The new year is almost here. That means it is the time of year when many people set personal goals by writing a list of new year’s resolutions. If you think this is just setting you up for failure, think again. Behavioral scientists have found that right now is the best time to assess your overall life, especially the last 12-months.
It is an opportunity to analyze and then self-correct, so you can intentionally set a path for the life you want to live. Even if you are already living your best life, self-reflection can still help you fine-tune your life, so you can gain better purpose and meaning. While this article focuses on wellness goals, consider all different areas of your life when writing your resolutions, like your personal relationships, your professional career, your finances, and your mental and physical health.
Think about the best and worst moments of the past year. Do you believe you’ve spent your time wisely or did you dwindle it on unimportant matters? Did you pursue everything that you wanted to? Did you leave enough time to socialize with friends and family? Do you feel you are growing toward a better future or are you being stifled by your present circumstances? Just asking these important questions is the first step toward improving your wellness in 2018.
By answering these important questions, you are identifying the areas of your life that are most valuable to you. These are the areas that you believe add the most meaning to your life. Next, try to turn your problems into actionable solutions. The more you can narrow down a goal to suit your specific situation the better.
Once you have that goal, take each one and write down at least four small steps that can lead to achieving that larger goal or resolution. Visualizing a concrete plan that can help you achieve a specific goal is much better than simply writing a list of vague resolutions. All of these goals pertain to improving your individual wellness. Whether it’s your mind or your body, these are the areas of your life that help you feel more positive overall.
Unlock these key insights into your life, set up a plan, and then take action. Soon you will be empowered to take charge of your own journey. Your day-to-day behavior and outlook on life might change as well. Hopefully, next year when you look back, you will identify 2018 as a year of growth.
Biologically, our brains control so much of our bodily functions, yet we often take our mental health for granted. When you are ready to write your list of wellness goals, start with those that are related to your mind. Focus on the positive aspect of this process. For example, if you are feeling stressed out all the time, consider this exercise an opportunity to mindfully sort those issues out. A good resolution in this example would be to meditate more in the new year.
Speaking of mindfulness, perhaps you’ve noticed that many of the problems in your life as due to external factors. Realize that you are in control of what you allow into your life. Make a goal to adapt and learn better methods for dealing with situations that drain you or make you feel powerless. Another good resolution would be to find the humor in stressful situations, and not always take yourself so seriously. There are people in the direst of circumstances who still laugh. It’s because they realize that happiness is a choice.
Becoming more self-aware is an important step in self-improvement. If you are looking to eliminate bad habits or vices that you cannot seem to stake, being in the right mindset in an important first step. For anyone looking to quit smoking, stop drinking, or a related resolution, a relaxed mind will help you achieve your goals.
Consider a wellness resolution of accepting the practice of hygge into your life. Slip on a pair of cozy socks, grab a cup of hot cocoa, and learn how to better unwind each day. Make more time in your day for yourself to just relax. If you’re not into blankets, sweaters, and that hygge life, consider unwinding with a bubble bath instead if that is better suited to your lifestyle. Whichever you prefer, just keep your goal specific and personalized to your needs.
Tied into the need for relaxation to help ease the mind is the need for better sleep. Consider adding this to your list of resolutions for 2018. It will not only improve your overall health, it can even boost your productivity. On that note, you might want to also consider adding a resolution to learn a new skill in the new year. Expanding your knowledge can help you better understand your life or the world and people around you.
If you are like most people who are looking to lose weight in the new year. Please do not make your resolution to simply “lose weight.” You need to really understand what is going on with your mind and body that has contributed to the weight gain. Consult with a doctor if necessary, and use a multi-tiered approach to tackle the extra pounds.
Make your resolution to exercise X times per day, and then identify the type of workouts you plan to do. Also, add eating a balanced meal to the list. Resolve to cook more at home and eat out less, and make a meal plan to help with this goal. Speaking of goals, make sure you are setting realistic ones that have you dropping at most 2 pounds a week. Set yourself up with charts to track your progress through the year, and start scheduling gym routines and classes in your calendar.
Be mindful that in life we all make plans and sometimes it just doesn’t happen. That is the essence of life and its unpredictability at times. Make sure you account for this in your plan and know that some days you will make more progress than others. The important thing is that you keep your body moving, even if just for 15 minutes at a time.
For those times when you’re really breaking a sweat and need to grab a towel, make sure you acknowledge your accomplishment. Do not immediately move onto the next goal. Take stock in how far you’ve come, and you are likely to get even further much sooner. This simple practice will help you stay motivated far beyond January.