About New Year Resolutions
By Pierre Mouchette | Bits-n-Pieces
Did you know that 80% of New Year's resolutions fail by February? Do you have plans for this new year? Are you wondering if they will stick? Let us explore dynamic and practical strategies to maintain mental and physical wellness throughout the year, not just in the fleeting glow of New Year's resolution season.
Caring for yourself is about setting goals, establishing boundaries, and creating a life that brings you joy and fulfillment. It is about living authentically and intentionally. So, let us plunge into practical strategies for nurturing the mind, body, and spirit in the new year.
Set Goals With Intention
Setting goals is essential to stepping into the new year with purpose. But it is not just about what you want to achieve. It is also about why. What values are driving these goals? How do these goals align with your true self? Setting intentional goals creates a roadmap that leads us closer to our authentic selves.
For instance, your goal is to embrace a healthier lifestyle in the new year. The "what" in this scenario might be "I want to exercise more and eat healthier." However, the "why" is vitally important because you value your health and want to feel more energetic and focused daily. A clear "why" helps ensure your goals align with your values, making them more compelling and motivational. Remember, your goals should reflect who you want to become, not just what you want to do.
Establish Healthy Boundaries
Boundaries are a powerful tool for self-care. They allow us to honor our needs and make space for our well-being. In the coming year, reflect on areas where you may need to establish or strengthen boundaries. It could be learning to say "no" more often, scheduling regular "me time," or communicating your needs more clearly in relationships.
Consider the case of workplace boundaries. It is common to feel obligated and to be available around the clock in today's digital age. It, however, can lead to burnout and negatively impact your health and well-being. An example of a healthy boundary in this context is setting specific "work hours" and genuinely allowing yourself to disconnect outside these hours. It means no responding to work emails or answering work calls during your time. Establishing this boundary ensures you have the time and space to relax, recharge, and engage in activities you enjoy outside of work.
The practice of being wholly present and engaged in the present moment is a powerful antidote to the modern world's constant rush and distraction. For example, start a daily meditation practice where you spend 10 minutes each morning quietly focusing on your breath. Or you could try mindful eating, focusing entirely on your food's taste, texture, and smell rather than eating mindlessly in front of the TV. Cultivating mindfulness can help reduce stress and improve mental clarity, making it an essential wellness practice for the new year.
Nourish Your Body
Your body is the vessel that carries you through life, so treat it with love. It means eating nourishing foods, staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and ensuring enough sleep. Remember, small, consistent actions are more impactful than drastic, short-lived changes.
Nourishing your body involves a comprehensive approach to wellness, balancing physical activities with mindful eating. For instance, you could begin your day with a nutritious breakfast consisting of whole grain cereal, fruits, and a protein source like eggs or yogurt. It will kick-start your metabolism and provide energy for the day. Pair this with a regular exercise routine, which could be as simple as a brisk 30-minute walk, a yoga session, or even a more intense activity such as running or weight training. Remember, the objective is not to strive for perfection but to make small, consistent changes that promote overall health and well-being.
Finally, remember to be kind to yourself. You will have days when you falter, and that is OK. Self-compassion means treating ourselves with the kindness and understanding we would offer a friend. It acknowledges that we are all human, and it is OK to be a work in progress.
Consider this example of self-compassion. You missed a workout session one day because you were overloaded at work. Rather than berating yourself for not sticking to your fitness routine, remind yourself that one missed workout does not negate all your previous efforts. Instead of dwelling on what you did not do, focus on what you can do next. This way, you treat yourself with kindness and understanding, exactly as you would treat a friend in the same situation.
Even if you have a perfect goal, achievement is not guaranteed. Some goals are too vague and difficult to follow. You might think you are living up to them, only to find out at the end of the year that you veered off course.
That is where S.M.A.R.T. goals come in. It is a particularly effective strategy to help you meet your goals by making them:
Developing New Habits
Habits are repeated behaviors or rituals you automatically perform. That is what makes them different from their behaviors. For resolutions to succeed, you must make them part of your lifestyle. You aim to develop new, healthier habits that will help you keep your resolutions without giving them much attention.
How Long Does a New Habit Take to Develop?
Research indicates that a new habit takes an average of 66 days to develop. So, all those people who quit their resolutions in less than a month never gave it a chance by quitting before their new habits developed. So, even if you are frustrated or discouraged, stick it out. Habits are formed, and it will become easier!
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