Health: Here's how you can stay true to your New Year's resolutions
Be kind to yourself
Set realistic goals. Understand your capabilities and do not set goals in the heat of the moment. Get your blood test done and consult your physician. People usually decide to give up big culprits such as smoking, drinking and sugar. As far as smoking is concerned, it is best to go cold turkey.
Don't decide to quit drinking altogether, as it might result in binge drinking, which is worse. Instead, regular drinkers can have six 'smalls' a week or drink within limits on weekends. Give your body a break; don't plan a vacation to just eat and drink.
Instead, take a few days off and book a hotel in the city or even close to the city. Breathe and eat healthy to rejuvenate. Take at least two weeks off in a year; connect with nature, read a book, or anything that calms your mind and nerves. During your breaks, take time out for pending doctors' appointments. Pay attention to vitamin intake.
FITNESS: Exclude, but smartly
Make separate weekend and weekday goals, since everybody is busy with house or office work. Work out for a minimum of five hours in a week and divide this time according to your convenience.
Change your fitness routine over weekends by trying out sport activities, dancing, or anything recreational. Those planning to diet can give up chocolates instead of giving up sugar altogether. This rules out cakes and various other dessert options. Avoid other items that are fattening rather than banning one item entirely.
FINANCE: Plan wisely
Financial planning does not begin with a new year, as it is supposed to take you through your life. Do not keep all your eggs in one basket. Do not depend on free advice; you will have to pay for professional help but it will set you in the right direction. When opting for loans, see to it that it adds to your assets and income.
Be realistic when calculating your capability to pay EMIs rather than getting carried away by a shiny car or cellphone. Never mix investments and insurance. Take adequate health insurance for the earning member of the family. Postal schemes give lesser returns in the long run because of tax implementation. Take a term plan. Stay away from equity investments that require in depth knowledge. Choose mutual funds, instead. Buy gold as investment only if your social leanings demand you to give gold for weddings in future.
RELATIONSHIPS: Hit a positive high
Work hard on yourself and your belief system. Do away with negative thought processes and challenge yourself. Work on the art of communication, with yourself and others. Do not be defensive. Be positive about yourself and your goals. This will help bring consistency and affect the way you behave with everyone.
Work on boundary management; don't let others affect your inner confidence and get you carried away with their ideas. For example, if you make a resolution, do not say 'I know I will not achieve it'. Don't let opinions of others make you abandon or change your resolutions. Be happ. Negativity affects your relationships (work and professional). Give yourself two months to meet results. Write down your goals in a journal rather than making mental resolutions, so you can look back at your reasons for them.
WORK: Right the wrongs
Go back in time and introspect your work patterns at earlier workplaces. Set right the bits that went wrong in these patterns.
Don't be negative and judgmental about your colleagues, as it will affect the overall output, and you in too. If you have to be a leader, be confident, not a tyrant. For good environment and results at the workplace, happy colleagues are important.
Inputs from Suman Agarwal, nutritionist and fitness consultant; Seema Hingorrany, clinical psychologist and Pankaaj Maalde, financial planner