Resolve to invest in yourself

 Hush Puppies Ceil slip on mocc toe shoe. Available in seemingly endless color choices. $79.

Happy New Year's Eve! (And thanks to everyone for yesterday's very kind birthday wishes.) This is the time of year when we all start to recover from our gluttony and decide this is it. This is the year I….. 

Usually, resolutions have something to do with weight, money or the unwavering determination to do something for ourselves. This year, might I suggest a New Year's Resolution strategy that has the potential to hit all three categories?

Invest in yourself then reward yourself. Sounds good already, doesn't it? Let me elaborate.

1. Select a goal. Mine is to be more active. It's easy to get outside every day in the summer, but when winter arrives it is more challenging, for sure. And, I'm absolutely more likely to take a big walk outside than hit the gym. Your goal can be whatever you choose as long as it is something that you are resolving to do frequently.

 The North Face Caroluna Quilted Fleece Jacket. Available in black, white and Prussian blue. Nordstrom. $120.

2. Remove the obvious obstacles to your goal. Personally, I loathe going out in clothes the I don't feel comfortable in. Everyone doesn't need to like what I'm wearing; but I need to. So, going out in the rain to take a walk demands that I wear the appropriate gear and sadly, I don't own outdoor gear that makes me happy. So, I'm purchasing a few things that make me happy when I get dressed to hit the trails regardless of the weather.

3. Incentivize yourself - twice! As you can imagine, I love clothes. I also struggle with feeling guilty if I think I'm buying too many. The problem is, what is too many? And, while I plan to be more active, the worst resolutions are those that make you feel guilty. Not active enough? Guilt. Feel like I buy too many clothes? Guilt.

Solution: Reward activity with clothes. Here's how it works. Every time I'm active, I earn $5. At the end of the month, that's my clothing budget. REALLY want those vibrant Hush Puppies? Yes! Just hit the trail a few more days and I'm there. Plus, I won't feel guilty when I buy them. Even better, if I am not as active as I thought I should be, the result is not guilt. It's just fewer garments. Make sense? 

4. Make it a team effort. As with all resolutions, research shows that you are more likely to do something when it's public AND when you have a support system. In this case, we're going to have jars with poker chips (each chip equals $5 for me!) in the kitchen and a calendar to mark off active days. My house is filled with style enthusiasts and we could all be more active (who couldn't?). So, we're all on similar plans. 

This way, it's easier to motivate one another to get out in the cold and we all celebrate together at the end of the month. 

 Lululemon Bust a move pant. Available in multiple colors. $129.

The purpose here is not to encourage you to be more active or to limit your clothing budget. The goal is to help you find a creative way to motivate yourself (and perhaps those around you) to do something beneficial that you aren't doing now and reward yourself accordingly. For me, encouraging myself to become more active and removing the guilt of shopping is a win-win. Spending time with family on something that makes us all feel better is an added bonus. 

Now it's your turn. Go!