Sure, losing 10lbs is a great New Year’s resolution – but what about happier living and being true to yourself? We’ve all had a remarkably challenging year that required us to ‘roll with the punches.’ Being on lockdown unable to travel and facing new financial challenges, it’s been a year for the books. I’m sure you’re creating some lofty New Year’s resolutions. But don’t forget the importance of wellness, peace of mind, and happiness. Set yourself up for success, now and in the future with these 14 realistic goals you should actually keep.
14 New Year’s Resolutions for a Happier Life
Regardless of the New Year’s resolution, start with one small step towards your goal. It’s much easier to add a habit than stop one, and once you conquer that small challenge building on success becomes easier. If you want to diet, start by drinking your body weight in water. Once you’ve doubled your intake, you’ve started to change your habits and can add in something a little more difficult. Accomplishing one small goal sets a new standard for yourself, gets your commitments in line, and makes your goal even more achievable.
Ditch electronics before bed.
Better yet, ban electronics in the bedroom. Blue light emanating from screens is a frequent culprit of sleeplessness, and we’re all guilty of mindless scrolling into the wee hours of the night.
If a before-bed electronics ban isn’t possible for you, switch them over to night shift. Download a blue light screen blocker which will reduce your screen’s blue light as the day progresses. This will help your body follow it’s natural sleep rhythm, and allow you a more restful night.
Aside from books transporting us into worlds we would never see and sparking immersive creativity. Reading benefits your health and boosts your brainpower. It reduces stress, improves memory, enhances empathy, expands your knowledge and vocabulary, and strengthens cognitive skills. All of these help you live longer and make you less likely to develop a brain-related disease later on in life.
Just Say ‘No.”
Have you ever said yes to something you didn’t want to do, and regretted it later? Healthy boundaries make healthy relationships, and you are solely responsible for setting them. Saying ‘yes’ when you really want to say ‘no’ is a major stressor for the body. Plus, it requires incredible focus and energy taking on things you don’t actually have time for. By saying ‘no’ more, life will be more enjoyable and your well-being will bloom. If you could keep only one resolution this year, make it this one.
Drink more water.
Water is essential to life. As an adult, the answer to any imbalance is “drink more water.” Tired? Drink more water. Feeling sick? Drink more water. Hot? Drink more water. You get it. And as much as I hate to admit the old adage is true, it is. Water does so many good things for your body, and as soon as you don’t have enough you feel it through headaches, sluggishness, and even your mood. Whatever amount of water you are drinking now, double it. It can only lead to good things.
As the world changed last year, so did the workplace. Many of us now work from home offices, kitchen tables, and couches. You immediately thought this was awesome.. but as reality set in, you realized you are working longer, and even more hours than you did at your office. Many people don’t take breaks in their workday in an effort to prove their worth and performance. This is especially true for new remote workers.
By taking more breaks your productivity will be increased, you’ll feel more creative, and most importantly you’ll be practicing healthy work habits. Set an egg timer. Every 60 minutes get up and have a 10-minute break. Walk outside, drink water, and stretch. Give your mind a reset.
Use your vacation time.
A vacation provides well-deserved time off and an opportunity to rest and recharge. The reality is, a “work hard” mentality isn’t effective – and it’s definitely unhealthy. Just as important as a mid-day break is a vacation. Employees who believe that they must work 24/7 to achieve good standing at their office have the wrong idea. Without a proper break, you’ll be faced with chronic stressors that can easily lead to job burnout and worse productivity. Vacations should be mandated, but they aren’t. So be sure to use all your vacation days. You may not be able to get away for a full two weeks on a tropical holiday, but even short breaks are important. Extend your long weekend, spend a few extra days camping in the summer, and don’t feel guilty for booking an extra day on the ski slope.
Learn something new.
Learning something new every week helps you break out of old patterns, allows you to grow, and gives you something to think about outside work. It keeps your brain active and can help you gain confidence. Learning something new is as easy as taking a new route to work, trying a new food, or listening to an educational podcast. My favorites are Reply-All, Ted Talks Daily, Underneath It All, and RadioLab.
Make your bed.
Isn’t it good to feel accomplished? That’s exactly why you should make your bed every morning. You’ll feel accomplished even before you eat breakfast! It will give you a small sense of pride and start your day off on the right foot. Plus, a neat bed is a happy sight at the end of a long day, welcoming you in. The little things in life matter. So start with making your bed.
Invest in yourself.
You put countless hours into your house and your family, but why not yourself? Investing in yourself, your career, and your health is the most profitable (and powerful) investment you can make. You alone play the primary role in your quality of life and happiness. Now, and in the future.
You could organize your schedule, learn a new skill, study a new language, start journaling, find a career mentor, set yourself a monthly budget, or read self-help blogs. Determine what it is that would improve your life and make you a happier human. Then start with that.
Tell the truth.
The most successful people in the world focus on being respected, rather than people-pleasing. They set boundaries and say their opinion even if others disagree, or it’s unpopular. We’ve all tolerated things that have come our way just to be liked – this can cost us respect and our own goals. As Margaret Thatcher once remarked, “If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.”
Sharing your dreams inspires others to do the same. It makes the dream real and believable. That can be scary, but dreams the benefit of your dream coming true far outweighs the risk of holding it too close. Other people can become a source of motivation, support, or empowerment. Better even, they could provide a new opportunity and get you one step closer to your dream coming true.
Choose better for our planet.
The earth is under a lot of pressure, the sheer scale is overwhelming. From carbon and ocean pollution to deforestation and overpopulation. It takes each of us making a concerted effort each day, to make a difference. It doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive, and you don’t have to be perfect. You just have to make better choice for our planet each day. Start by being a conscious shopper, adjusting your living habits, using less plastic, or eating one meatless or fishless meal a week. By living a little greener, you can help save the earth.
Be kind to your mind.
Be kind to your mind with mindfulness and mediation. Learn how to create a moment of joy at any time of the day, helping relax your body and mind. Mindfulness involves recognizing what you are sensing and feeling in the moment without interpretation, improving mood, resilience, and focus. And meditation is a technique for knowing, shaping, and liberating the mind. They’re both a gift you should give to yourself every day.
From me to you, Happy New Year! I can’t wait to hear how these New Year’s resolutions work out for you. Wishing you love, laughter, and lightness all the year through.
Which will you start with? Comment below, or connect here.