A New Year’s Resolution is always a good way to start the new year. Each new year brings the sense of a fresh beginning. It’s a way to wave goodbye to the dislikes of the past year, and it’s a chance to accept some changes in the upcoming year.
One of the most common New Year’s Resolutions is a vow to exercise. A better general focus would be one of a healthier lifestyle. Start with food. Look at what you eat in a day and make small changes. Do you eat food heavy in fats and sugars? Cut back by 25%. Never cut them all out. Life is about happiness, and if you remove all treats and goodies, you are punishing yourself. Focus more on proteins and vegetables in your diet. Cut out some of the carbohydrates. If you have to choose between a potato and other veggies, go for the leafy greens! You don’t have to sit and count calories as long as the fuel you are putting into your system is cleaner fuel. Don’t go for seconds. When you fill up your plate, look at the quantity of food to match the size of your stomach, eat slow, and stop. If it’s delicious food, save it for tomorrow. Drink more water. Ditch the sodas. If there are particular foods and drinks you enjoy that are high calorie and loaded with sugars, start by slowly decreasing the amounts.
Pair this cleaner food with more exercise. Try to get some cardiovascular exercise lasting 30 minutes for at least 3 days per week. For the rest of the week, make smaller adjustments to your physical exertion to maximize your exercise. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. When going to the store, don’t park in the closest spot to the establishment; rather, park further away. Walk a few blocks in your neighborhood after mealtime. Most people curb the amounts on their plate when they know they’ll be walking. Walking with a full belly isn’t comfortable.
While striving for happiness is the ultimate goal, a better goal is to improve your positivity. Life throws some curve-balls, so it’s important to find the “good” in every situation. If you can’t see the good, then you aren’t looking hard enough. Purge what feeds negative in your life. If there are people who bring you down, take a break from them. If the news is depressing, turn it off. Hyperfocus on activities and TV shows that leave you feeling motivated and happy. Negativity sells, so our world will broadcast it through every media outlet imaginable. And when life seems to really push you down, think about how lucky you are if you have air in your lungs, a roof over your head, and two feet under you. Just being present is winning.
Living in a cluttered environment brings anxiety. Take time to clear the decks and organize your surroundings. If you have knick-knacks that are taking up space and bringing no enjoyment to your life, donate them to charity. Magazines that haven’t been read yet won’t ever get read, so put them in the recycling bin. Buy bins to organize your workspace. It’s difficult to unwind and relax when you look around at all the cleaning tasks that should be done. Give yourself the gift of a clutter-free home.
Humans need to connect with others. Make new friends by taking on a new hobby or sport. Get involved in local groups. Humans are naturally drawn to people similar to us. Trust your instincts when you meet someone new and interesting who has interests similar to yours. Moms with children of similar ages as your children often make good friends.
And, don’t forget to reconnect with friends from the past. Nowadays with Facebook and Instagram, we take to the computer to catch up rather than the telephone. While this can feel like a way to connect, it also prevents us from a more direct way of experiencing love and support from others. Pick up the phone and share your gift of time. You won’t regret it.
Less Screen Time
Turn off the computer and tuck away your mobile phone. Too much screen time leads to anxiety and depression. Set a timer to get projects completed, and when the alarm rings, turn off the electronics. Instead, go for a walk or read a book… or call an old friend. What you will find is that your time on the computer will be more focused and productive if you don’t spend long hours web-surfing and staring at a screen.
Sleep is our body’s recovery. Depriving ourselves of this natural healing mechanism leads to physical and mental illness. Get to bed early, and if you can’t sleep, try more exercise during the day to tucker yourself out at night. Anything can be accomplished in a day with a good night’s sleep.
Resolutions take practice. And practice makes perfect. Only you can make your New Year’s resolutions a success.