New Year’s Resolutions

Every year there are the standard New Year’s resolutions trotted out online and in magazines. They are almost always the same – lose weight, more money, spend time with friends and family, yada, yada, yada.

There’s no getting away from vices. They usually show up on the resolutions list because they are issues that many people have in common. So let’s look at the standard resolutions and change them up a bit to keep life interesting.

Step away from the mobile device

texting-at-dinnerOne of the time-honored resolutions states that we should spend more time with loved ones. In order to make it quality time, we may have to (shock, horror), put down those mobile devices that often seem surgically attached to our person.

When you are next at dinner, take a look around the table. Is everyone engaged and talking to one another, or are they head down, building up wobbly neck skin, checking messages and texting? Exactly.

Walk more, soda less

walkingGym memberships experience a bumper month in January because there’s something about a brand new year that brings on the resolve to exercise. Whether you sign up or not, ask yourself what little steps you can take to improve your fitness levels. As it’s warm outdoors all year round, we tend to go from the house to the car, drive the car in A/C to the office, walk from the car to the office, and then office to the car and so on … Living in a city encourages walking, but not here. Here, you have to make an effort to get out and participate in some physical activity. So take a walk in the evening, use the stairs instead of the elevator, go for a swim, and cut back on sodas and alcohol. Baby steps bring on big results over time.

Start using a money program

Most human beings need to seriously watch their spending and make sure they have enough to live comfortably after retirement. Balancing your account and contributing to your pension is certainly a good start, but another great way to see where your financial future lies is to download software or an app that keeps you on track. There are lots of free or inexpensive options for you to try – even an Excel or Numbers spreadsheet can be set up to show incomings and outgoings. Best of all, you can look at the data 10 or 20 years into the future to see where you’ll be, based on current spending patterns, and whether you need to up the ante now.

Travel

Try to travel more. Yes, we’ve just said you need to save money, but travel does not have to be expensive. With a gazillion hotel and airline websites elbowing for room in the market, a little research can go a long way to getting you some amazing deals. Piggyback multiple destinations onto your first port of call, as often once you’ve arrived, you’ll find a whole world of new and exotic locales are nearby.

For example, if you take a trip to Sydney, try to book a flight to New Zealand which will now be only three hours away. Remember that currency exchange rates can also work in your favor. Travel to places where prices are reasonable and your currency is worth more.

Be punctual

Do you find yourself always arriving late at work, appointments or dinners? Are you the one flying around the house in a tizzy, throwing items into a suitcase, then getting to the airport with minutes to spare, only to realize you left your toothbrush behind? Not only is it a stressful way to live your life, it’s also a bad habit to have when others are affected by your tardiness.

Stop leaving everything until the last minute, get more organized, and take more pride in your timekeeping. Whether friends or coworkers tell you or not, your lateness is noticed and you are known for it. Not a good thing.

Keep negativity at bay

dont-be-negativeDo you find yourself moaning and whining a lot about minor things? If there are genuine issues to complain about, then have at it, but otherwise ask yourself if you could be using your time in better ways. Don’t get us wrong, it never hurts to get things off your chest once in a while, yet if you find you are more negative than positive, you’re not just making yourself miserable – you’re not fun company either. Try to focus on the positive and remember to tell people when they’ve done a good job, or compliment others.

Charity begins at home

Sometimes it’s difficult to find the money or time to donate to charity, but it really is so important to contribute. Helping others is the obvious result, yet you may find yourself to be more appreciative of what you have. Here in Cayman, the island is so affluent that poverty or those in need are not as visible as they are elsewhere. Make no mistake – they exist.

Not everyone has the money to spare, and if you are one of those people, then find out how you can volunteer. Make 2017 the year you give back.