The start of a new calendar year is a natural time to focus on self-improvement. It’s human nature to search for ways to maximize our health and happiness, but we’re often reminded that there’s no quick fix to achieve this. In reality, it’s our daily habits that have the greatest potential to transform our lives.
How to Succeed with Your New Year's Resolution
Whether you’re deciding on some healthy New Year’s resolutions or just adding a new habit to your routine, like upping your daily intake of essential vitamins, sustainability and consistency are key. It can be helpful to choose activities that you know can fit into your schedule long term, as well as rituals that you’ll truly enjoy. After all, a habit is only effective if you’re able to stick with it.
It’s also important to consider your purpose or intention. The most impactful habits will support physical, mental and emotional well-being as a whole, and should align with your personal goals.
With this in mind, we’ve outlined five powerful yet simple New Year’s resolutions that are easy to keep and can be adapted to suit your unique goals and preferences. These aren’t just one-time resolutions, but daily habits that can support your best self, inside and out, and all year round.
Think about what you want your day, week or year to look like. What do you want to achieve and experience? How do you want to feel? What does a healthy lifestyle look like for you?
It can be helpful to start by reflecting on some values and goals that you want to work toward, and then planning tasks and activities accordingly. For example, scheduling grocery shopping, meal prep, or workouts ahead of time is a great way to hold yourself accountable throughout the week, and this goes for larger, long-term goals as well. These goals may shift over time, so continuously checking in and reflecting on your progress can be essential for ongoing growth.
Drink More Water
Staying hydrated is a crucial part of physical health and cognitive function. It may sound obvious, but water is commonly neglected, especially when we’re busy. This can be a primary cause of symptoms like fatigue, headaches or brain fog, although many people don’t necessarily connect these symptoms to dehydration, and may not even feel thirsty. Thankfully, the benefits of hydration are felt almost instantly and can dramatically improve your day.
If you’re finding it difficult to remember, it might help to keep a water bottle nearby and set phone reminders throughout the day. You can also take your water to the next level with a squeeze of lemon, some mint leaves, or your favourite Dayli blend(s).
Move your body
Gyms can be great if they work for you, but they aren’t the only option when it comes to staying active. Healthy movement can include anything from light stretching to High Intensity Interval Training. In fact, movement doesn’t always need to fall under the category of traditional “exercise”. Even walking your dog or taking the stairs could be enough to experience the positive effects on body and mind.
Most importantly, your movement routine should match your fitness level, lifestyle and preferences. When forcing yourself to do something that’s too challenging or unenjoyable, you might end up doing more harm than good. Injuries will only set you further behind, and your stress hormones can tell when you’re not having a good time! When focusing on physical activities that you genuinely like, you’re more likely to stick with them and they could even be healthier.
Make time for stillness
In today’s technology-dependent world, we’re almost always mentally stimulated, which takes a toll on both mental and physical health. Even when we do have downtime, many of us are still tuned in to several devices and are constantly receiving information from social media, TV shows and news.
This is why it’s so important to find some time each day – even just 5 minutes – to be truly silent and still. This could mean turning off all electronics and putting them in a different room, but also putting your mental “to do” list aside for later. Ironically, it could help you to work through that list even faster and more efficiently. Giving our bodies and minds some time to rest can provide immediate stress relief, but when practiced regularly, it can also calm the nervous system, support healthy hormonal balance, and improve focus.
Eat (and drink) more plants
Rather than creating a list of foods to avoid, why not focus on what you want to eat more of? Consuming more plant foods is a great way to increase your intake of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fibre and water. If you fill your diet with a variety of nutrient-dense vegetables and fruits, you’ll not only feel and perform better, but you’ll leave less room for unhealthy foods that may not be adding value.
Depending on your current diet and lifestyle, you might choose to start slow and add in a new fruit or vegetable every week or so. Whether you’re an experienced vegan or just want to make some healthy additions, aiming for more plant variety can help to ensure that you’re getting a wide range of nutrients.