“What are your New Year’s resolutions?”
For some of us, this question fills us with dread. Probably because we abandoned last year’s resolutions two days into January.
Public service announcement: your resolutions do not have to be revolutionary. If you have lofty ambitions for the coming year but don’t want to set yourself up for disappointment, it’s time to get realistic.
These 10 easy resolutions will help you kick off the New Year right:
1. Eat mindfully
Take small bites, chew thoroughly and appreciate your food – rather than inhaling it in one go. By savouring your meals, you’re helping your body slow down and recognise when it’s full.
2. Sync your sleep cycle
Going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day is just as important as getting enough hours. You’ll feel fresher and more energised than if you slept the same number of hours but at different times.
3. Stand up every hour
We’ve all heard that sitting is the new smoking. Spending eight hours a day hunched over a keyboard is horrible for your spine and circulation, not to mention your fitness. By dedicating just 10 minutes of every hour to standing up, that’s an hour more each day that you’re not sitting.
4. Finesse your fitness routine
For some of us, running a marathon or getting a shredded six-pack is simply not realistic (no matter what you see on Instagram). Instead, figure out what you want to improve and choose a workout that you’ll actually stick to. It could be slow-paced, strengthening movement like yoga, or something energetic and sweaty like high-intensity interval training. Tip: find an exercise buddy to keep you accountable.
5. Tame your sweet tooth
We’re not saying you have to give up your favourite foods, because life is all about balance. But reducing your sugar intake can do wonders for your sleep, energy levels, cognitive function and immune system. Water instead of soft drink. Fruit instead of chocolate.
6. Drink more water
You hear it every year. But a little more water goes a very long way. Whether you’re at your desk or on the go, keep a water bottle handy. If you’re someone who hates plain water, add a fruity tea bag for flavour.
7. Cook more often
Eating out gives you very little control over exactly what goes into your meal – there can be all manner of unhealthy fats, oils and sneaky sauces. So, make a pact with yourself to cook in your own kitchen at least three nights a week. Chances are, your body and your wallet will feel a lot better for it.
8. Invest in a new pillow
If you can’t remember when you purchased your pillow, it’s time for a new one. It’s recommended you swap them out every 12–24 months, otherwise, you’re resting your head on years of built-up fungi and bacteria. If you’re waking up with aches and pains, that’s another sign you need a new pillow.
9. Be more polite, please
Times may change, but manners cost nothing. A simple ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ is enough to boost your mood and the mood of the person on the receiving end.
Meditation has the power to reduce blood pressure, stress and anxiety, and improve your sleep quality. Start by slowing your thoughts and focusing on your breath for just one minute, and work your way up from there.