and the way that I show up in the world, without running myself into the ground. Sure, I have other goals for this year, but they all fall under this resolution to focus on completely loving the life that I am living and the person who I am becoming.
I know that a lot of people these days find setting New Year’s Resolutions redundant or pointless, However, I believe in goal setting and declaring your future. I encourage everyone to set an achievable, attainable and realistic goal for 2016. In the nutrition/fitness/health world, SMART goals are everything. If you really want to change something in your life or change something about yourself and not just live with the desire, then SMART goals are the way to go. I mean, how many years are you going say that your New Years Resolution is to lose weight, only to gain more weight? Make your goals work for you! Your goal should be Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic and Time-oriented. I’ll use myself as an example:

My Resolution- to start living a life that I enjoy …for the purpose of this post and to give an example, I will just focus on one of my smaller goals: reading a book for self-improvement.

My SMART goal- (S) This year I will read 1 self-improvement book.  (M) I will contact someone to be my accountability partner. This person will check in with me to find out what I am reading, learning and applying to my life each month. (A) I will pick and purchase a book by January 16th. (R) I will read at least one chapter a month, minimum. (T) I will complete the book by December 25, 2016.

Other tips that you may already know, but are worth repeating: (1) don’t make to many goals at once, it sets you up for failure, (2) make short term goals for your goal and reward yourself along the way (3) if you have a weight loss goal, do NOT reward yourself with food (4) people with accountability/workout partners, trainers, or just someone to motivate them (or knock the desserts out your hand so you don’t get fat lol) are more successful at achieving their goal (5) New Years Resolution hype is dead by February so put a post-in on your mirror to remind why you set that goal. It will motivate you to “go forth and prosper.”

Now, even though your social media friends and followers may not want to hear, or may not be so understanding of your New Year’s Resolution(s) this year, I want to hear them all! Please Please Please comment on this post and declare what will change in your life this year. Your comment should begin: “In 2016, I will ____________.”

So…..what is your New Year’s Resolution(s)?