Photo of note pad on table with the words - New Year's Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions?


Noun. A firm decision to do or not to do something.

It’s January, 2016. Have you made any resolutions for the new year?

January is the first month, the beginning of a new year. It's a time of beginnings and promise. We reflect on the past and desire to ring in the new. We may desire a new body, a new job, or decide to reinvent ourselves in some other way. The act of making resolutions can feel exciting and inspiring, but also stressful depending on the kinds and amounts of resolutions made. For those of us with dyslexia/LD, the idea of adding anything else to our plates in addition to our own daily routines and challenges can be kind of daunting!

Studies have shown that less than 10% keep their resolutions. Why is this? Perhaps we make too many, we reach too high, we make resolutions based on what someone else is doing or what we think we should be doing. Perhaps the resolution isn’t a good fit or true to who we are inside. We might make them for the wrong reasons and destine ourselves to failure. Perhaps we become impatient and expect results too quickly. Lasting change takes time and can’t be expected overnight. So, before you consider jumping on the path to self-improvement in the new year, remember this. Do one thing. Just one thing. You don’t have to complicate it. Don't know where to start? Here are some suggestions...

Exercise? Just do it. Get off the couch. Go take a walk. It doesn’t have to be a full-year gym membership with all the bells and whistles. How about a free-trial week? Get your foot in the door. See if it’s a good fit. Take a friend or family member with you!

Do you want to nurture your Relationships? In a 75 year Harvard study, Robert Waldinger found that the quality of our relationships have more far reaching positive effects on our health and happiness than status, money or other external things. – Check out Waldinger’s Ted Talk HERE. Now, that’s an idea worth spreading!

How about health and diet changes? If you are in need of a physical and have been putting it off, go ahead and schedule one. It’s one positive thing that you can do. Are you considering a change in your diet? Before you go vegan or gluten-free, ask yourself why the diet appeals to you and do some research online on the best ways to start the process which won’t turn you and your kitchen upside down. Wanting to shed some pounds? Are you overeating? Get in touch with why you might be. Too much stress, feeling unfulfilled, feeling exhausted and run down? Exploring your patterns and speaking with a health professional may give you valuable clues to what’s “eating you” and may also help you to search for alternative ways to address your negative of patterns of behavior surrounding food. Blood work and other routine lab tests may indicate hidden medical conditions which need attention to get you back on track and feeling your best.

Interested in body and mind stress reduction? Consider booking a massage, trying a free yoga or meditation class or exploring other methods of allieviating stress. When you decrease your stress level you will feel better both physically and emotionally, may learn better and function more effectively at work and in relationships. Try this guided meditation from The Art of Living -

Interested in learning about and finding solutions which can help you with reading, writing and productivity? Check out some of the latest assistive technology apps, software options, and tools to help you thrive from Jamie Martin's website,

If you are considering making a resolution related to your job and career, small steps can reap big rewards. Be proactive. Learn something new everyday. Here is a short list of some low or no cost suggestions for learning and career self-improvement for the new year:

Making new resolutions can help you to get out of your comfort zone. Do something that you have thought about trying but haven't done so because you feel lack the necessary skills. This could be just about anything. Do a Google search, watch some videos, challenge yourself. There are many benefits to having a bit of positive anxiety from getting out of your comfort zone, including harnessing creativity, developing resilience, and increasing productivity. Read more on this from Life Hacker - HERE. You might just surprise yourself.

Are you searching for a purpose? Consider volunteerism. It’s good for the soul! Explore local opportunities with non-profits in your area. In addition to helping others, volunteering can help you learn new skills to help populate your resume if you are in the market for a career change. Volunteer Match can give you some suggestions of organizations in your area.

You may encounter eventual roadblocks or detours along the way as you explore new things, and this is totally OK. Don’t beat yourself up about it. If something speaks to you strongly, you may revisit it at a later time. Trying new things opens up a world of opportunity. The most important thing you can do is to approach the new year in a positive way, setting small easily achievable goals for yourself, not worrying about the past, but looking forward to what your future holds. One new thing. One day at a time. Stretch yourself! Wishing you a new year filled with lots of exciting things.

Robert Waldinger Ted Talk -

The Science of Breaking out of your Comfort Zone – And why you should -

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