It’s that time of year again!
No, not the one for giving gifts, volunteering at soup kitchens or spending time with family and friends. It’s the time of year when you promise yourself that you’ll make changes and improve your lifestyle. No, really. You mean it this time!
In the rush to make your New Year’s resolutions, remember that they don’t have to be a bore or a chore. These goal-setting ideas should be created with a sense of hope and enthusiasm for the year ahead.
Keeping that in mind, here’s our list of five New Year’s resolutions that you can commit to in Nashville with ease:
1. Eating healthy
You don’t have to overhaul your diet overnight to start on the road to a healthier you. The best way to ease into a healthy eating routine is by picking up fruits, vegetables and other nutritious foods from the farmers’ market. Nashville is home to several farmers’ markets, a few of which include:
Those held year-round:
But if you’re like me, sometimes preparing a home-cooked meal at the end of a long workday is too much of a hassle. Have no fear: A healthy choice for people on-the-go is to order weekly meals from Fresh Chefs. These culinary trained artists create tasty and nutritious meals with fresh ingredients and deliver them right to your door.
Visit one of Nashville’s fresh, locally-sourced restaurants such as Calypso, Fido, The Farm House, Silo, 360 Burger, 1808 Grille and The Pharmacy. More eateries in the farm-to-table movement can be found here.
2. Getting into shape
This oldie but goodie at the top of many lists is getting into shape. But so many of our best-laid plans fall apart when we over-commit and expect immediate results.
You can ease into your new exercise routine by participating in a local fun run or walkathon, or by trying a class before committing to a gym membership.
Try the Fitness Crawl, which supports Amputee Blade Runners, a nonprofit that helps provide free running prosthetics for amputees. They’re offering a week of fitness classes for Nashville residents to try starting January 12.
Not a gym person?
If you’re someone who hates working out at the gym, try alternatives like Balletone or PiYo (a mix of Pilates and yoga) group classes at the Downtown Y. You can even forgo the gym altogether in favor of aerial classes at Fall or The Chrome Bar, which offers your first class for $10 or three classes for $29.
3. Managing a budget
Year after year, we promise to cut back and stick to our budget, but so many of us fall short of our goals.
So start by looking for simple ways to reduce your daily expenses:
- You may not really need that Starbucks latte every morning. Try brewing a cup at home.
- Bring your lunch to work instead of grabbing Panera every day.
- Look for local deals using sites like Groupon.
- Take a page from your friends here at Unsung Nashville and start with a delicious local lunch for under $10.
Stay on track by setting a weekly goal and rewarding yourself for staying on or under budget.
Technology has made sticking to a budget much easier. The free app Acorns helps you collect spare change from everyday transactions and moves it into your own investment portfolio.
4. Saying ‘no’ more often
Will and Juliette from Nashville performed a song titled, “Can’t Say No to You,” which features the lyrics, “I ain’t no one’s fool; I just can’t say no to you.”
While many resolutions are about saying “yes” to something, the idea of saying “no” is actually something that can be just as helpful to your well being — but it’s not always an easy thing to do.
Overexerting or overextending yourself makes you less likely to enjoy every moment of life, so know your limits and stick to them. Skip the signup sheet for that event just this once. Pass on having drinks with friends to make some time for yourself. Let someone else make the cookies for the office bake sale.
You can’t give your all to the things that matter if you’ve maxed out your “best bank,” so start the new year by focusing your time and energy on the things that matter most.
5. Giving more
Each year, we make plans to push ourselves to the next level, and yet, sometimes we forget to serve others as we aim for greater heights.
One of the most rewarding aspects of living in Nashville is that we have plenty of opportunities for giving our time, talent or tokens.
Mentoring programs are a terrific way to influence members of the younger generation and help shape the future.
To get involved, try a youth mentoring organization like:
While mentoring adolescents or young professionals has a tremendous payoff, it’s not for the faint of heart.
For those who wish to give back in other ways, Hands On Nashville offers a number of volunteer activities from serving meals and painting murals to greeting race attendees and hosting toy drives. Any of these activities will enrich your community while enhancing your spirit.
For more organizations you can donate your time and talents to, check out GivingMatters.com.
Now go make 2015 a great one, Nashville.