The start of a new year presents the perfect opportunity to set self-improvement goals for the coming months. But with many focused on giving up what we consider our 'bad habits,' New Year's resolutions can leave a feeling of dread and with variable end results.
Many of us waver between over-committing and not doing anything at all. We either think we will change the world next year (yes, really this time!) or we avoid the whole situation and don't make any resolutions at all.
Starting the new year by looking at what you intend to achieve and being clear about it can be hugely therapeutic. Framing the way we approach new year's resolutions can have a positive effect on meeting those goals. Instead of focusing on what to avoid, look at what new habits you'd like to approach.
Here are some hints and tips to help make this more relaxed, enjoyable, and straightforward for you.
Things to bear in mind when making resolutions
Plan your year.
It doesn't have to be resolutions! Sometimes a plan for what you intend to do this year will be much more satisfying. This could include planned holidays or trips away, particular projects you intend to undertake, or people you'd like to see. Having it down as part of a New Year plan may make it more likely to happen.
There's nothing worse than looking back at the end of the year with disappointment because everything on your list was all too difficult/complicated/out of your control. Only put something on a list that you are sure you are going to be able to do.
Make sure that whatever goes on the list is specific and measurable. There's no point in a resolution that says 'get fitter' because you'll never feel you've done enough. Give yourself targets to hit.
Build in enjoyment!
Make sure that the things on the list are enjoyable and will make you feel good. No point in going to the gym three times a week if that makes you miserable!
If you are aiming to make changes in your life – start small. This may mean reducing the number of things you seek to commit to and making them all easier to achieve. It's better to grow habits slowly and have them stick rather than trying to upend your life and not carrying on beyond the end of January.
Think about motivation.
Even the most satisfying resolution can become a chore at some point. Think about how you will motivate yourself when that happens – involving friends can help, e.g. set up a gym/walking buddy, organize activities with friends or pay upfront for some classes, so you are committed!
Be kind to yourself!
The most important one. Celebrate what you achieve, and don't beat yourself up with whatever you don't. Life happens.
Some ideas from The Herbtender team
Here at The Herbtender, we are all about health, well-being and living your best life.
Bearing that in mind, here are a few ideas to build into your New Year that research has shown, time and again, to help with mood, energy and general enjoyment of life. But remember, only include things that are realistic and of interest to you.
Spend more time outdoors, in nature and natural light. Yes, even if it's cloudy, you'll still get UV rays from the sun filtering through!
Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Try to limit processed foods, and enjoy more fruit, veg and home-cooked foods.
Find an exercise you enjoy, and make it a regular part of your life.
Spend time with those that fill you up. Limit or avoid people and situations that make you anxious or worried.
Look at your social media usage. Does your time on social media positively affect you? Does it make you smile and feel good about yourself? If not, consider reevaluating the time spent there.
If you have any questions about the above or anything else The Herbtender related, we'd love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment below, pop us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or send us a DM at @theherbtender.