It’s that time of the year when the air is rife with the smell of festivities, celebration plans are in full swing, and so are the plans and preparations for a new year ahead. And as we inch closer to 2018, it is possible that a lot of us will be indulging in resolution making and thinking of ways to ditch the bad and choose better in the year to come.
Now, 50% of all resolutions made during new year’s don’t even make through February, and that’s common knowledge. Especially because most resolutions are terribly unrealistic, like swimming in the Nile or climbing the Mount Everest (FYI: Nile is not swimmer-friendly and it takes at least 12 months to just train yourself to climb Everest, even if you are in the best shape of your life).
But you can’t be blamed for choosing resolutions like these. Those that are about eating well, exercising regularly and getting enough rest are spoken of so often that it’s easy to tune them out. And, climbing Mount Everest sure sounds good, especially in front of others.
However, some clichés are clichés for a reason.
Done right and done often, habits that encourage you to eat better, rest more and just generally choose mindfully really do result in a healthier, happier, and a more active you.
As we count down to 2018, here are ten easy breezy resolutions for you to choose from. They are simple, everyday things that anyone and everyone can do, can keep up with, and feel good about choosing as well.
1. Wake up half an hour earlier than usual
You will be surprised by the amount of extra work you’ll get done just by getting an early start to your day. Research suggests that it’s always better to start early than to end the day late if you want to feel productive and good about your day.
2. Be sure to eat at least one fruit a day
In countries where fresh produce and vegetarian diet is uncommon, it’s difficult for the body to get sufficient nutrients and vitamins. And instead of choosing artificial supplements, a simple to way to compensate for the lack of nutrition is by eating a local, seasonal fruit. Eating fresh, and seasonally too, makes sure your body gets all the right ingredients to maintain good health throughout a seasonal spell.
3. Get walking
You don’t have to hit 10,000 steps every day, although it’s great if you do. Walking even for a few minutes helps the body refresh and become active. If you have particularly demanding work days, get 5 minutes of walk every 30 minutes, even if it’s only to and from the water cooler.
4. Be mindful of using social media
There are plenty of apps out there that can help you track how much time you spend browsing social media. And quite often, people are surprised by the revelations they encounter. If you’ve been meaning to free up some time for yourself, optimizing the time you spend on social media maybe a good place to start.
5. Try to quit just one bad habit
To avoid setting yourself up for failure, figure out how you will measure the success of a project through the year. Planning to quit smoking? Track your packs and consciously decide how many you can comfortably cut down every week for the next 52 weeks. Reward yourself every time you hit a milestone, but don’t be hard on yourself if you miss one.
6. Pick a read
It doesn’t have to be a novel. The idea is to just get in the habit of reading something and regularly, too. It could be a newspaper column, a blog or even weekly newsletters from a brand you love. Research suggests that reading helps keep the mind young, keeps it feeling active and even helps prevent degradation of cognitive cells to a large extent.
7. Listen intently
This may not sound like a resolution, but when you think about how much time and energy you expend really actively ‘listening’ to something – music, podcast, speeches – you will notice that a lot of it is actually a passive, background activity. Very few people actually listen to music for music’s sake, or a podcast intently. But it’s been proven that by training the mind to pay attention for longer periods of time, say to a piece of song or a 15-minute podcast, is a good way to train the brain to focus better.
8. Pot some plants
Green is a therapeutic colour and by surrounding yourself with ample amounts of green is a good way to get rejuvenation going. Green stimulates the brain positively and invokes a feeling of freshness, youth, and vibrancy. And by surrounding yourself with some potted plants, you create an environment of brightness, positive energy and exhilaration.
9. Choose to speak in a positive tone
Make a conscious effort to choose positive sounding words when speaking. By doing so, mindfully and regularly, you will notice yourself feeling more positive, confident and optimistic about things and situations around you. It’s a take on perspective moulding, but without the stress and energy drain.
10. Drink better tea
Choose a tea that’s garden-fresh, made with care and love, and tastes lip-smacking delicious. It’s the easiest way to get yourself to feel refreshed, your spirits energized, and your soul nourished.
Tell us about your new year’s resolutions and how you are planning to take on the year ahead.