With it being only a few more weeks until the new year, it’s already getting to be about that time when we focus on our 2024 resolutions. But how often do these good intentions fade away, sometimes even just a few weeks after we set them? The secret lies not just in setting goals but in finding ways on how to turn your resolutions into long term habits. We tend to overestimate how much we can get done in a short amount of time, but underestimate how much little bits of effort can compound over a much longer period of time.
To truly make a change, we have to start with small attainable steps and as we begin to master those, we can begin to weave in a little bit more and a little bit more as we go. The goal is to make sure we don’t overwhelm ourselves or potentially suffer from analysis paralysis, where we put all of these expectations on ourselves and because these expectations are so high, or too much, for us at the moment, we end up not getting anything done and potentially give up.
Stepping into 2024
Below are six, simple ideas on how you can take small steps, to start to improve your overall well-being into 2024 and beyond.
1. What’s on Your Plate
The resolution to eat healthier is a very common one, but it’s often approached with an all-or-nothing mindset, which can lead to burnout. Instead, why not try adding just one portion of fruits or vegetables to every meal?
It’s a small step, but over time, these additions become part of your routine, gradually shifting your dietary habits towards incorporating foods that are healthier, have more vitamins, can help keep you full for longer, and to give you better energy.
2. Let’s Get Physical
Exercise can be overwhelming when we take on too much too soon. This year, let’s look at it differently. How about committing to just 30 minutes of physical activity a day? It could be a brisk walk, a bit of yoga, or even dancing to your favorite songs. Whatever gets your body moving, and the blood and endorphins flowing.
Heck, if you’re going from not working out at all, to beginning a workout program, don’t even worry about trying to get in some form of activity every day, just try to aim for 3 to 5 days a week and go from there.
3. Your Mind Matters
Now, let’s talk about mental well-being. In our fast-paced lives, taking a moment for mental relaxation can seem like a luxury, but it’s vital. Even just five minutes of meditation or sitting quietly with your thoughts can make a huge difference.
It gives you a chance to process things that are going on in your life, to sit with your emotions, and learn how to be in the present moment. It can help you also take a step back maybe before you decide to give into old habits or temptations, and to help you remain much more gritty in the face of adversity.
4. Drink Up
Hydration is another simple yet impactful small change that you can make to your overall well-being. Many times when we think we are hungry, it can just mean that we are dehydrated and even dehydration can mess with things like your sleep, as well as your mood. We recommend you get at least half of your body weight in ounces and add on an additional 15 oz if you are active that day.
5. Catch Some Z’s
Honestly, setting a regular sleep schedule might just be one of the best things you can do for yourself this year. A consistent bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends, can significantly improve your sleep quality and, as a result, your daily energy, hunger and mood regulation, and to be able to withstand the stress you face in your day with more finesse.
6. Feed Your Soul
Lastly, nurturing your spiritual wellness is often overlooked, but it can be a deeply fulfilling resolution to incorporate. Spiritual Wellness, (even if you’re not that religious), is like leaning or surrendering to something bigger than yourself.
Even just to recognize that it’s amazing that we exist in an expansive universe, and that we are all indeed connected to each other and this planet. This can be done in various ways, either through meditation, nature walks, or volunteering. Find what feeds your soul and then carve out some time for these things that bring you joy and fulfillment.
In all of these resolutions, the trick is to start small and to be consistent. Celebrate the little victories along the way and be patient with yourself. Remember, the goal isn’t to overhaul your life overnight but to gently steer it towards a healthier, happier you. As you master these small steps, see if you can weave in a little more and a little more over time and before you know it, your resolutions have turned into long term habits, and you’re on your way to changing your life.
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