Whenever I think New Year's Resolutions – dieting, working out, saving money and all that – fear of failure seems to follow close behind. Instead of making stark, oftentimes hard-to-follow resolutions this year, make promises you can keep and take each day one at a time.
Make a list of seven goals – one to accomplish each day – and set a reminder to pop up first thing in the morning.
Change one thing at a time
It's hard to not fall off the resolution wagon a few weeks into a new year. Instead of making a long, bulleted-list of changes, opt for making a list of some things you can change every day.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Choose the fruit instead of the fries. Take 10 extra minutes talking to your spouse or kids in the afternoon.
It's the little changes that can make your resolutions last longer, and become much more fulfilling.
Be a positive influence
We all get stressed, busy, or wrapped up in some whirlwind at times and old habits or bad attitudes might arise. Strive this year to become the positive force in not just your life, but those around you.
Whether you are a boss or an employee, mother or child, friend or more than a friend, make sure you work to create a positive atmosphere. You'll find stress eases, big problems tend to work out and life just seems better.
Wrangle that stress this year. Take time to breathe, take care of your wants and needs and organize where projects, appointments and life doesn't take control.
Before you get overloaded, plan a small amount of time each day just for you.
Take lunch and walk around the block, read a book or even meditate. Studies show a small amount of simple meditation can reduce stress in our everyday lives.
According to the Mayo Clinic, when you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.
Switch out bad food for good
Take the chance. Try your coffee without sugar or any fake sugar. Replace high-fat cow's milk or cream for low-fat almond or soy milk.
Make a meal plan, one you can stick to, that contains new, exciting recipes you'd like to try with foods that are good for you. Find recipes to create healthy versions to replace your old faithful comfort foods. It's a great way to legitimatize that time spent on Pinterest!
Stop multitasking family and work time
Whether you work in an office, restaurant or work from home, make sure you aren't multitasking your work life with your home life.
Set some simple rules for yourself.
Don't read work emails until after homework and dinner are over. If it's an emergency, more than likely someone should call.
If a work project arises that needs afterhours attention, plan around your home time, making sure you allot some quality time to your partner and kids (if you have them.) This could be making sure you prepare dinner ahead of time, putting work on hold for two or three hours, or making sure you read that bedtime story if you have to be somewhere else.
Creating boundaries for work and home can give you better balance, and a happier home life.
Most importantly, don't be hard on yourself if you don't succeed at all the things you set out to do in 2013. Little steps can pave an easier road to success.
Changing your eating habits, keeping to a regular workout plan or finding a smarter, stress-free workflow aren't quick fixes. Keep a positive outlook on the successes rather than the failures. Once you've accomplished the small steps, it's much easier to tackle bigger ones.
Evaluate your week
Take time at the end of each week to check your accomplishments. Try keeping a simple journal or just a notepad to check off when you've accomplished a goal, big or small.
Eventually you will have worked much of this into your daily flow, and hopefully set yourself in motion for a more successful 2013.
Twinkle VanWinkle was born in a small town in Mississippi. A life-long lover of music, media and food, she grew up following those three things along her path. She has almost 20 years of professional cooking under her apron strings, feeding thousands of friends, family and other folks while working in restaurants and bakeries in Oxford, Miss. She baked 300 apple pies for the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and appeared on "The Best Of..." in the same year. Along with producing dynamic entertainment content for LIN Media, she is a mother, musician and social media fanatic.
The freezing and near-freezing rain that swooped into Central Texas overnight prompted numerous school closings and delays and made for a harrowing morning commute on Friday.
A man is charged with murder in the shooting death Wednesday of a woman at a North Austin auto repair shop, police said Friday.
A man is expected to survive after being stabbed in the head at the Salvation Army shelter in Downtown Austin at about 3:45 a.m. Friday.
As the Austin area prepares itself for an impending winter storm on Friday, Dec. 6, many schools have already announced delays.
With freezing temperatures pushing through the region, heating systems will likely be working overtime, which can bring rising energy bills.
Investigators are looking into an overnight fire that left one woman with third-degree burns.