How are you feeling this year? Are you ready to take on a new New Year's Resolution or are you avoiding the topic altogether? The importance of self-care, doing things that serve your happiness and well-being for the sake of happiness and well-being, has never been greater. Since the start of the pandemic, people have been looking for new ways to enjoy their own company and invest in their own physical health and mental health. But self-care does not have to feel like a burden! If you want to kick off the New Year with more health and happiness than ever before, check out these New Years' rituals and healthy habits that you'll actually want to stick to.
Why Do New Years Resolutions Fail?
New Year's Resolutions rarely make it to Valentine's Day. In fact, 80% of New Year's Resolutions don't make it to February at all! Why is that?
According to psychotherapists and experts in motivation, one of the biggest reasons people don't keep their New Year's resolutions is because they're not specific enough. For instance, goals to "lose weight" or "spend less time working" leave too much gray area. When given this gray area and lack of accountability, we will surely take advantage of it. To avoid this, make your goals more specific. For specific health goals, this might look like "Lose 20 pounds" or "Take a 30-minute walk every day". But for even more effective and "sticky" goals, try to make you set goals specific to your motivations and wants. Here's what I mean.
Setting a goal to "lose 20 pounds" is great! It's easy to measure and track your progress. But when you look at your internal motivations, the things that are going to make a goal into a good habit, you need to make sure they are explicitly named and realized. Why do you want to lose 20 pounds? What will happen if you don't? Think about what this goal will help you to achieve! An example outside of weight loss might be to "Take a 30-minute walk every day, so I can explore the city I just moved to, so I can form new so I can appreciate nature, so I can be inspired to make new art, so I can meet new people." etc. These goals not only clearly define the goal and the motivation, they make the focus less on a rigid goal and more on self-improvement, self-love, and curiosity. These are the goals that will detract from your stress levels, not add to them!
8 New Year’s Resolution Ideas You'll Want To Stick To
New Year's Resolutions do not (and should not) feel like a chore! If you're struggling to build a routine or break out of bad habits, try to practice self-care tips that amount to a lot of physical and mental change!
Keep a daily gratitude journal: Write, draw, scrapbook, record, or even sing your daily gratitudes to focus on and remind yourself of the good in your life. Choose whatever format suits your mood and creativity levels that day, but try your hardest (even if it's a mental note) to align yourself with what you are grateful for. It will literally change your mindset!
Start your day with affirmations:This is a quick and easy way to improve your mood and set positive intentions for your day. It can feel funny when you first begin, but even if it's just a whisper to yourself, try saying affirmations like "Today, I know that I am enough and I am worthy." or "Today, I will honor myself by resting, relaxing, and listening to my body and mind." or even "Today, I will not devote mental energy to worrying about my XYZ situation". Here is a great article that illustrates the health benefits of starting your day with affirmations!
Listen to a new podcast every month:This seems fun enough, right?! Podcasts have exploded in recent years and there is one to match any interest! Enrich your mind, discover new hobbies and interests, develop empathy, stay up to date with the news, or explore a new side hustle by listening to a new podcast as you go throughout your day. What's not to love?
Try intuitive eating: Intuitive eating is not a diet, restrictive meal plan, or punishment; it is an eating habit that we were all born with! Intuitive eating "re-trains" you to listen to your body's cues of fullness, hunger, and cravings. It is founded on the belief that our bodies will tell us what we need to eat, when, and when we need to stop eating. It's a practice of self-love that comes without punishments or criticism! Try to practice intuitive eating every day. Here is a great guide of the ten principles of intuitive eating, by the "creators" of Intuitive Eating!
Meet with your loved ones (virtually or in-person):Loved ones, blood family, or forged family, are extremely valuable. This is a goal that will not only help you, but it will help your loved ones too! Make a plan to meet and connect with your loved ones (define who) a certain amount of times every week or month. A facetime, well-planned text, dinner, or movie goes a long way!
Take your vitamins: Taking your vitamins every morning is an approachable but high-impact goal! Discover the holes in your nutrition and aim to fill them with high-quality vitamins or supplements. Want to look and feel younger? Try collagen! Want to strengthen your immunity? Take a liposomal vitamin C supplement after your brush your teeth! Keep hypothyroidism under control and minimize disruptions to your day with a thyroid supplement! If you forget it for a day, it's okay. It's easy to get back into the swing of things and you can still see and feel the impact of daily supplementation.
Improve your sleep hygiene:Getting enough sleep can be a New Year's Resolution?! Say no more! Everyone knows the impact that a good night's sleep can make on your day. Set reminders on your phone to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. New Year's day is the perfect time to get started; don't wait until next year!
Social media is so last year:Social media can be a drain on mental health. Check your average screen time spent on social media and make a goal to slowly but surely cut this number in half! This is more achievable and sustainable than cutting cold turkey and even these small changes can have a huge improvement on your mental health.
There has never been a more perfect time to prioritize your happiness and well-being. If you missed the New Year, don't worry. Self-improvement does not have to be a chore, it's an opportunity for self-self!