As the post-Christmas dust begins to settle down, it is time to get back into your activewear and think about the New Year. The year 2019 is just a few days away and it promises to bring new opportunities and a fresh start to your life. Whatever you plan for this year, be it shedding some weight or binning bad habits, New Year’s resolutions are your best break to smash the goals you could not achieve in the previous year.
So if you’ve missed the mark, we present four common resolutions that you can achieve in 2019.
- Diet Right
Eating healthier is an admirable goal that many of us struggle to achieve. Instead of focusing on dietary fads, you must look to follow a long-term and sustainable diet routine. Dietary fads only promise dietary advantages for a shorter period. Instead of opting for a “quick fix,” it is better to set your plan for the whole year. When we focus on losing weight over a short period, we actually regain weight with the same intensity.
Scheduled diets trigger three physiological changes in humans that are difficult to maintain. First, the neurological change in the dieters’ brain programs them to notice food more. The second one, hormonal changes alter our hunger cycles. And the third one, the biological change, prompts our body to store calories in the form of fats when we try to lose weight.
So if getting healthier is in your New Year resolutions, you must not diet rather eat healthier. You can also consult a dietician who will devise healthy meal plans that you can enjoy all year long.
- Save Money
Though it may not sound ideal to start saving in the New Year, it is better than many other plans. We all understand the need to have a retirement plan or an emergency fund, but our everyday expenses are more important to meet and they take a considerable chunk of our paychecks.
One way to save some money is to set aside a committed percentage of your salary every month. Decide how much of your monthly gross you can easily set aside. For a start, you can save 10 to 20 percent of your gross salary and consider it as a tax.
Another way to save is to pay your credit card bill without accruing interest rate. According to a report from CreditCards.com, the average interest rate on a new credit card hit a record of 16.71 percent in 2018. On the other hand, the average savings account’s annual percentage yield is a mere 0.09 percent. Hold yourself from paying the credit card debt or it will eat up everything you have saved.
- Practice Self-Care
While self-care encompasses several different things, let us just stick to one thing that is the cornerstone of all self-care: sleep. According to research by CDC, around 35% of American adults sleep less than seven hours on average.
If you are one of those people, then there are a few things that you can practice to get your sleep schedule back on track. The first thing to do will be to set a sleep schedule and try to follow it punctually. Your bedroom must be cool with enough light and limited noise. Avoid drinking alcohol before going to bed. You can try warm milk or chamomile tea instead. Refrain from using a smartphone at least half an hour before going to bed. The blue light from your phone is known to disrupt the sleep. The sleep hours may vary from individual to individual; therefore, you can find your sleep time and follow it.
If sleep isn’t on the top of your self-care resolutions, find out what it is that you want to change about yourself. The more specific your resolution, the better it is to achieve.
- Learn a New Skill
Acquiring new skills is a way to refresh yourself and learning new things enriches our lives. Unfortunately, most of us waste our time binge-watching TV shows or scrolling down on our smartphones. The increasing popularity of streaming services and our dependence on the virtual life on social media has drifted us away from the joy of learning new things.
We spend most of our time on passive activities, like Facebook or watching TV. We should rather channelize our attention and energies towards learning a new skill or hobby. Though the passive activities are easy and enjoyable, hobbies or flow activities are considered to give lasting happiness. The only hurdle is the effort to engage in these activities. To overcome this, we recommend reducing the effort of adapting to a new skill or hobby. For example, if you are trying to learn creative writing, you should have your laptop set up ahead of time and if Facebook and Netflix are your hurdles, then you can try blacklisting those sites.
Above all, this new year, focus on improving your willpower because that’s only how you could always achieve what you want to achieve—with a strong conviction that you can do it. You can think and plan dozens of things but you can only get to them if you have the willpower. Practice yoga, meditation, exercise; all these help improve your focus and energy.