2012 Resolutions for Yuppies

Like most people at this time of year, I’ve been thinking about resolutions. So many people pledge to lose weight every year…and ultimately, many fail. Others, like me, refuse to resolve anything because of this fear of inevitable failure. So, maybe rather than place so much pressure on ourselves, we should spread our resolutions across several smaller, more attainable goals…ones that improve not just our bodies but our minds and souls as well.

Here are some non-weight-loss ideas for young, upwardly mobile professionals looking to be happier in 2012:

Resolve to save
No matter how lucrative your salary, all yuppies have some pretty heavy financial burdens looming in the distance: Weddings, travel, houses, condos, cars, moves, maybe even kids. If nothing else there’s the possibility that today’s tough economy could leave you jobless with little experience on your resume to help you back on your feet. But instead of resolving to save a large chunk of money by December, set a less scary goal. Some options:

  • Forego fountain drinks and fill your water bottle instead to save $1-$2 per day…and improve your health
  • Direct deposit some of your paycheck into savings before you see it…or that pair of expensive boots
  • Ditch cable and watch shows online or do something more productive. It’ll save you $50 – $100 per month
  • Downgrade unimportant purchases like toilet paper to a cheaper brand to form long-term saving habits
  • Discover a month’s worth of other money-saving tips from RealSimple

Resolve to live your dream
In this post-college, pre-settled time of life it’s easy to lose sight of the dreams you set out to accomplish as a wee lass. You wanted to be an artist and now you teach art to elementary school students; you wanted to invent widgets and now you oversee their production; you wanted to rule the world but someone transformed you into a cat. (Ok, I may have stolen that last example from Sabrina the Teenage Witch.) Hey, dreams don’t happen overnight…but they definitely don’t happen if you’re not trying anymore. Don’t set out to be a novelist by 2013, but try to keep making small strides:

  • Take an evening class to refresh your skills and remind yourself why you loved it (or find out you’re over it)
  • Replace valueless activities once a week; forego the fourth viewing of that show or order takeout that night
  • Make it a night out; take a friend to pottery painting, write in the park, go to an open mic night
  • Volunteer at a company that does what you want to do, for experience and networking, a couple hours a month
  • Practice on your lunch break; it will make it less of a time commitment and give you a better daily break
  • Read these tips on forming your dream career from Facebook’s Ben Barry on the99percent.com (which, by the way, refers to Thomas Edison’s quote “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration…not the OWS movement)

Resolve to be enlightened
There seem to be clear moments during this transition phase of life where you start to see how much you have left to learn. Your boss helps you see that your frustrations with work are of your own making. You have a fight with your significant other that makes one of your flaws clear as crystal. Suddenly, you’re not a young prodigy whom everyone feels is going to run the world someday, but a flawed young person with many possible outcomes ahead. It can be disheartening. But, it’s also an opportunity to focus on improving yourself and making the outcome positive in the end.

  • Write down your strengths and weaknesses as they become clear; it’ll help you in interviews if nothing else
  • Take a personality test online; you probably haven’t since high school when you didn’t know yourself at all
  • Ask friends and family how they see you; if you’re brave enough, ask them what you could improve upon
  • Read, read, read. Pick one book per month, sign up for RSS feeds, get informational apps…stay informed

Resolve to relax
All of the serious resolutions are great, but the fact is, you’re going to worry about your health, your career, your love life, etc. without much assistance. It’s just what we do. So, one important resolution to make this year is to stop worrying quite so much. Do some of the little steps above to keep your life balanced and progressing, but don’t stress yourself out. Now is not only the time to shape your life, but also the time in which you are as free as you’ll ever be to just do what you want.

  • Go out for happy hour to unwind after work, meet people your own age, and live it up during the workweek
  • Forgive yourself when you fail to reach a goal perfectly; dwelling will only bring you down further
  • Allow yourself to do nothing sometimes, to not even pick up your phone or cook or clean…to just relax
  • Learn to stop being perfect from this WholeLiving article; choose to be happy instead of right or perfect
As for that whole weight loss issue, I have just one piece of advice: Don’t over-think it. I’m not one of those naturally thin girls; I’ve been battling my weight my entire life. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose, sometimes I’m in between. But the times when I’m winning, it’s usually because instead of putting ridiculous pressure on myself to cut all carbs and exercise 2 hours a day, I just tell myself food isn’t a big deal, exercising a bit feels good, and just sort of  “live it” day to day without a drastic regimen.
What personal resolutions have you made for 2012, fellow yuppies?
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About Chloe

I'm a writer, editor and constant student of living (and eating) better. I currently work as an HR communications specialist in downtown Minneapolis, MN, with my very non-writery husband and a gruff little Scottish Terrier named Ginny. View my professional portfolio at http://wordtastic.wordpress.com, or my linked in profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/chloeaoneill/.

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