New year, new you? It seems like every January 1st we start hearing this saying, and while I am a proponent of setting new years resolutions in theory, I think it’s more important to create a list of goals that is focused and achievable – rather than a long, unrealistic checklist that never seems to get done from year to year.
It’s common for people to feel really motivated after January 1st, but quickly lose steam a few weeks later. In fact, the statistics show that 80% of new years resolutions fail by February. So how do you get your goals to stick?
Over the years I’ve learned that it’s more about developing positive habits and building on those, rather than making drastic life changes all at once (which is honestly just setting yourself up for failure). For example, if your goal this year is to get in shape, it might not be the greatest idea to swear off entire food groups cold turkey. A better approach might be to start slowly, perhaps by committing to taking a new workout class once a week, and adding in one healthy food per week. After a few weeks of consistency, you’ll feel more confident and have enough energy to start adding in more goals, like increasing your workout frequency or taking supplements. It’s the difference between trying (and quickly failing) at that unrealistic fad diet, or slowly but surely getting to your health goals.
The point is, long term change starts with making small changes and decisions. So this year, ditch your lofty, abstract resolutions for a more focused, achievable list of positive habits to develop. In time, those small changes will inevitably help you reach those bigger dreams and goals. Here are some ideas for this year, if you need some!
Get more sleep.
Prioritize 7-9 hours every night by getting to bed earlier. Use sleep apps on your phone to track the quality of your sleep and make up hours on the days when you get less than your optimal amount.
Use less plastic.
Opt for reusable bags, carry metal straws in your purse, go for reusable cups and bottles, and bring mesh produce bags to the grocery store. If everyone made these small changes, we could all make a big dent on cleaning up the environment.
Eat less processed sugar.
Rather than cutting out treats completely, go for things that are made with natural sugars. One of my favorite granolas by Purely Elizabeth is delicious and sweetened with a bit of organic palm sugar rather than processed or fake sweeteners. I never feel bad about eating it and it really satisfies a sweet tooth. Opting for more natural products will help you to make healthier food decisions overall, rather than feeling deprived.
Decrease screen time.
Set time limits for different apps on your phone and pay attention to your screen time reports each week. This can be done in the settings on your phone and helps you stay aware of how much time you’re really spending (or wasting) attached to your devices.
Spend more intentionally.
This year, I want to take a more minimalist approach to spending and consuming. I want anything new that I bring into my closet or home to serve a specific purpose or need – or when it comes to clothes, something that brings me genuine joy and excitement. No more buying similar or duplicate pieces! Check out my blog post on how to organize your closet for the new year, here.
Drink more water.
During my pregnancy and when I was breastfeeding, I really saw the huge difference that being hydrated makes on your body. It has so many benefits, from improving your skin to giving you energy and mental clarity. If you make no other health changes this year, definitely make an effort to be more hydrated. There are even apps on your phone that will remind you to drink!
Spend more time outdoors.
There’s nothing like getting some fresh air to clear your head. If you live in a city or somewhere that gets particularly cold during the winter, it can be easy to get cooped up indoors too often. If you don’t have time to head out on an elaborate camping trip in the woods, this year – make an effort to simply take more walks in your neighborhood. If you live in a city, try reading or eating lunch at your local park.
Read more books.
Actual, tangible books! We’re already so attached to all of our devices, that taking a few minutes a week to time out and read a real life book can do wonders for your mental state. I find it to be very meditative, and is a really relaxing and productive way to wind down before bed (rather than getting sucked into an Instagram hole).
Travel somewhere new.
Travel also does something wonderful for the soul, but if jetting off on some exotic vacation isn’t in the cards for you this year, make an effort to explore what’s nearby. Take a long weekend to go on a road trip with your partner or bestie – just make sure you’ve both never been, as there’s something magical about discovering a new place that really inspires and fulfills you.
What are some goals you’d like to make happen this year? Tell me in the comments?