Use Your Dog to Help You Keep Your New Year Resolutions

Yes, we all make resolutions. No, we don’t usually keep them…especially weeks into the New Year. This year can be different! No, really. As we approach a month past the start of the year, why not try out ways to maintain your resolutions by using your 4-legged best friend as inspiration to help you accomplish your goals? See how your canine companion can help with some common resolutions.

1. Lose weight and get in shape.

You walk your dog once a day. You want to lose a few extra pounds. Solution: Walk your dog twice a day, or double up the amount of time you spend on your once-a-day walk.

2. Be more “green”.

The dog world allows for many opportunities to be more eco-conscious. Using biodegradable poo bags, organic treats, and using collars and leashes made from recycled materials are all ways you can join the green revolution. You can also be green without spending a cent – revive an old blanket or towel as a pet blanket (for a personalized touch, sew on your dog’s name or initials or add a trim around the edges). Also, pick up your dog’s fecal matter, even if you have your own yard…not only does this promote collegial relationships with your neighbors, but it prevents the poo from dissolving and being absorbed into the ground, which can negatively impact our water supply.

3. Take time to de-stress.

What better way to come down from a stressful day, week, year, than spending time with our furry friends? Pencil in 30 minutes after work to just relax with your dog on the couch, or go for a nice weekend walk at the park. Remembering to spend quality time with your furry best friend not only benefits your dog’s overall health and mental health, but yours as well!

4. Meet more people.

This one is easy: You walk Fido in your neighborhood park, people come to meet your adorable pooch, you converse with the people about Fido, Fido leaves park happy and you leave park with new friends. Gotta love our dogs for being such social creatures!

5. Volunteer.

Volunteer with your well-behaved, children-loving dogs at local schools, allow children to read to your dog at libraries, or make new friends at a senior home. If volunteering with your pooch is not a possibility, be inspired by your furry friend and volunteer at your local shelter or humane society instead…helping other dogs in need will only help you appreciate your own dogs even more!

6. Quit smoking.

Pets suffer from second-hand smoke, just like humans. With decades of research warning us about the effects of smoking on our loved ones (including furry loved ones), use your love and desire to preserve the health of your canine companion as a motivator to kick the bad habit.

7. Learn something new.

Take up knitting as a new hobby and start by knitting your dog a cozy blanket. Learn to fly a kite with your dog on a sunny day at the beach. Become an amateur photographer by taking artistic doggie snapshots. You get the point – learn something new, and involve your dog!

8. Eat healthier.

Take a lesson from your dog’s organic, all-natural, lean protein, high vegetable diet and start eating this way yourself! Take inspiration from the drastic improvements made in the dog food industry in recent years and improve the ingredients of your human meals.

9. Read more.

Ditch the magazines, grab a good book (or ebook), and head for the park bench with your dog – they’ll enjoy the fresh air, and you’ll enjoy the mental stimulation. If you’re looking for ways to avoid stopping a book prematurely, read out loud to your dog. Seriously, it’s a great tactic to hold yourself accountable for finishing the story…your dog is counting on you for the ending!

10. Save money.

Resolve to deposit your extra change at the end of each day into a doggie cookie jar, and use the collection to buy a nice treat for your pooch. Or take your dog with you on a walk while you run near-by errands to save gas money (also fulfills Resolutions #1 and 2). Brush and bathe your pooch on a regular basis to cut down grooming costs (please note: this does not mean avoiding the groomer!). Reuse old dog toys by filling them with old fabrics, and even better, make your own dog toys with old socks (washed, of course), clothes, blankets, and towels.

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