As the year comes to a close, most people start thinking about what they want to change in their lives and what actions they need to fulfill their goals. It’s believed that the start of a New Year is the perfect time to make meaningful changes in our lives and that’s why many people make New Year Resolutions. As a www.verywellmind.com article notes, a new year offers “a great opportunity to eliminate bad habits and establish new routines that will help you grow psychologically, emotionally, socially, physically, or intellectually”.
However, for many people, the problem is keeping their New Year resolutions. Some drop their goals midway, while others struggle to accomplish them. Reports say that while 45 percent of Americans make New Year resolutions, only 8% achieve their New Year Resolutions goals! Have you ever thought about why this happens?
One of the main reasons why resolutions fail is that most people end up making too many resolutions and goals, resulting in too many restrictions. If you want to make your resolutions a success, believe in yourself and set realistic goals that you can accomplish. Don’t try to set to many expectations and don’t try to push yourself towards your goals at once. Instead, make small changes, such as, changing just one of your habits that you need most. Keep in mind that real change takes time, effort and patience. According to an article in BUSTLE, science says that it takes about 66 days to form a new habit.
Here are some great New Year resolutions for 2019:
- Improve physical and mental fitness: Improving physical fitness is one of the most common New Year resolutions. Regular exercise improves fitness and provides many health benefits. It reduces the risk of disease and keeps you in shape. Set realistic health and fitness goals and either hit a gym or workout at home. While starting a training program, start by exercising for 15 minutes and then gradually increase your time. Spend a little more time each week and stick to your plan. Coming to mental fitness, your brain needs a workout too to prevent it from losing tone. Making reading a habit and stay informed about what’s happening around you. Taking up a hobby and doing crossword puzzles can also keep your gray matter in good shape. Make sure your diet includes plenty of vitamin B as this is important for brain health.
- Lose weight: Another common New Year resolution, for most people losing weight is easier said than done. But it’s not impossible if you set your mind on it. Increase physical activity and eat a healthier and more balanced diet. Track your body measurements every week to check if your plan is working. Having a cheat day is okay, but too much of binging can affect your plan. One strategy to stick to your plan is to write down everything that you eat and drink, so that at the end of the day you will have an idea about your eating habits. This will help you find out if your plan is working or not.
- Eat healthy: Cut back your intake of sugar, salty, junk and processed foods and instead add fresh and nutritional food products. Aim to have a serving of at least one fermented food for better gut health.
- Quit smoking: This is one of the toughest New Year resolutions, but one that is really worth a try. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 36.5 million American adults were current smokers in 2015. Up to 68 percent of Americans who smoke said they wanted to quit for good.
Even if you have tried before quitting smoking and failed, keep trying. Quitting cigarettes reduces risk of heart disease and improves lung function within months. Over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies and e-cigarette are among the widely recommended options to control nicotine cravings.
- Cut down on alcohol or quit: Think about the benefits of quitting: better health, improved sleep, weight loss, happiness, and more time and money to do a lot of other things. If your aim is to cut down on alcohol, limit your drinking to special occasions or to the level prescribed for optimal health. According to a Readers Digest article, the rule for optimal health is up to two drinks per day for men, one for women.
- Spend more time connecting with your loved ones: If you want to spend more time with your family and friends, cut back on screen time, that is, time spent watching TV or peering down at your mobile phone screen.
- Cut unnecessary spending and save more: Small, unnecessary expenses add up and leave you with less funds for what’s important and for saving. The New Year is a good time to plan to cut back on spending money. The best way to go about this is to track your expenses and see where you money goes. Then cut back on unnecessary expenses. Make a budget and stick to it. Set up automatic transfers to your savings account.
Identify the right resolution that will make a difference in your life and create a plan on how to achieve it. This will go a long way in ensuing that your resolutions don’t fail.